Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Red Lentil Dal

Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Red Lentil Dal
Ann Taylor Pittman
 
By Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light

This dinner offers a double-dose of turmeric and its active compound curcumin—some of the golden spice flavors the creamy lentil dal and some gives the chicken a jolt of peppery, earthy flavor. The chicken’s spice rub also contains fresh black pepper, which helps to “activate” the curcumin—and, thus, amp up curcumin’s anti-inflammatory powers. Between the lentils and the spinach, the comforting side of lentil dal provides lots of fiber, too.


Active Time

20 Mins

Total Time

45 Mins

Yield

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken thigh, about 1 cup lentil dal, and 1/4 cup tomatoes)


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 7/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 4 (4-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 


How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 teaspoon turmeric and red pepper; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in water, lentils, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until thick and creamy, about 25 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gradually add spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

Step 2

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and ginger. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of chicken thighs. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve chicken with lentil dal and tomatoes.

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