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Chicken Saag

Serves 4

Have a craving for Indian? This chicken dish simmered in a spicy spinach sauce is exotic but easy to make. Serve with warmed naan on the side.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 chili pepper, sliced or chopped, such as Fresno, or other small red chili pepper
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a scant palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander (a scant palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric (2/3 palmful)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or 2-3 crushed cardamom seed
  • 4 small ripe plum tomatoes or 2 organic vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 packages frozen chopped organic spinach, defrosted and wrung of excess liquid
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or breast tenders, cut into 1 1/2-2-inch chunks


  1. Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the butter and melt. When the butter foams, add the onion, ginger, chili and garlic; season with salt and the spices. Sauté to tender, 5-6 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add to a food processor along with stock and spinach. Purée into a smooth thick sauce, return to the pan and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and poach the chicken in the sauce for 6-7 minutes, until cooked through.
  2. Serve with grilled, buttered naan bread or prepared rice with cardamom seed alongside.