Start the Spring with Swiss Chard

We are now enjoying the second day of Spring—however—with the temperatures hovering around a balmy 31 degrees and with a little over a foot of snow left on the frozen ground, there’s little hope for green grass, flowers, and chirping birds.

I guess this transitional season is what prompts the inevitable spring cleaning—indoors where it is a comfortable 70 degrees. After a morning full of cleaning, organizing and pining over the summer clothes that would have to remain in storage for a few more long months—it was time for a warm filing meal.

A nice one-pot wonder was the immediate go-to for this afternoon’s lunch (and I was also Ingredientslooking for a way to use the Swiss chard from this week’s organic produce delivery)—Chicken and Rice with Swiss Chard (as loosely adapted from Full Fork Ahead):

Ingredients
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 4 chicken breasts
• Kosher salt and pepper
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems cut into ½-inch pieces, leaves torn into 2-3-inch pieces
• 1 small (or ½ medium) sweet onion, diced
• 1 ½ cups butternut squash, cubed into 1-inch pieces
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ¼ cup dry white wine
• 1 ½ cups basmati rice, uncooked
• 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

Pat chicken breasts dry with towel—season with salt and pepper. Heat large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with olive oil and butter. When oil and butter are heated, add 2 chicken breasts—working in batches, allowing them to cook for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken breasts to plate.

Chicken and rice with swiss chardReduce heat to medium and add garlic, Swiss chard stems, sweet onion and butternut squash. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent (approximately 3-4 minutes). Add Swiss chard leaves, lemon zest, rice and white wine—cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to quick simmer. Reduce heat to a simmer and season with additional salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on top of rice and vegetable mixture. Cover and cook until water is fully absorbed by rice—depending on the brand of basmati rice, this could take between 25-45 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

This warm bowl of goodness was just enough to do the trick after a long morning—and even spurred some additional prep work for the week—a refrigerator full of mason jar salads, not-your-momma’s oatmeal and left over chicken and rice with Swiss chard.Refrigerator Stocking

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