Pulled Chicken with Rutabagas and Spinach (Inspired by Saag Aloo)

Pulled Chicken with Rutabagas and Spinach (Inspired by Saag Aloo) – Serves 4-5

My wife always orders Saag Aloo when we eat in Indian restaurants. The dish of potatoes and spinach is good, although it may be more native to the Indian restaurants of the United Kingdom than the homes of India. White potatoes are weak in the nutrition department, so I routinely substitute rutabagas or turnips in my cooking. I think my Rutabagas and Spinach dish tastes even better than Saag Aloo because rutabagas have more character than potatoes. Try it and tell me what you think!

Rutabagas and Spinach
Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredient list:

2 large rutabagas
2 cans of spinach
1 small onion (sweet yellow are my favorites)
1 large Serrano pepper
1 lime or lemon
Extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
Crushed garlic
Ground coriander
Garam masala
Ground cumin
Salt

Directions: Add spinach to a bowl with all the liquid in the cans. Split the Serrano pepper open. Remove the seeds if you want a mild dish. Dice the pepper into small pieces and add to the spinach. Add the juice of one lime or of half a lemon. Stir ingredients together.

Peel rutabagas. Chop rutabagas and onion into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pressure cooker over medium high heat. Add onions to the hot oil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic (or 4 finely minced garlic cloves). Add the rutabaga, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of coriander powder, and a heavy dusting of salt. Add the bowl of spinach to the pressure cooker and two teaspoons of garam masala. Stir ingredients together. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use the quick-release method to bring pressure down, and remove top. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer servings to plates and add pulled chicken (see below). Enjoy!

Pulled Chicken
Prep and Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Ingredient list:

1 whole young hen (mine are often about 4 pounds)
Red chili powder
Coriander powder
Garlic powder
Salt

Directions: Remove chicken from packaging and giblets (package including the heart, liver, and neck) from the body cavity. Freeze the giblets to use in making chicken stock later. Rinse chicken and add the whole bird to pressure cooker (alternate method noted below). Dust generously with salt, garlic powder, coriander powder, and add a little red chili powder. Add enough water to almost submerge the chicken. In my case that was about 10 cups. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 20 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use the slow-release method to bring pressure down, and remove top. Remove chicken from pressure cooker with tongs (because it is hot!) and transfer to a large mixing bowl. If the chicken falls apart, remove the pieces as best you can with tongs and scoop the rest out with a slotted spoon. Leave the broth in the pot while you continue. Use a pair of tongs to separate the chicken from the bones and skin and transfer it to another large bowl. Once you have all the chicken separated, pull the chicken apart with a pair of forks.

Discard the bones and skin. Let the broth cool for 30 minutes to an hour and then transfer to plastic containers. Keep what you need for cooking over the next 4-5 days in the refrigerator and freeze the rest.

Notes: You can boil a whole chicken in a Dutch oven or stock pot for about 40 minutes and get about the same result as pressure cooking a whole bird 20 minutes. I prepare a whole chicken every week now because I can think of so many things to do with pulled chicken and homemade broth.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com. After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

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