We firmly believe that just about everything is better with brown butter, a simple yet decadent sauce made by gently toasting butter as it cooks until golden brown. Here, Chef Shanna adds pistachios and fragrant cardamom for an elegant, aromatic twist. It’s drizzled all over warmly-spiced chicken breasts, plus brown rice “bejeweled” with golden raisins, spinach, and carrots.
Indian-Spiced Chicken with Brown Butter
3 ounces baby spinach
6 ounces carrots
2 tablespoons pistachios
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Pat spinach dry with paper towel; roughly chop. Halve carrots lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. Roughly chop pistachios, or leave in bag and gently crush with the bottom of a heavy pan. Pat chicken very dry with paper towel (this will help the skin crisp up in the pan); season all over with garam masala, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper.
2. On a baking sheet, toss carrots with 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer and roast until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in rice and cook until tender, 22-25 minutes. Drain and return to pot, off heat, then cover to keep warm for Step 5.
3. While rice cooks, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken skin-side down; sear until skin is golden and easily lifts from pan, 6 minutes. Flip and sear opposite side until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside to rest; wipe pan clean for the next step.
4. Place pan from chicken over medium heat, then add butter, cardamom, and pistachios. Swirl pan occasionally until butter turns golden and fragrant and pistachios are toasted, 7-8 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired; remove pan from heat.
5. To pot with rice, still off heat, add golden raisins, spinach, roasted carrots, and half of cardamom brown butter and pistachios. Stir everything to combine and wilt spinach slightly.
6. Cut rested chicken into ¼-inch slices. Divide rice between serving plates. Top with Indian-spiced chicken and spoon over remaining cardamom brown butter and pistachios. Enjoy!
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