Warmly spiced and hearty, this is a perfect supper for a cold winter night. It’s even good for you, as it is low in fat and contains chickpeas and spinach. Brown bone-in chicken legs, brown some onions, combine spices, broth and chicken and braise for less than an hour. You can refrigerate the chicken at this point if you want to make this recipe in advance, or you can finish it by adding the spinach and yogurt.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream and spices that have no colour or anti-caking agents added. Make sure the chickpeas do not contain additives – try PC Blue Menu brand. I use Imagine Organic chicken stock and Astro Original brand Balkan-style yogurt.

Brown the chicken legs well

Brown the onions

After braising the chicken, remove it to a plate and then add the spinach, which will wilt

Indian-spiced chicken with chickpeas and spinach


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 bone-in chicken legs (thigh and drumstick), skin removed

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons grated peeled ginger

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

2 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth

5 ounces baby spinach (about 8 lightly packed cups)

¼ cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems


Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt. Working in batches, cook chicken, reducing heat as needed to prevent over-browning, until golden brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Add butter and onions to drippings in pot; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown, 10-15 minutes.

Stir in garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chickpeas and 2 cups broth. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Add more broth if needed to cover chicken about three-fourths of the way up. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise chicken until fork-tender, 45-55 minutes. Do ahead: Chicken can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool slightly, then chill, uncovered, until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Add spinach to pot, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand until spinach is wilted, 5-7 minutes.

Stir yogurt into cooking liquid. Season with salt. Return chicken to pot. Warm over low heat (do not boil or yogurt may curdle).

Transfer chicken to a large deep platter. Pour spinach and chickpea sauce over. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serves 6.

From the January 2013 issue of Bon Appetit