Spice-crusted chicken with Fenugreek Sauce from Cinnamon Kitchen

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Reinvent Indian food with help from master chef and spice expert Vivek Singh...

Chicken Fenugreek sauce from The Cinnamon Kitchen Cookbook

© Cinnamon Kitchen: The Cookbook

Cinnamon Kitchen is a thoroughly modern Indian restaurant that fuses traditional Indian spices with British ingredients and culinary traditions to create memorable dishes.

Head Chef, Vivek Singh, has compiled all his best recipes and knowledge of the spice trade in a brand new book, Cinnamon Kitchen: The Cookbook, which is already on our Christmas wish list.

Alongside his Scottish Angus fillet with masala potato chips recipe is this yummy chicken and fenugreek dish that your curry loving dinner guests will fight over.

Here's how to get it right...

Spice-crusted chicken breast with Fenugreek Sauce

Ingredients:

4 x chicken breasts, skinned and bone removed
2 tablespoons coriander chutney

For the marinade:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ginger and/or garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
4 peppercorns, crushed coarsely
3 or 4 cloves

For the crust:
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon sprouted fenugreek seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon

Method:

Flatten the chicken breasts slightly, using a rolling pin or a mallet.

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade, spread over the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Take a piece of aluminium foil large enough to cover a cutting board and place one chicken breast on it. Spread one tablespoon of coriander chutney across it and cover with the second breast, placed so that the top end of one breast overlaps the tail of the second breast.

Wrap tightly with aluminium foil. Crimp the edges to seal the wrap properly. Do the same with the second pair of breasts.

To cook the chicken, heat enough water in a heavy-based pan, bring to a boil and then drop in the foilwrapped parcels, allowing the chicken to simmer in the liquid for 8–10 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in another heavy-based pan to smoking point on a medium-high heat and add the whole spices (bay leaf, cardamom and cumin seeds). Once they crackle, add the onion and cook on a medium heat for 5–6 minutes until it is translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic paste, green chillies, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder and sauté for 2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and cook for 5–8 minutes, until the oil begins to separate. Now gradually add the yoghurt, a spoonful at a time, and cook stirring continuously, for 3–4 minutes, until all the yoghurt is incorporated.

Pour in the chicken stock or water, cover and simmer for 5–6 minutes. Remove the lid and add the fresh and dried fenugreek leaves, cinnamon powder, sugar and cream and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the butter and keep warm. Having poached the chicken breast pairs, remove them from the foil, pat-dry and, each pair still sandwiched together, sear in a hot oven-proof frying pan for a couple of minutes on each side to get a good golden colour.

Then transfer the pan to an oven preheated to 170°C /Gas Mark 3 for 4–5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly for a couple of minutes.

For the crust, heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic briefly until it turns golden. Add the onions and sauté over a high heat for 2 minutes until the onions get slightly coloured outside, but still remain crunchy. Now add the tomato, fenugreek and coriander. On a high heat stir for 1 minute, add the salt and sugar and finish with the cinnamon.

Remove from the heat and spread the crust across the top of each chicken breast 'sandwich'. Cut across the breasts to expose the layers of chutney and crust. Each half should be enough for a portion.

To serve, divide the sauce between 4 serving plates and place the chicken on top. Serve with pilau rice and wilted spinach, if you like.

What do you think?

Cinnamon Kitchen: The Cookbook by Vivek Singh, £17.50, amazon.co.uk.

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