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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

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Charred under the broiler and then simmered in sauce, this classic British dish is a powerhouse of flavor and texture. British dish? Not kidding! An adaptation of classic Indian cuisine created by Bengali chefs to appeal to the British palate, this cultural fusion has practically become Britain's national dish.

Tomatoes and cream are the key ingredients of this sauce that give it that signature pop of flavor. And, if you're a soup lover, you can double up on the tomatoes for a rich and velvety Tikka Masala tomato soup.
Yields
4.0 Servings
Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Tikka Masala, ground  
  • 1 teaspoon Indian Cayenne, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt 

For the Tikka Masala:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon Tikka Masala, ground
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves,  roughly chopped 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions

For the Chicken:

In a medium bowl, make the marinade by combining the yogurt, Tikka Masala, cayenne, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. Cut each chicken breast into quarters and place the pieces in the marinade.Put the marinating chicken in the refrigerator and allow to sit between 2 - 4 hours. Don't over marinate the chicken, as the acid in the yogurt and lemon juice will change the texture of the chicken, making it mealy and dry if marinated for too long. 

Line a sheet tray with heavy duty aluminum foil and preheat the broiler on high with the rack set 6" below the broiler element. Remove the chicken pieces, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Place them on the prepared sheet pan and broil until the meat is charred and blistered on the surface, about 8 minutes. The chicken will only be par cooked — this is ok. Transfer the charred chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

For the Tikka Masala:

Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high heat until melted. Add the spices and stir for about 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables become soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and half of the cilantro. Continue cooking, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pot and puree the sauce using an immersion blender.

Add the cream to the pureed sauce, then add the chicken. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is fully cooked about 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt. Serve over rice along with the remaining cilantro and sliced lemons for garnish. 

Flavor Alternatives

For a little more heat, use Tandoori Curry instead.

For nutty, Southeast Asian flavor, use Indonesian Ayam instead.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

COOK TIME:

For the Chicken:

  • 1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Tikka Masala, ground  
  • 1 teaspoon Indian Cayenne, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt 

For the Tikka Masala:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon Tikka Masala, ground
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves,  roughly chopped 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

For the Chicken:

In a medium bowl, make the marinade by combining the yogurt, Tikka Masala, cayenne, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. Cut each chicken breast into quarters and place the pieces in the marinade.Put the marinating chicken in the refrigerator and allow to sit between 2 - 4 hours. Don't over marinate the chicken, as the acid in the yogurt and lemon juice will change the texture of the chicken, making it mealy and dry if marinated for too long. 

Line a sheet tray with heavy duty aluminum foil and preheat the broiler on high with the rack set 6" below the broiler element. Remove the chicken pieces, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Place them on the prepared sheet pan and broil until the meat is charred and blistered on the surface, about 8 minutes. The chicken will only be par cooked — this is ok. Transfer the charred chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

For the Tikka Masala:

Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high heat until melted. Add the spices and stir for about 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables become soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and half of the cilantro. Continue cooking, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pot and puree the sauce using an immersion blender.

Add the cream to the pureed sauce, then add the chicken. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is fully cooked about 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt. Serve over rice along with the remaining cilantro and sliced lemons for garnish. 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Charred under the broiler and then simmered in sauce, this classic British dish is a powerhouse of flavor and texture. British dish? Not kidding! An adaptation of classic Indian cuisine created by Bengali chefs to appeal to the British palate, this cultural fusion has practically become Britain's national dish.

Tomatoes and cream are the key ingredients of this sauce that give it that signature pop of flavor. And, if you're a soup lover, you can double up on the tomatoes for a rich and velvety Tikka Masala tomato soup.

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