Indian Inspired Chicken & Quinoa

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you purchase something through the link (at no cost to you). Thanks for your support!

I think it’s time to share a recipe on here. A FABULOUS recipe for a 1-skillet meal filled with Indian spices, chicken, and delicious, nutty-tasting, protein-filled quinoa.

However, I really can’t take credit for inventing this recipe. I made a Mexican version of this, which is also very good, and Matt used that as inspiration to make an Indian dish. I actually think his is better, though that may be because Indian food is my all-time favorite.

The Backstory

This recipe started last summer when we were driving home from a long (and fun) day of hiking and swimming. We were trying to decide what to make for dinner, given that I had virtually no food in the house. I did have some chicken, and stuff to make a salad…but that was about it. I suggested Saggy Chicken (our name for Chicken Saag), an Indian dish that relies on spinach (which grows wild in our yard in vast quantities) and cream.

[BTW, don’t get offended at our name “saggy chicken”. We rename everything. Chawbs = strawberries. Cron = corn.  I could go on. If you keep reading this website, you’ll get used to it.]

Matt shrugged, not enthused. We’d made Saggy Chicken several times in the last few months, as we sought to perfect the dish. I suggested a few other things, and he said, “Shh, I’m thinking.”

A little while later, he announced, “I’m making dinner for you. You’re not helping. I have an idea.”

And thus, Indian Chicken & Quinoa was born.

We’ve since improved on the initial idea, and really maximized flavor development. It’s an excellent, inexpensive, protein-filled, one-pan meal, and I highly recommend making it. It’s not too spicy either, though you can adjust the spice level to your taste by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper accordingly.

The Recipe (Long Version w/ Pictures & Explanations)

Servings: 4
Prep time: ~1 hour

Ingredients

Olive Oil
2 chicken breasts. Since we don’t have a source for pastured, heritage chickens, these are the generic giant chicken breasts from the Cornish Cross breed that you find at most grocery stores. If you’re using chicken from a breed with smaller breasts, you may want to use more chicken than this.
1 large sweet potato, diced into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced or grated. We typically buy a lot of this when the store has a good price on it, then freeze it in 1″ pieces. Frozen ginger grates extremely easily.
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder. We make our own curry powder, but you can buy it from most supermarkets. Different brands taste different though, so shop around and pick what you like!
1 tsp turmeric. We use a lot of this, and buy it in bulk here.
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar or Sucanat/Rapadura
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
15 oz can diced tomatoes OR 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
Additional seasoning to taste, if desired

Our cut up onions and carrots! We are using a mix of red and yellow onions and a mix of orange and white carrots, because that is what we had on hand. It doesn’t matter though. Use what you want.
The spice mixture!

Directions

  1. Add a little olive oil to the pan, and brown chicken on both sides. Cook until chicken registers 165 degree F, then remove from pan. Set aside. Note that cooking the chicken separately prevents it from over-cooking and drying out while the rest of the stuff is cooking, but browning it first adds delightful chicken flavor the rest of the dish.
  2. Brown sweet potatoes, stirring occasionally. This step is optional, but the browning process makes them DELICIOUS. To save time, you can cook these at the same time as the chicken (in a different pan if your pan isn’t giant like mine is), just be aware that they will be done much faster than the chicken. You don’t have to cook them all the way through – they will cook more later. You just want a nice brown on them.

    Since we have a giant pan, we cooked the chicken and sweet potatoes in the same pan – we just took the sweet potatoes out first (they are done much faster).
  3. Saute onions and carrots, until onions are translucent. You will probably need to add a little more oil.

    DELICIOUS
  4. Add spices and continue to saute about 30 seconds, until fragrant. I find it easiest to put all the spices in a bowl while the other stuff is cooking, so all I have to do is dump it in.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 c. chicken broth, and stir, scraping up the yummy browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add quinoa, remaining 2 1/4 c. chicken broth, and reserved sweet potatoes.
  7. Bring to simmer, and simmer on med-low heat for 20 minutes, until quinoa is fully cooked and sweet potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally, and add additional water or broth if the bottom starts to stick.

    Yay, it’s cooking and looks delicious! It tastes delicious too, but I didn’t take a picture of the finished product. Why? Because I was too busy eating it. Nom.
  8. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  9. Add chicken back in and heat through. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve.
  10. Praise Binders, because it is delicious.

The Recipe (Short Version)

Servings: 4
Prep time: ~1 hour

Ingredients

Olive Oil
2 chicken breasts.
1 large sweet potato, diced into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced or grated.
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder.
1 tsp turmeric.
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar or Sucanat/Rapadura
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
15 oz can diced tomatoes OR 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
Additional seasoning to taste, if desired

Directions

  1. Add a little olive oil to the pan, and brown chicken on both sides. Cook until chicken registers 165 degree F, then remove from pan. Set aside.
  2. Brown sweet potatoes, stirring occasionally (optional).
  3. Saute onions and carrots in oil.
  4. Add spices and continue to saute about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 c. chicken broth, and stir, scraping up the browned bits.
  6. Add quinoa, remaining 2 1/4 c. chicken broth, and reserved sweet potatoes.
  7. Bring to simmer, and simmer on med-low heat for 20 minutes, until quinoa is fully cooked and sweet potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally, and add additional water or broth if the bottom starts to stick.
  8. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  9. Add chicken back in and heat through. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *