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Chicken Saag; Foodie Mama is Getting Better at Indian Cooking

Guess what, foodie followers?!  Foodie Mama is going to southern India; Chennai, to be exact.  My brother John is getting married to Meena and her family lives in Chennai and that is the wedding venue.  The ceremony is on July 4th but I will arrive a few days earlier.  Rachel will be traveling with me.  We had to get our measurements because we will be wearing sarees for the occasion.  I asked for a navy/royal blue and grey/silver and Rachel opted for hot pink and silver.  I'm looking forward to it a lot.  I have some work colleagues and employees I may try to see as well.

As my followers already know, I LOVE Indian food.  I try to make it and am slowly getting better.  Mastering the spices and the level of heat is the tricky part.  I made this Chicken Saag recipe last week and it was amazing.  I have blogged a Saag Paneer recipe previously, with delicious paneer cheese; this one is a bit different in that the greens are not pureed and fresh ginger is used, not dried, and of course, chicken is the protein to go with the greens, no cheese in this version.  I hope you enjoy.

Chicken Saag (serves 2)

1/2 C Basamati Rice, rinced
2 T Almonds, chopped
6 oz Baby Spinach, chopped
1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Oz Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Jalopeno, minced after discaring seeds and stem
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
2 T Butter
1 t Garam Masala
2 T Tomato Paste
3 oz Heavy Cream
Olive Oil
Black Pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a small pot with  tight fitting lid, combine rice, 1 C water and 1/4 t salt.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Stir and reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until water is absorbed, 10-12 minutes.  Remove pot from heat and let stand,  while covered, 10 minutes.
  • Pat Chicken dry with paper towel.  Place chicken on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 t salt and pepper.  Cook in oven until fully cooked, 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to rest.
  • While chicken cooks, heat butter and almonds in a pan over medium high heat.  Stir occasionally until butter turns golden brown, 4-5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat.
  • Fluff rice with fork and stir in almond and butter mixture.  Cover pot again until ready to plate.
  • In pan used for almonds, heat 2 t olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the prepared onion, ginger, garlic and about 1/2 of the jalapeno.  Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garam masala and tomato paste to pan.  Stir and cook until combined and fragrant, 1 minute.  Add the spinach and 1 C water.  Stir until spinach is wilted.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/2, approx 5-7 minutes.  Remove pan from heat.
  • Shred the rested chicken using 2 forks.  Add heavy cream and shredded chicken to the pan with the saag, which is still off heat, and stir to combine.
  • Divide almond basamati rice between 2 bowls and top with chicken saag.

Chicken Saag - To Go