chicken tikka masala*

Indian food entered my life a few short months ago. Landon's co-worker has raved about Bombay House for years, but my sweet husband has not been very adventurous with foods until lately. He finally decided that he dared try it, and now we are hooked. Our first trip we got the chicken tikka masala, chicken curry and some naan bread. AMAZING. We liked the chicken tikka masala more than the curry, but both were very tasty - which I was surprised with because I am not a curry fan. The second time we went we only got the chicken tikka masala and garlic naan bread. SOO good! If you have never tried Indian food, you HAVE to. Seriously. The rice alone is worth it.  

This recipe is pretty legit. It is pretty spicy, so next time I am going to cut back on the cayenne pepper in the marinade for the chicken. I could handle the heat, but I have an average tolerance for spicy foods. I know it was too spicy for some of the students and staff.  I LOVE the sauce. I could eat just the sauce on some basmati rice and be good to go. 

We actually cooked this chicken completely different than the recipe states. Because we were cooking for about 180, we actually cooked the chicken on the flat grill, then transferred it to the sauce. It worked perfectly and I really liked how it turned out. So if you don't want to go through the extra hassle, you can just cook your chicken in a pan just fine.

Chicken Tikka Masala
from Cook's Illustrated and as seen on Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat but the recipe suggests whole milk yogurt)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, minced (ribs and seeds removed)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To prep the chicken: Mix the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken.  Put the chicken on a plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.  Whisk the yogurt, vegetable oil, garlic and ginger together in a wide bowl.  You'll use this to coat the chicken later before cooking - set aside for now.

To make the sauce: Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, serrano chile, tomato paste and garam malasa.  Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring almost constantly.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt then bring the sauce to a boil.  Reduce the heat so your sauce is simmering and cover the pan.  Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring a few times.  Add the heavy cream, stir to combine and bring the sauce back to a simmer (uncovered).  Take the pan off of the heat and cover to keep warm.  (You can also make the sauce ahead - just refrigerate it once it cools slightly then rewarm when you want to serve.)

To cook the chicken:  Position an oven rack about 6 inches from your broiler and preheat the broiler.  Set a wire rack inside of a foil-lined baking sheet.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and dip each piece in the yogurt mixture.  You want a relatively thick layer coating the chicken.  Transfer the chicken to the wire rack.  Broil the chicken until it is cooked through (to an internal temperature of 160 F), about 10-18 minutes, flipping the chicken over halfway through the cooking time.  (The cooking time will depend in large part on the thickness of your chicken pieces.)

Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then cut it into 1-inch pieces and add to the warm sauce.  Add the cilantro to the sauce as well and season to taste before serving.

So amazing! We also made some garlic naan bread to go along with it. Stay tuned for the recipe!



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