Almond chicken

There used to be a Lebanese restaurant in Baltimore called the Carlyle Club.  They had an almond chicken dish that I loved.  (I think it was called Chicken Mish Mishya – but I could be mistaken.  I could also be completely butchering the spelling of that.)  Anyway, I found a recipe in a book called 660 Curries for a yogurt almond chicken and I was intrigued.  I adjusted it a little bit based on preference and availability of ingredients (I know I could go to HMart and get fresh cardamom pods but I really didn’t have time to do that.)  Since the Carlyle Club probably closed 10 years ago, my memory of the dish has obviously faded (and I know their version did not include spinach.)  This was good and we will repeat it.  One of the things I like about dishes that are based on a marinade is that most of the work is done ahead.  You could make the marinade on Sunday and refrigerate and then assemble the dish on a weeknight.

Yogurt Almond Chicken

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 bag slivered almonds 1/2 cup
  • 1 TB ginger, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 TB ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 for the three of us and cut them in pieces)
  • canola oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bag baby spinach

Make the marinade – combine yogurt, almonds, ginger, garlic and pepper in a small blender.  (Mixture will be grainy because of the almonds.)  Stir in spices.  Coat chicken in marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to overnight.

Heat 2 TB of canola oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and bay leaves and cook stirring until onions are soft – 3 – 4 minutes.  Transfer onions to a bowl and remove bay leaves.

Pour 2 more TB oil into the skillet.  Put chicken pieces in skillet and sear on both sides (about 3 minutes a side).  Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken and add 1/2 cup water.  Move the chicken around and deglaze pan with water.  Reduce heat to medium low and cover, stirring occasionally until chicken is done to 140 degrees.  (You could also use boneless, skinless thighs and they would take a little longer.)  Remove chicken and onions from pan.

Bring sauce to a boil and cook until slightly thickened.  Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted.  Serve with rice and spinach sauce.  The picture isn’t pretty but the finished result was delicious.