MAINS

One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma

Hello! Welcome to Djalali Cooks. While this one pan recipe would be a perfect Sunday Supper, yesterday I featured The Greatest Meatball Sub because it takes the better part of a Sunday afternoon. This One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma is a great weeknight meal, it’s relatively quick to prepare – only about an hour; and it employees a method that is great to keep in your back pocket for adding richness and flavor to other dishes. More on that down below, let’s get to the recipe!

This recipe all starts with caramelized onions. So get 2 medium-sized onions sliced thinly and sautéing with 4 tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil, over medium-low heat. Let the onions go, while stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes. While those onions are caramelizing, we can measure out and prep the rest of the ingredients.

Indian Spice

Korma is an Indian dish with meat or vegetables braised in yogurt, water or stock to form a thick gravy. The spices are familiar spices often found in Indian cuisine: garam masala, turmeric, cardamom, coriander, and cayenne pepper. What makes this Korma special is the addition of saffron. Saffron lends an earthy, floral flavor, with a savory honey scent.

Pulverize the saffron threads in a mortal with a pestle. We want 1/4 teaspoon of crushed saffron. Add all the spices to 1.5 cups of plain yogurt, stir well to fully combine and set aside.

Slice your 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into roughly 1.5 to 2-inch pieces and set aside. By now your onions should be nicely caramelized. Transfer the caramelized onions to a blender and add 1/4 cup raw cashews and 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth and set aside.

This caramelized onion puree is what I want you to remember; this puree is a great way to add flavorful, rich creaminess – without dairy – to any dish.

Build The Saffron Chicken Korma

Return to the same skillet we caramelized the onions in. Set the burner on medium heat and drizzle a little more grapeseed or other neutral oil into the skillet. When the oil is hot, add one bay leaf, one cinnamon stick and crushed black peppercorns. Stir and sauté the spices for about 15-20 seconds, just until the spices become fragrant. Then add the chicken pieces to the skillet.

Let the chicken cook for about 3-4 minutes. Give it a stir and add the grated fresh garlic and fresh ginger. Stir in the fresh aromatics and let the chicken continue to brown for another 4-5 minutes.

Now add the spiced yogurt, the onion cashew puree and 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth. Stir to fully incorporate into the browned chicken pieces. Stir in one teaspoon of Kosher salt. Let the mixture come up to a low simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir the One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma occasionally.

If serving with rice, get your rice going as the Saffron Chicken Korma is simmering.

One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma

Just before serving, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the Saffron Chicken Korma.

This One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma will be absolutely delicious without the saffron – so if you’re not able to spring for the expensive spice, it’s ok to skip it. But if you have some on hand, or are able to go for it, definitely do! Saffron adds an unmistakable earthy floral flavor and a heady, exotic honey scent to any dish. And in this particular dish, the saffron marries with the other spices to create a beautiful symphony of flavors. The light yogurt gravy is like velvet, gently coating the chicken. An impressive weeknight dinner, fit for a dinner party – One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma will be in regular rotation at the Djalali House!

Thank you all so much for spending some time with me today. I can’t recommend this dish enough – it’s truly special. Take care and be well, friends. xo Kelly

Equipment and Products Found in This Recipe

One Pan Saffron Chicken Korma

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Dinner, Main Course Indian
By Bill Millholland, via Eating Well Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 30 Minutes (includes onion cooking time) Cooking Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour

Chicken thighs are gently simmered in a velvety, Indian-spiced yogurt sauce. Scented and flavored with heady, exotic saffron.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. Vegetable or Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, sliced thinly (5 cups of sliced onions in total)
  • 1/4 cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1.5 cups Plain Yogurt
  • 2 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed Saffron Threads, crushed in the mortal and pestle
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Peppercorns, crushed in the mortal and pestle
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into 1.5 to 2-inch pieces
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, grated on a rasp-style grater or zester
  • 2 tbsp. Grated Fresh Ginger, grated on a rasp-style grater or zester
  • 1 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • Rough Chopped Fresh Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

1

Sauté sliced onions with 4 tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil, over medium-low heat. Let the onions go, while stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes.

2

In a small bowl, combine the garam masala, cardamom, cayenne pepper, turmeric and saffron with the yogurt. Stir well to fully incorporate the spices in the yogurt. Set aside.

3

Transfer the caramelized onions to a blender and add 1/4 cup raw cashews and 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth and set aside.

4

Return to the same skillet we caramelized the onions in. Set the burner on medium heat and drizzle a little more grapeseed or other neutral oil into the skillet. When the oil is hot, add one bay leaf, one cinnamon stick and several cranks of fresh black pepper. Stir and sauté the spices for about 15-20 seconds, just until the spices become fragrant. Then add the chicken pieces to the skillet.

5

Let the chicken cook for about 3-4 minutes. Give it a stir and add the grated fresh garlic and fresh ginger. Stir in the fresh aromatics and let the chicken continue to brown for another 4-5 minutes.

6

add the spiced yogurt, the onion cashew puree and 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth. Stir to fully incorporate into the browned chicken pieces. Let the mixture come up to a low simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

7

Just before serving, top with roughly chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with rice.

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  • Mari
    January 10, 2022 at 9:05 am

    We love. Indian food here, so this will be a big hit. Although this is a great dish any time of year, I think it’s especially nice in winter when the bright color and warming spices will make the coldest day brighter. I knew there was a reason I bought a large container of yogurt at Costco last week. Today is back to the dentist day, and tonight is meatball madness and defrost some chicken thighs in the fridge for Tuesday Korma.
    Happy Monday to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the fur babies. Have a great one everybody! My son’s vacation is over and he goes back to work tomorrow, so he will be happy to see this tomorrow night.

    • Kelly Djalali
      January 10, 2022 at 9:09 am

      Good Morning Mari, I am sure you and your son will love this Saffron Chicken Korma. And you’re right, this dish is so nice on a cold day; with the warming spices and the golden color. Let me know how the meatballs and then the Korma come out for you! Have a beautiful Monday! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    January 10, 2022 at 10:37 am

    I totally agree with both of you this looks like a great winter dish. We will definitely give this a shot snd I will keep you posted. Have a great Monday Mari good luck at the dentist. Kelly I hope you have a great day ?❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      January 10, 2022 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Mom, Thanks for stopping by today – I think this will be a great dish for your chilly days! xo Kelly