Friday, February 26, 2010

Chicken in spinach

I love spinach. The preparation of my childhood years, boiled with salt and served with egg and nutmeg, was my starting point when I started cooking myself, but from there I got to know it in pastry and with meat and poultry. My favorite recipe is chicken in spinach and it took me years to perfect it. Just before I came to Israel, I nearly had it right, but then I had to start all over again as the sort of leaves that are sold here as spinach (תרד [tered]) have a slightly different taste, a different texture and a different behavior while cooking. And even though this blog is dedicated to podcast reviewing, since tonight I will be serving my developed chicken in spinach, I'll post the recipe to you.

Here is what you need (family serving):
1 kg drum sticks or chicken legs (I like to remove the skin)
5 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes (without the skin)
2 big onions
500 gr spinach (finely cut)
3 cm fresh ginger (crushed)
25 gr butter
two table spoons olive oil
1 tea spoon turmeric
1 tea spoon garam masala
1 tea spoon ground coriander
1 tea spoon ground cardamom
1/2 tea spoon ground cloves
1/2 tea spoon cayenne pepper (reduce this if you do not like your food to be hot)
250 ml cream for cooking (10% fat)
white rice (I use basmati rice)

Put the oil and the butter on low heat. When the butter starts melting add the ginger, salt, half of the turmeric and the other dry spices. Let this simmer for five minutes - be sure not to let the spices burn, let alone scorch. If necessary, add the chicken earlier. When the spices are thoroughly mixed and start to look like a sauce, add the chicken. Go to medium heat and stir fry the chicken until it gets the color of the sauce all over. Then cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat - make sure nothing scorches. In the mean time cut the onions and the skinned tomatoes. First add the cut onions, stir fry them and as soon as the turn shiny, add the tomatoes. Keep stirring. Cut the garlic (do not crush) and add and turn heat low. Let the chicken boil in the sauce. Put on the rice with the other half of the turmeric. When the chicken is nearly well done, add the spinach. Let it all cook on medium heat until both spinach and chicken are done. Turn the heat off and add the cream.

More recipes:
Yellow soup,
Hot and Sour,
Couscous with Chicken,
Rice, minced meat and burnt eggplant,
Fish with couscous,
Chicken pesto with moong dal rice.

And for those who wish to have some podcasts in this post: While cooking, I listened to two BBC podcasts. In Our Time about Calvinism - good to find out where I come from. And this weeks issue of A History of the World in 100 Objects - about five objects of around 2500 years ago. These are the delightful podcasts of the kind the BBC offers consistently. A History of the World, by the way, has announced to on a break for 'a couple of months'.