Chicken Tikka Masala

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Derek and I love Indian food.  Probably our favorite ethnic food.  Every time we go out to Indian we always leave stuffed to the brim.  Good Indian food is so good it’s hard to stop.  I have tried numerous times to try to make various Indian dishes at home.  These are my most failed dishes over the years.  They just never turn out anything close to something you would eat in a restaurant, and frankly some of them have even been inedible.  I had gotten to a point where I had decided to give up on ever trying to make an Indian dish at home, when my good friend Tara Thompson posted that she had made Tikka Masala for Valentine’s dinner a few years ago and reported that “it was damn good.”   Hope for edible at home Indian food had returned, and I asked for the recipe.  I’ve tweaked it just a bit, but it really is damn good (excuse my French).  I usually serve this with homemade Naan which makes completes the meal sooooo well.

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast

Marinade:

  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you can’t take the heat)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (pull out the seeds or use half if you want to tone done the spice level)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can (8 0z) tomato sauce
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 C cooked veggies (when keeping it simple I throw in some frozen peas at the end, today I thawed frozen peas and frozen okra and tossed in some left over steamed broccoli–I’ve tried spinach in the past which is good too)
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into 1 in cubes
  2. In a large ziplock combine all the marinade ingredients and then add the chicken.  I then zip it up real good and squeeze the bag around until it’s all mixed and coating the chicken.
  3. Put in fridge for 1-2 hours.
  4. In large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Then add the jalapeño and garlic.  Cook for about one minute.
  5. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt.  Stir to combine and cook until spices are fragrant 1-2 mins.
  6. Stir in tomato sauce.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It will get pretty thick.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the chicken in a high-sided skillet until no longer pink inside (about 8 minutes).  Once cooked, drain off all liquid from excess marinade.
  8. Once sauce is done, stir in the cream.  Then add the cooked chicken and veggies.
  9. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
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