Member of

Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Indian, Meat, Poultry

Chicken Saag

Chicken Saag with rice and naan

Chicken Saag with rice and naan

Total time:  Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Adapted from 1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra.

2-4 chicken breasts, quartered
2 small bunches fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 quarter-sized peeled fresh ginger root + one 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, julienned
3 large cloves fresh garlic, peeled + 1 clove minced
1/4 c water
1/4 c plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp melted ghee (or butter)
2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 large cinnamon stick (about 3 inches)
5 green cardamom pods, crushed lightly to break the skin
1-4 whole dried red chile peppers, such as chile de arbol (optional)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

On medium heat, cook chicken pieces until they turn white on all sides (or lightly browned) and the juices run clear (about 5 minutes, depending on how big your chicken chunks are). Set aside.

In a large pan, bring spinach, onion, ginger slices, whole garlic and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the spinach is wilted (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool 5-10 minutes. Pulse lightly in a food processor until just minced (don’t make a puree!!). Return the spinach mix to the pan.

In a small pan, heat the oil and ghee on medium-high. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, and julienned ginger, stirring until the ginger sticks turn golden brown (about 3 minutes). Add the minced ginger, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek, and salt and quickly stir. Slowly add the yogurt (one dollop at a time), stirring constantly to blend it in with the spices.

Immediately after adding all the yogurt, add the entire yogurt spice mix to the spinach mix. Add chicken pieces to spinach mix, cover and simmer on medium-low for 25-30 minutes.

In a small pan, heat the remaining butter and cook the dried chiles for about a minute. Remove from heat, stir in the paprika, then lightly swirl into the spinach mix just before serving. (If you’re doing without chiles, just sprinkle the top of the dish with some paprika before serving.)

Shown here with homemade naan and plain white rice.

You might want to pick out the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before you serve this dish so someone doesn’t try to eat them; that’d be rather unpleasant.

I crushed my red peppers before putting them in the frying pan.

This recipe dirties up a lot of dishes. You could cut back on them by reusing your chicken frying pan to fry your spices, and you could probably skip the butter-frying of your peppers at the end, too. Just omit the butter entirely and add the peppers and paprika straight to the dish.

1 comment to Chicken Saag

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>