Recipe: Pantry Chicken Dinner
In need of a simple, nourishing meal after the holiday season? This pantry chicken dinner recipe is sure to fit the bill!
I had a wonderful time visiting my family in Minneapolis for the holidays; I ran around the downtown chain of lakes, bundled up for a – 21-degree wind chill run, and ate more than I care to admit! But, sure enough, the time came for us to pack up the truck and head back to Nebraska. After an exhausting 6 ½ hour drive with our cat and 4-month-old puppy, we once again arrived home around dinner time to an empty fridge. This time, instead of turning to my freezer meals, I turned to my pantry and what I had available to whip something up for dinner.
There are certain things I will always have on hand in my own pantry- some frozen meat available to thaw out, onions, garlic, chicken stock, dry herbs, dry pasta, and wine. One item I got lucky on- one leftover lemon that didn’t go bad on my trip. What came out of this experiment was a chicken pasta that had my husband telling me I should add it to our regular rotation! I was shocked, but I had to agree, this was so delicious. And the best part is that it was made with items I just had sitting around- no grocery store run was needed.
Pantry Chicken Dinner
- 1 lb bone in, skin on chicken thighs
- 2 tsp salt + more to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½-¾ lb pasta of choice (note: any starch or grain in your pantry would work here- you could substitute mashed potatoes, quinoa, or even white rice if that is all you had!)
- 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp thyme together to create a spice blend. Generously season both sides of the chicken thighs (this may not use up all of the spice blend).
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy, oven safe, and high sided skillet over high heat. Place the chicken thighs in the pan skin side down first to brown. Once the skin is browned (took about 5 minutes for me), flip the chicken thighs to brown the bottom (3-4 minutes). Remove chicken thighs to a plate and set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium and add the onion. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the white wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to free all the tasty bits. Cook for another 1-2 minutes then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the chicken thighs back to the pan skin side up, and add the chicken stock into the pan until it covers the bottom of the chicken thighs but not the skin. For me, this took about 2 cups. Place the skillet into the oven and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
- While the chicken is baking, get your water boiling for the pasta.
- When the chicken is done, remove the chicken to a plate and put a sheet of tin foil over the top to keep it warm. Once chicken is removed, you should drop the pasta into the boiling water.
- Return the skillet to the stove and cook over high heat, stirring frequently until sauce reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Add about 1 tbsp zest from the lemon and the juice (my lemon gave about 2.5 tbsp of juice) to the sauce. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
- When pasta is cooked according to directions, reserve a small amount of the pasta water then drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Add a small splash of the pasta water (1 tbsp to start) and saute, stirring a bit aggressively until the sauce coats the pasta. Serve immediately with the chicken thighs placed on top of the pasta.
I had a small amount of fresh basil on hand and used it to top the pasta along with some parmesan. This really isn’t necessary, it just made it look prettier!