Chicken Tikka Masala

For the last two months or so, Luke and I have been house hunting.  It’s been a loooong process, full of ups and downs.  But thankfully, it’s all up from here.  Oh yeah, we got a house.

And it’s a great house.  Of course one of my requirements for our house is a (somewhat) spacious kitchen with a good layout.  As we saw more and more houses, I was starting to think we’d have to settle for one with a so-so kitchen, but not this time.  The kitchen has an island!

Sorry, I get excited about things like that.  The current owners have a hanging pot rack too, and I think it looks just swell.

The closing date isn’t until June 30th, so we’re not going anywhere for a little while, but it’s still so exciting.  Between the move and the wedding, July and August are going to be busy!

Ok, on to the food.  KA and I made this while she was visiting and it was great.  I love Indian food, though I have to be careful eating it due to my extreme heat intolerance, so it’s nice to make it at home where I have control.  The sauce was well-spiced and flavorful, but not overwhelming.  I could have bathed in it….well maybe not.  Probably would have stained me red.  Serve it with rice and naan, and you’ve got yourself a great meal!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Makes 4-6 servings

For the chicken:

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain yogurt (I forgot to add this, and it still turned out great)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

For the sauce:
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

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: 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, tomato paste and garam masala.  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 the 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.

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 parsley to the sauce as well and season to taste before serving.  Serve with rice and naan.

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