Saturday, June 1, 2013

Yogurt-Almond Chicken with a Spinach Sauce

This recipe yields a tender, flavourful chicken with a rich sauce. You'll want to have a bit of rice to soak up the extra sauce. The yogurt should mediate the effects of the chiles, but ours were on the hot side, so if you're averse to heat, you might want to cut them back a bit. We made this using only drumsticks, so feel free to use whatever cut is most convenient for you.

One year ago: Thai-Style Roast Chicken
Two years ago: Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Orange
Three years ago: Savoury Bread Pudding

Yogurt-Almond Chicken with a Spinach Sauce (from 660 Curries)

1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup slivered almonds
6 slices fresh ginger (1 1/2"x1"x1/8")
6 cloves garlic
5 - 7 green chiles, stems removed
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds, ground
1/2 tsp whole cloves, ground
1 chicken, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces
4 tbsp canola oil, divided
1 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 bay leaves
5 ounces baby spinach

1. To make marinade, combine yogurt, almonds, ginger, garlic, and chiles in blender jar. Puree until smooth.
2. Transfer puree to bowl and fold in cilantro, coriander, cumin, salt, cardamom, and cloves.
3. Add chicken to marinade and coat. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour to overnight.
4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bay leaves and cook until onion is soft and light brown, 3 - 4 minutes. Transfer to plate.
5. Add remaining 2 tbsp oil to skillet. Remove chicken from marinade (reserving marinade separately) and add to skillet. Sear until lightly browned, 3 minutes per side.
6. Spread reserved marinade over chicken and add cooked onion and 1/2 cup water. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and braise until cooked through, 25 - 30 minutes. Transfer to serving platter.
7. Raise heat to medium-high and bowl sauce uncovered until thickened, 5 - 8 minutes.
8. Stir in spinach, a handful at a time, until wilted into sauce.
9. Spoon spinach sauce over chicken and serve.

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