Chicken Tikka Masala

Around this house Indian is a favorite. It doesn’t matter what day of the week or the season of the year. Indian food is always in demand. Maybe it is the homey and rich spices, maybe it is a touch of the exotic, or perhaps it is just Indian food is a perfect combo of  all the wonderful things food has to offer. Tikka Masala is not authentically Indian, as it was invented in a London Curry house, but regardless…almost nothing is as satisfying on a cold evening.

 

Usually this recipe is a quick meal, coming in at around 45 minutes. But I made it this time with garden tomatoes from this past summer. There is something quite depressing about living at over 5,000 ft in elevation, and that is a short growing season, especially for tomatoes. My tomatoes don’t being to ripen until well into August, at which time Summer has blossomed and already started to fade as I head back to school. So as the tomatoes are coming in, and we can’t possibly eat all that the garden has to offer, I gently place them in ziplock bags and lovingly store them in the freezer until a perfect recipe comes along. When that day comes you simply pull the tomatoes for the freezer, run them under some warm water  and the skin comes right off . I then tossed them in the pot of simmering spices and onion and let them defrost in the pan. The rice is optional, as we know that people with PCOS should watch their carb intake. I enjoy mine without the rice, but some family members may not share the same affliction.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

The Chicken (this part can be omitted if you are in a rush for time, just cook the chicken in a pan and add to the sauce)

  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
  • 1cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce

  • 3tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced )
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon garam masala
  • 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (but I used frozen garden tomatoes)
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3cup heavy cream
  • 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
  2.  FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  4.  Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

 

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One thought on “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. Pingback: Chicken Tortilla Soup without the Tortilla… | A PCOS Cookbook

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