++ Adapted from http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-tikka-masala
++ UPDATE A few friends asked if this recipe is difficult. (A very good question,,,) Actually, Chicken Tikka Masala does take a bit of f time, but each step along the way is easy-peasy. I’ve included photos for each step, which makes the recipe easy to follow. I really enjoyed preparing Chicken Tikka Masala for the very first time ever!
++ UPDATE This recipe can be prepared the day before, then, at serving time, all you have to do is reheat it gently and prepare some Basmati rice.
Finally – after promising a while ago that I’d post a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala, here it is! My new fellow-blogger friend, Liz, of http://www.myfavouritepastime.com/ has been waiting for me to post this recipe because she plans to make homemade Naan (bread) this weekend and wanted to make Chicken Tikka Masala to serve with it.
Chicken Tikka Masala is full of exotic flavors, and features tender chicken pieces in a mildly-spicy creamy sauce. In India, meals are often served on large platters, and (depending upon the household) people use pieces of Naan to pick up small portions. How do I know this? Because I was lucky enough to have visited India, where I saw Naan being made. And where I enjoyed some wonderful meals!
Ingredients Serves 4 – 5
- 6 cloves garlic, minced - OR - use a garlic press
- 4 tsp. finely minced – or grated – fresh peeled ginger
- 4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2 tsp. garam masala (Most stores now sell it in the spice area.)
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- ++ This makes 1/2 cup total. Use 1/4 cup to marinate chicken. Cover & refrigerate the other 1/4 cup for later.
- 1 1/2 cups whole-milk plain yogurt. (NOT Greek. And – if you can only find ‘low fat’ plain yogurt, that’s OK.)
- 1 Tbs. Kosher salt – or – use 1 Tbs. regular salt (I thought 1 Tbs. salt was a mistake – but it was absolutely fine!)
- 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thirds lengthwise
- 3 Tbs. Ghee (clarified butter) OR 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. tomato paste (Freeze the rest in 1 Tbs. size portions in a small freezer bag.)
- 6 cardamon pods – crushed (I wrapped the cardamon pods in some plastic wrap and hit them with a hammer a few times.)
- 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes OR 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 cans (14 oz. each) Hunt’s Fire Roasted DICED Tomatoes with Garlic
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy/whipping cream
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used my mini food processor.) ++ Plus a few sprigs for garnish.
- 1/2 cup yogurt ++ If you plan to make this a day ahead – use 3/4 cup yogurt for this step !!
- Basmati Rice & Naan (bread) - for serving
Combine 6 cloves garlic, minced, 4 tsp. finely minced – or grated – fresh peeled ginger, 4 tsp. ground turmeric, 2 tsp. garam masala, 2 tsp. ground coriander, 1 tsp. paprika and 2 tsp. ground cumin in a small bowl.
Using a metal soup spoon, ‘smosh down’ the spices, garlic and ginger a bit. (The ginger might seems a bit fibrous – that’s OK.)
Whisk 1 1/2 cups yogurt, 1 Tbs. salt and HALF the spice mix (1/4 cup) together in a large bowl. Cut chicken breasts into thirds lengthwise.
Add cut up chicken to bowl and turn to coat with yogurt mixture. Cover and chill between 4 – 6 hours. ++ Cover and chill remaining 1/4 cup spice/garlic mix.
Do This Part After Chicken Has Marinated
In a large, heavy pot heat 3 Tbs. olive oil - OR Ghee – over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup minced onion, 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. tomato paste, , 6 cardamon pods, crushed, 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (OR 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper). Cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is darkened and onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup spice/garlic mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pan starts to brown – about 4 minutes.
Add 2 cans (14 oz. each) Hunt’s Fire Roasted DICED Tomatoes with Garlic. Mash diced tomatoes down a bit with a potato masher. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until sauce thickens, about 8 – 10 minutes.
Now add 2 cups heavy/whipping cream and 3/4 cup chopped cilantro. Continue to simmer (uncovered) for between 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While sauce is simmering, remove chicken from refrigerator and take out of marinade. Give chicken pieces each a little shake to remove some of the marinade.
Preheat broiler to HIGH. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside. Arrange chicken strips on rack in a single layer.
Set oven rack at highest position. Broil chicken pieces until they start to blacken in spots – between 5 – 7 minutes. ++ Chicken will NOT be thoroughly cooked – it will finish cooking in the sauce.
++ You do NOT have to turn chicken over to broil the other side, although I did. If you choose to broil the other side, broil for less time – approximately 4 – 5 minutes. ++ The second side WILL NOT begin to char in places like the first side. Once chicken gets a bit golden brown on the second side – it’s done!!
Place chicken on cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Add chicken to sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, between 8 – 10 minutes. Serve atop Basmati rice and Enjoy !!