Somehow I’ve fallen into a tiny chicken rut again.
I guess that’s ok if I can continue to keep our meals diversified enough. I’ve certainly put some mileage on our Slow Cooker Chicken Chilli recipe. The weather has been so miserable these past few weeks that I’ve been compelled to use my slow cooker as much as possible. I was quite surprised to find an incomplete recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala in Mom’s archives. I remember eating absolutely no homemade Indian-inspired food as a kid, nor did we eat out at Indian restaurants. While I was dubious as to the authenticity of her partial recipe, I was psyched to find yet another option for my 2 pounds of chicken breasts that were thawing on my kitchen counter top.
I’m fairly certain there’s no common recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve eaten at plenty of Indian restaurants and each one has its own version of this orange-hued entree, the one constant is the chicken. I’ve eaten this dish with a cream-base using coconut cream and I’ve also enjoyed it with a tomato-based coriander sauce. Regardless of the method in which it’s cooked, Chicken Tikka Masala has become a universal chicken dish so much so that according to a 2012 survey conducted by The Mirror in the United Kingdom, it’s the country’s second most popular foreign dish to cook after Chinese Stir Fry.
Contrary to what you might think, this dish is so easy to make. The key ingredients are the cream, Indian spices and tomatoes so you might not have them in your pantry or fridge. I had to run out to get some heavy cream but had everything else. Also, because I live in NYC I don’t have a grill on which to properly cook tikki chicken. You are welcome to broil the chicken cubes but, I simply sauteed them in a skillet on the stove top and it tasted just fune. I served the dish over top some Jasmine Rice (our fave) cooked in some chicken broth in my rice cooker.
Even though my daughter claimed it was too spicy and I thought it wasn’t spicy enough, the meal could not have been tastier and, we had no leftovers. That’s the ultimate sign of dinnertime success in my house.
Hope you enjoy and feel free to share your own variations to this dish.
Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted in part from Allrecipes.com
makes 4-5 servings
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 (8 ounce) jar regular tomato sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken so it’s completely coated. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high.
- Pour contents of bowl into skillet and sautee until chicken is cooked through (when the center is no longer pink) approximately 15 minutes.
- Melt butter in another skillet on medium heat. Add in minced garlic, 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Continute to simmer until sauce thickens, approximately 20 minutes.
- Add grilled chicken cubes, and simmer for 5-8 minutes minutes.
- Serve over bed of cooked rice and enjoy.