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Pilaf with Spinach and Garlic

Serves 6

This tasty side goes with a variety of meals.


  • 4-5 cups chicken stock or poaching liquid if poaching your own chicken
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 pound thin linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups baby spinach, packed
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, packed
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 4 cups pulled cooked chicken (use store-bought rotisserie or poach your own*)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts, toasted

* For the chicken:

  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, halved and quartered across
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 celery ribs with leafy tops, quartered across
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, sliced


*If poaching your own chicken: Place the chicken in a pot with the poaching ingredients. Add enough water to just cover the chicken. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a low rolling boil. Season the water with salt; reduce the heat and poach for 45-60 minutes, turning once. Cool in the poaching liquid to room temperature. Remove the chicken from the skin and bones and dice or pull into bite-size pieces. Strain the poaching liquid.

Warm the stock or poaching liquid in a medium size pot.

Heat a large, deep skillet with a lid over medium heat with the butter and melt. When it foams, add the pasta and toast until deep golden. Remove to a plate and add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the shallots and garlic and stir, 3-5 minutes, to soften. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute; add salt and pepper.

Add half a cup of stock to a food processor or high-powered blender and puree the spinach and parsley with the lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.

Add the remaining stock and pasta to the rice; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, spinach-parsley puree and a little freshly grated nutmeg and cover. Cook for 3 minutes longer, then turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the nuts and fluff with a fork; serve.