Get Baked: Braised Chicken With Spinach And Zucchini

This dish is not pretty, but it is excellent for lunches you want to make in advance when impressing with visual aesthetics is secondary to flavor and a longish fridge life.

I used only one bag of spinach, but next time will probably use two. You can also use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but make sure to skim the fat off after cooking and skip adding the extra tsp. of olive oil to the pan. (Bone-in is a must for flavour in any case.)


Braised Chicken with Spinach and Zucchini


6-7 bone-in, skin-off chicken thighs
Kosher salt and black pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 cups carrot juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
12 dates, pitted and sliced lengthwise
1 lemon’s worth of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped into half moon chunks


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a deep oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, arrange in the pan and cook until browned (about five minutes). Flip and cook for an additional five minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add an additional 1 tsp. olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring often (about seven minutes). Watch the bottom of the pan closely, and if it looks like it’s getting brown add a splash more oil or everything will stick. Add the ginger, cinnamon and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the carrot juice and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken pieces to the pan again.

4. Cover and braise in the oven for 15 minutes. Add the dates, stir and braise for another 30 minutes. Add the zucchini and braise for another five minutes.

5. Remove from oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer anything solid in the pan to a serving bowl. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until it thickens — about five minutes. While you wait, remove the bones from the chicken in the bowl. Add the lemon juice and spinach, mixing quickly until it wilts. Remove from heat and pour over everything in the bowl.

6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over couscous.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I love that this recipe doesn’t have any canned or crushed tomatoes in it. So many recipes like this have those pernicious things. I might actually make this.

    • I know, right? I was just thinking the same thing. Just moved in with a new roommate, and while discussing food/cooking prefs she dropped the clanger that she doesn’t like tomatoes, canned or otherwise. I’m bookmarking the hell out of this.

  2. This looks delicious but I wouldn’t have a clue how to get hold of carrot juice. Any suggestions for a substitution?

    • What about chunked carrots for the flavour, and any fruit juice for the consistency? It looks like it should simmer down nicely anyway.

  3. to get carrot juice just peel carrots and puree them or liquefy them. To make the puree thinner add water :)

    • My food processor gave up recently and I can’t afford another one just now (poverty stricken student nurse). Thanks though.

      • You could try grating the carrots and adding them with some stock / astock cube. THey won’t break down, but they end up pretty small. I have never cooked with carrot juice, so if this causes a problem with the thickening, just add some cornflower mixed with cold water and bring it to the boil.

    • Addendum: I just made this dish and it is as delicious as one would assume. GO FORTH AND BRAISE, EVERYONE!

  4. I tried this for easter/passover and it turned out really well. my guests also were very pleased. thanks for sharing.

  5. My parents grew an excess of zucchini and I used it to make this for them. They loved it! Thank you for the recipe!

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