Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

Brent and I have talked about trying Indian food but had never gotten around to it. I've cooked with curry a few times and we both enjoyed it, so I know we are definitely open to the new flavor combinations Indian food has to offer. Last week I was scrolling through my saved recipe posts and saw Pastor Ryan's version of this dish, Chicken Tikki Masala. Instead of waiting to find an Indian restaurant to try, I'd try to make something exotically Indian at home! One quick trip to the store later and we were set! When I opened the bottle of Garam Masala spice I was instantly smitten. Interestingly enough, the only non perishable ingredients I had to buy were the Garam Masala and the ground coriander which shocked the h3ll out of me, I thought I was making an exotic dish, by gosh! But I already had nearly everything!
This dish was so amazingly flavorful, I know I'll broil chicken like this again soon, even if I don't go to the effort to make the sauce. I loved the cumin and coriander. Of course, the sauce was amazing, but what sauce that includes a cup and a half of heavy whipping cream isn't wonderful? This is a huge recipe, so if you're feeding more than two you might consider cutting it in half. I wasn't really impressed with the way it reheated, so don't count on leftovers. Of course, it might have been the fact that at 7:30 in the morning this country girl does not need to be eating Indian food, but whatev.

Chicken Tikki Masala
Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks!

3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
2 inch chunk fresh ginger
Garam Masala
Ground coriander
Kosher salt
2 cups Basmati rice (I used regular long grain rice)

Season the chicken with salt, then sprinkle both sides with coriander and cumin. Coat entirely with yogurt. Place on a metal cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and broil, 10-12 inches below the coils, for 5-7 minutes per side. Do not overcook or it will be tough and dry.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the diced onion. Saute until lightly browned. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and grate or mince the ginger. Add both to the onions along with a tablespoon salt.

Add about 3 tablespoons Garam Masala spice. For a spicier dish, you can add chili peppers at this time (Pastor Ryan suggests serranos). Add the tomatoes and deglaze the pan by scraping the pan bottom with your spatula. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes.

(Meanwhile, cook your rice as usual so that it is finished at the same time as the sauce. I added frozen peas to my rice (the heat from the finished rice cooks them perfectly) for a great color contrast.

Once the sauce has simmered, add the cream. Chop the chicken breasts into bite sized chunks and stir into the sauce. Serve over the rice along with naan. Enjoy!

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