Bacon wrapped chicken with quinoa, carrots and spinach

Easy midweek meals are a necessity in many busy households, and bacon wrapped chicken with quinoa is one of my favourites. Carrots are chopped with leeks and sautéed, tasty bacon-wrapped chicken thighs are steamed at the same time as quinoa, then spinach is added and the meal is served. A real bonus is that the leftover steaming stock and a spoonful of quinoa can become an easy soup for the next day.

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 15 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME 45 MINUTES

SERVES 2-4 FOR DINNER

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Ingredients

  • 150 g white quinoa
  • water for soaking
  • 300 g carrots, cut in 3-4 cm pieces
  • 100 g leeks, cut in 2 cm pieces
  • 50 g coconut oil or olive oil, plus ½ tsp
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, bone in, each approx. 120-150 g
  • 4 wide slices back bacon or 8 narrow slices bacon
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 750 g homemade chicken stock or water
  • 1 level tsp fine sea salt
  • 100 g red pepper (capsicum/bell pepper), cut in small 1 cm pieces
  • 50 g baby spinach leaves

Method

  1. Place a bowl on TM lid and weigh in quinoa then add water to a depth of 2 cm above the quinoa. Stir well to wet all the quinoa then set aside to soak.
  2. Chop carrots and leeks with coconut oil 7 sec/speed 5 then cook 7 min/Varoma/speed 1; meanwhile rub Varoma tray with ½ tsp coconut oil, loosely wrap each chicken thigh with one wide back bacon slice or 2 narrow bacon slices, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper then arrange on oiled Varoma tray. Place tray with chicken into Varoma dish, cover and set aside.
  3. Transfer sautéed carrots and leeks to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Place TM simmering basket in sink, then transfer quinoa and soaking water into it to drain. Without rinsing TM bowl, add chicken stock and salt, then insert simmering basket with quinoa. Place TM lid and covered Varoma in position, then steam 25 min/Varoma/speed 2½.
  5. Set covered Varoma aside on a plate to catch any drips, remove simmering basket with aid of hook on TM spatula and set aside on another plate, then cover basket with a tea towel (kitchen towel) to absorb excess steam and keep the quinoa warm.
  6. Add reserved sautéed carrots/leeks, diced red pepper and baby spinach leaves to hot stock in TM bowl, place TM lid and covered Varoma back in position then steam 5 mins/Varoma/speed 1. Carefully lift Varoma lid and check chicken is cooked through; if more cooking is required, steam chicken again 2-5 minutes/Varoma/speed 1 or until cooked through.
  7. Remove approx. one fifth of the quinoa and set aside, then divide remainder onto dinner plates. Add 1-2 bacon-wrapped chicken thighs to each plate, then use a slotted spoon to lift cooked vegetables onto quinoa. Add reserved spoonful of quinoa to remaining stock in TM bowl and blend 2 min/speed 5-10, gradually increasing to speed 10 to make a delicious carrot and leek soup.
  8. After dinner, transfer soup to a clean glass jar, seal with a clean lid, allow soup to cool for half an hour then chill in fridge for an easy lunch or snack the next day.

Janie’s Tips

  1. Just before serving in step 7, bacon-wrapped chicken thighs can be pan-fried briefly in a dry frying pan over medium heat to add a bit of colour.
  2. This recipe is gluten free – please read ingredient labels to ensure all your ingredients are gluten free.
  3. This recipe is dairy free – please read ingredient labels to ensure all your ingredients are dairy free.
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