Chicken Tikka Masala
First of all I’d like to say thanks SO much for everyone who voted for me in the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog. I made it through the first round and now it’s time for Challenge #2. For the second challenge, we are all supposed to tackle an ethnic food that we aren’t familiar with.
A little known fact about Hubby is that he lived in India for three months. A few years ago he had the opportunity to move there for a short term work assignment. He and two friends had a great time traveling the world while I held down the fort back in Ohio.
Prior to Hubby living in India, neither of us had ever eaten Indian food more than maybe once or twice. But after his three month trip, he hooked! His new love of Indian food meant we had it in the house more often. Then I started to fall in love with Indian food as well. We have always just relied on restaurants to provide our Indian food fix (btw, we have tried quite a few places since moving to Boston and have found two favorites in the area).
As you may remember, I did challenge myself to make Indian food during my 30-by-30 and when this challenge was posted, I just knew I had to tackle Indian food. Hubby’s all time favorite Indian meal is Chicken Tikka Masala. He always gets it when we eat Indian (I always get chicken tikka saag).
I obviously don’t have a tandoori oven to cook the chicken in, but I made do with the oven I do have. The one main ingredient that we didn’t have in the house was Garam Masala. When you smell this spice, it takes you straight to India (that’s what Hubby always says at least). We are fortunate enough to live near a small Indian convenience shop. We stopped in for the first time ever and enjoyed the sights and smells that hit us at the door.
This dish turned out amazingly. It does require a bit of work, but it’s worth it in the end! If you haven’t tried Indian food at home, this is a great place to start. Of course, it’s great served with homemade Garlic Naan!
Chicken Tikka Masala – from The Pioneer Woman – serves 6
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 Tbsp butter
1 whole large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece (approximately 2 Inches) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp Garam Masala
Chili peppers (optional)
1 can (28 Ounce) diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups Basmati rice
Season the chicken with kosher salt. Sprinkle both sides with coriander and cumin. Cover the chicken completely with the yogurt.
Place a metal cooling rack over a foil lined baking sheet. Place chicken on the cooling rack. Place the baking sheet about 10 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes per side. Be sure to watch the chicken so it doesn’t burn – it should be slightly blackened on the edges.
Remove the chicken from the oven.
In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and saute until they are slightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions and 1 Tbsp of salt.
Add the garam masala to the onions. If you want some heat, add hot chili peppers. Then add the can of diced tomatoes. Continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add the sugar and let simmer on medium for a few minutes.
Cook the Basmati rice in a rice cooker with 4 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp Tumeric, and 4 cups of water.
After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a little bit, add in the heavy cream.
Chop the chicken breasts into chunks and stir them into the Tikka Masala sauce. Add a handfull of chopped fresh cilantro. Throw frozen peas into the cooked rice, and stir. The heat of the rice to cook the peas. Serve the rice with the Chicken Tikka Masala over top. Serve with Garlic Naan.