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Chicken and Spinach Gratin

2015 April 15
by taiyyaba

Chicken and Spinach Gratin

I saw a fantastic looking recipe on Food 52 – Richard Olney’s Chicken Gratin. I really do want to try it soon, but I also wanted to experiment with roasting chicken on a bed of spinach gratin. This recipe isn’t quite perfect yet, but it’s delicious. I’ll keep tweaking it and welcome your suggestions as well!


2 10-oz bags of frozen chopped spinach
2 cups of cream (or 1 cup cream + 1 cup whole milk)
1 cup grated white cheese (I used an Italian mix)
One small onion, diced
Six chicken leg quarters, with skin
3 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp of jarred minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons of Italian herb mix (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Mix)
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Note: the flavors here were very tasty but a little mild. I’m also underestimating because I didn’t measure when I made this. Please add more or less to your own taste.

The Spinach

1. Microwave the spinach to defrost. Let it cool and squeeze out as much water as possible.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and saute the diced onion until translucent or lightly golden brown.
3. Add onion to the spinach, along with the cream, cheese, and 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of salt and about 1 tsp of black pepper (or to taste).
4. Butter a 13×9 casserole pan and spread the spinach mixture into the pan.

The Chicken

1. Pat the leg quarters dry with a paper towel, especially the skin side. On the meat side, season with salt (sprinkle a couple pinches over it) and 1 tbs Italian herb mix.

2. In a small bowl, mix 3 tbs of softened butter, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tablespoons of Italian herb mix. Loosen the skin under the thigh and on the drumstick in each leg quarter. Smoosh some of this butter under the skin of each leg quarter, making sure to push some of it into the leg as well.

3. Heat a frying pan over high heat (not the highest, but getting there). Add some olive oil. When it’s hot, put the leg quarters in skin side down and don’t touch them for 2-3 minutes (Peek after 2 minutes to see) to sear the skin until golden brown. Arrange on top of the spinach in the casserole dish.

The dish

1. Cover with foil and bake at 400F for 45 min – 1 hour (check for doneness at 45 minutes). Uncover and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to re-crisp the skin. Serve!

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