Boneless Chicken with Spinach & Anise

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I’ve recently been experimenting with different ways of cooking chicken. This hasn’t been an area of interest or expertise thanks to the poor quality of chicken I used to get while living in the UK, which completely put me off cooking it at home, until recently.

I’ve always struggled to get greens into my body (the only raw green leaf I can get myself to eat is lettuce!), so I try to see how I can cook it into my food every now and then (check out the recipe for my Popeye Pasta). Today, I decided to make some boneless chicken with a dash of spinach and anise! If you end up trying it, do let me know how it turned out 🙂

Ingredients [Serves 2-3]

500g Boneless Chicken Thighs
250g Spinach (you can increase the quantity if you like)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (or any other oil you use)
2 Medium Sized Onions
2 Anise
1 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 Tsp Black Pepper
2 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Jeera
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Garlic Cloves (you can increase the quantity if you like)
1 Dried Red Chilli

For the marinade:
1 Bowl Yogurt
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Black Pepper

The selection of ingredients was mostly as per what I could find in the kitchen. Plenty of variations are possible, especially with regard to the spices.

Preparation

Wash the chicken with a pinch of turmeric. Mix salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and black pepper with the yogurt to make a smooth paste. Add the mixture to the chicken and grease every chicken well. Place a lid on the container and refrigerate for a few hours (I refrigerated it overnight due to my schedule and I like my meat tender, but it’s fine if you keep it even for just 30 mins or an hour).

Add the oil to a non-stick pan. Once it heats up, add the jeera, then mustard seeds, then the anise, garlic cloves and dried red chilli. I usually like to add each of the ingredients one after the other, with about 30 seconds to a minute gap between each so that the flavour of each of the ingredients comes out.

Next, add the onions and sautee until they turn tender and brown. Add the ginger garlic paste.

Cut the spinach leaves into small pieces (or however you like) and add to the mix. Sautee till they turn dark green and wrinkle up. Then add the chicken and place the pan with a lid on high flame for about 3-5 minutes. Every minute, open the lid and mix it just a bit though, before putting the lid back on. Add the salt, red chilli powder, garam masala and other spices mentioned in the ingredients list.

Now, let the chicken cook on low flame for about 20-30 minutes or so (time can be reduced or extended depending on how much consistency/gravy you want, and how tender you like your chicken). I like it a bit dry so that I can have it with roti and doesn’t tempt me to eat it with rice!

The anise gives the dish a very unique, semi- South Indian taste, which is what I loved! The spinach adds just a tad bit of a sour flavour, while also making the dish healthy. I think this recipe turned out pretty well for me!

Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas of variations! 🙂

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