Ah, the boneless chicken thigh. Versatile and tasty. It cooks quickly and adapts easily. Today I made this pan of Chicken with Ricotta cheese and Swiss Chard. I made the stuffing from day old bread. This is a great recipe to make a day ahead, then you can easily bake it when you get home from work or play. The prep is easy, but it does take a little time.
Grocery list: One pound boneless chicken thighs, bakery bread, 10 ounces ricotta cheese, 1 nice bundle of green swiss chard, olive oil, quarter cup of chicken or vegetable broth, seasonings.
PREP STUFFING – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into crouton-size cubes, then tear those pieces into a bowl. Pour a small amount of broth (or water) and olive oil over the pieces and mix to coat. You want the pieces damp but not completely saturated. Add salt, pepper and other seasonings as you like (I used Herbs De Provence). Mix again to coat. Place dressing (that’s what it’s called when it’s cooked outside of the bird) in a shallow baking dish large enough to accommodate all ingredients. Bake dressing for 20 minutes, stirring it once or twice.
PREP SWISS CHARD– Thoroughly wash and trim the leaves, discarding any large stalks. Trim the greenery away from the center ribs by tearing or with a small knife. If you have a salad spinner it’s a good idea to wash the trimmed greens again; or rinse and drain on a clean dish cloth. In a large pot heat a small amount of olive oil. Drop in the greens and toss them with 2 large spoons (wooden spoons work great). The chard will reduce substantially in size as the steam evaporates. When the greens are reduced to your liking transfer them to a bowl to stop the cooking process. (NOTE- I did the chard prep while the dressing was baking).
PUTTING IT TOGETHER–
Remove the dressing from oven and turn the heat up to 375 degrees. Evenly layer the chard over the dressing. Then evenly spoon ricotta cheese over the chard. Now season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and lay them out over the top of the pan. Open each thigh up so it’s as thin as possible. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes. You can serve this immediately, or cool it to room temperature, cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat at 350 degrees the next day with loosened foil on top.