Italian Chicken with Spinach and Peas

This dish is inspired by a classic Ligurian dish, seppie in zimino.

In Liguria, cuttlefish (seppie), salt cod and chickpeas are often cooked ‘in zimino’, meaning braised with spinach or silverbeet and sometimes tomato. So, I thought why not pollo in zimino?

Zimino comes from the Arabic word ‘semin’, meaning ‘rich sauce’, and the spinach in this dish is meant to be cooked until it breaks down to form part of the rich braising liquid.

The green peas are my addition inspired by another traditional Ligurian braise, seppie e piselli (cuttlefish and peas), so leave them out if you prefer. I often add peas to my chickpea dish, ceci in zimino, to create a delicious vegetarian version of this recipe.

Serves: 2


  • 250g chicken thigh fillet, skin off
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ brown onion, finely diced (save other ½ for veal rolls)
  • Salt flakes, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig rosemary leaves, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 250g green peas, shelled
  • 100g baby spinach, washed and dried
  • Focaccia, for serving


Cut chicken into large bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Heat oil in a high-sided frying pan or cast-iron dish over low heat.

Add onion and a good pinch of salt, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until tender but not coloured.

Add garlic and rosemary and stir for 30 seconds or so, until aromatic.

Add wine, increase heat to high and boil for a minute or so, stirring well.

Add spinach, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in chicken and peas, cover and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or so until chicken is just cooked through and peas are tender.

Serve with plenty of focaccia to dunk into the sauce.

You’ll find a print-friendly version of this recipe here as well as a step-by-step video of how to make focaccia, the perfect accompaniment.

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Also read: Duck a l’Orange

Roberta Muir
Roberta Muir
Roberta Muir loves making it easy for home cooks to explore new cuisines and ingredients and sharing her passion for cooking, eating, drinking and travelling. She’s a recipe writer, cooking teacher, and author of four cookbooks including the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook. Find more of her inspiration at
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