Skinny chicken & spinach curry

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Anyonita Nibbles||Skinny chicken & spinach curry with orzo
Every now and then you stumble across a recipe that completely surprises you. When I was planning the meals for this week, I selected this recipe (originally from Slimming World) because it called for ingredients that I knew we would have in the kitchen already. I wasn't expecting it to be one of the best tasting curries I've ever eaten.

I'm picky about curry--I like the safe options: your tikkas and your kormas or a Thai green curry. I'm not really a fan of tomatoes in curries, either. So, from the outset, I didn't have high expectations. Having just polished the leftovers for lunch, though, I'm sure you can see that this curry has certainly won me over. I made some minor adjustments to the original recipe and instead of serving it with basmati or Jasmine rice, I served it with orzo.

I quite liked the plump texture of the orzo compared to rice...there was a bit more substance in each bite, I think. This was a family favorite with my toddler shoving in second helpings and the husband classifying this humble dish as worthy of being served the next time we entertain guests.

A dish of healthy chicken, tomato & spinach curry.
For the curry
1 white onion, diced
1 can tomatoes
1 tub non fat Greek yogurt
1tbsp cinnamon
1tbsp mild curry powder
150ml chicken stock
200g frozen spinach
500g skinless chicken breast, diced
pinch of sugar
cooking spray
salt and pepper
coriander(cilantro) leaf

For the orzo
100g orzo per person + 50g per toddler
salt and pepper

All right, let's cook:
For the curry, spray a large saucepan with no-calorie cooking spray and sweat the onions over high heat until they start to brown.  Sprinkle in cinnamon and curry powder and toast until you can smell the spices.

Add the chicken, more cooking spray if necessary and allow the chicken to color nicely before adding in the chicken stock, tomatoes, spinach and sugar. (You don't have to add in the sugar but it always helps when cooking with canned tomatoes to undercut that slight tinny taste. If you're switching frozen spinach for tinned, you'll probably definitely want to add a bit of sugar for the same reason.)

Season with salt and pepper, cover and allow to bubble and simmer away for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, get on packing the orzo up by slipping the rice-shaped pasta into a pot of boiling water. It should only take 8 minutes or so for your orzo to be cooked, so plain accordingly.

Finish off the curry by straining any excess liquid, if you feel it is too watery (remember, spinach emits a lot of water!) and stirring in the Greek yogurt. Adjust seasonings if necessary and sprinkle with coriander leaf. Strain the orzo, fork through a knob of butter and season.

I was toying with the idea of adding some pan-fried tenderstem broccoli to the dish for an extra crunch and a bit more veg. Might do this in future, but even if I don't, it was tasty enough as is. If you're not a fan of Greek yogurt, you can use natural yogurt and of course, you can swap the orzo back for rice.
Delish curry and tasty orzo.

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