Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Indian food? No? Okay, well I do. A lot. I came across this (originally crockpot) recipe on Pinterest and thought using a crockpot for this dish would be a great time saver.

However, this is one of those crockpot meals that - in my opinion - is really not a great time saver. There is prep you have to do prior so I decided that if I was going to all that trouble, I'd just slow cook the sauce on the stove. If you're interested in the crockpot method, here is the original recipe.

This is a great first dish if you're not familar with Indian food. And it contains no curry powder, which I know a lot of people don't care for. It's creamy and tomatoey.

I found the Tikka Masala paste at the local Indian market. My store used to have a good amount of Indian products but have slimmed down some - you may find it at your regular grocery store in the ethnic aisle. The other spices are found very inexpensively at your local Indian market or someplace like World Market.

We had this with basmati rice and naan bread.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1/4-1 tsp cayenne (to your tastes)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used 1 pound, plenty for 4 servings)

Cube the chicken and toss it into a gallon size ziplock. Add all of the marinade ingredients to the bag and mix around. Place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Masala:
1 can 28 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 5.5 oz tomato paste
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp tikka paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander
Salt
1 cup cream
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Turn your oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack over top. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place on the baking rack. Place under the broiler about 6-10 inches from the heating element and broil for about 10 minutes. You don't have to worry about cooking the meat all the way through, you are just looking for a nice browned color.

While the chicken is broiling, in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add about a tsp or two of oil. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a few more minutes until the mixture is nice and fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, tikka paste, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir together. When the chicken is done broiling, add them straight to the stockpot into the masala (sauce).

*I actually let my sauce simmer for a good 30 minutes before even broiling the chicken, then let it simmer another 30 minutes with the chicken to try and give it a good rich slow cooked taste.

Taste the sauce and salt as needed. When ready to serve, stir in the cream and fresh cilantro.

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