Chicken Tikka Masala


Notes:  This dish is best prepared with whole milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile.  If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala.  The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an air-tight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoon table salt
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat, and cut into 1”-2” cubes
2 cup whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2 t)
1 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

Masala Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 ¼ cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala (can be found at Whole Foods or Farmer’s Markets)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt in a zip-top bag. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Place bag on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and oil. Set aside.

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala: cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream, and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
While the sauce simmers, adjust the oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6” from the heating element) and preheat broiler. Using tongs, dop chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with a thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on a wire rack set in a foil-lined baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt. Broil chicken until thickens parts read 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and exterior is charred in spots, 10-18 minutes, flipping chicken half-way through cooking time.
Let chicken rest 5 minutes, remove from rack and stir into warm sauce. Do not simmer chicken in sauce. Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve over basmati rice.

Copyright © 2011 - Rebecca Evans and Die, Food Dye! All rights reserved.
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