"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tea Smoked Chicken Breast with Spinach and Herbs

This was for dinner a few weeks ago. Chicken breast can get relatively dry on cooking, although if done right can be cooked/baked or grilled in a succulent manner. Served with salad on the side this makes for a complete meal itself. I used lean chicken breasts without the skin/fat since I am opting for more healthy options. You can choose to make it with the skin on.

I had just thought of trying the chicken with some tea that we got from Munnar hills. The rest of the recipe evolved around those main two ingredients followed by some lovely spinach leaves, lemon zest and herbs.

I have also included a vegetarian option with this recipe. If you are a facebook member of G'Gina's Kitchenette's facebook page, you would have read my status update on the review of this meal. If you haven't let me tell you, I could actually hear a lot of pleasant oohs and aaaahs on the dining table that night and no it was not because the diners were being tortured. On the contrary, they enjoy this meal very much as did I!

To make this simple dish,

You need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Olive oil  - 2 tbsp or less
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of sage and fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bundles of spinach - diced
  • 2-4 tbsp of Tea leaves of your choice - Munnar black tea leaves
  • 4 strands of thyme leaves - additional
  • 1/2 large lemon or 1 small lemon
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pinch of cinnamon powder
  • Celery sticks
  • Sour cream/Mayonnaise (optional)
The Make:

Serves 4 | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1. Pan sear the chicken 2 mins on each side on a non-stick lightly greased (brushwith olive oil). Let it rest for a minute.

2. Meanwhile saute spinach in a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Top with flax seeds. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the spinach is drained off the water.

3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, sage, lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves and pepper. Stuff each chicken breast with the spinach. Hold in place with a skewer or toothpick.

4. Layer a foil on a baking tray and top with parchment paper. Top the parchment paper with the stuffed chicken breasts and sprinkle the remaining thyme strands around the chicken breasts and Munnar black tea leaves or any other fragrant tea leaves of your choice. Cover with the remaining parchment paper and sides of the foil.

5. Heat the oven to 180°C and place the baking tray. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Let it rest in the oven for 5 mins.

6. Dressing: Meanwhile squeeze half a large lemon or a small lemon with a drizzle of apple cider, 1/2 tbsp EVOO, pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon in a bowl.

7. Brush the chicken breasts with dressing. Serve each chicken breast with celery on the side and a scoop of sour cream/mayo.

Veg option:For vegetarians, stuff zucchini or bell peppers (with soya granules and spinach). Cooking time will reduce to 10 mins.

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Bon Appetit!

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