A nutritious, seasonal vegetable, spinach adds a slightly sweet, herb-like flavour to this chicken dish, which makes a healthy supper for lighter nights
4 chicken breasts, skin on
500g baby spinach
1 tsp honey
300g brown rice
1 clove of garlic
2 yellow peppers
4 spring onions
2 tbsp shredded flat-leaf parsley
sea salt, pink peppercorns and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Place the spinach in a large pan and add 100ml of water. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 4 mins until wilted. Refresh with cold water and drain. Transfer the spinach to a bowl, grate the lemon zest into it and then add half of the juice. Mix in the honey and season.
Place the chicken breast flat, skin down, on a chopping board and cut into the breast from the thickest side, opening it out to make a pocket. Repeat with each breast then fill with the spinach mixture. Wrap the chicken breast around the filling, pinning it in place with cocktail sticks. Place each on a wire rack in a roasting tin. Bake for 20 mins, until cooked through thoroughly and the skin is crispy.
In the meantime, rinse the brown rice in a sieve under cold running water, then place in a saucepan with 700ml of cold water and the unpeeled garlic clove, and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 25 mins. Deseed and slice the yellow peppers, and trim and slice the spring onions.
Refresh the rice with cold water until cold and drain thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the peppers and spring onions. Peel and chop the garlic clove and mix it in, along with the juice from the remaining lemon half and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken breasts, after removing the cocktail sticks. Serve with the rice salad.
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