Chicken Tikka Masala
Sometimes something just clicks when you're staring blankly into the pantry or the fridge, or doing the hopeless walk between the two trying to decide on dinner. That happened to me.
Just last week I put up our review of Lehja - the Indian restaurant in Short Pump Town Center - maybe that was the subconscious thought calling to me as I stared into out pantry, noticing the spice combinations that we had: Paprika, Cinnamon, Garam Masala - and fresh tomatoes. Suddenly a light went off and I was on my way to making my first Tikka Masala.
Aside from the marinade, this is a very quick recipe, and total cook time is about 20 minutes. I used the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from the blog Very Culinary - made a few changes based on what we had in house was impressed with how it turned out.
I used grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice, omitted the ginger in the marinade (out of necessity because we ran out), and added a tablespoon of brown sugar at the end to give the sauce a little sweeter body.
The recipe really provides a depth of complex flavors that seem to have taken a lot longer than 20 minutes.
1 cup of plain yogurt
4 tablespoons of grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips or large chunks
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of flour (feel free to use whole wheat flour)
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 minced jalapeños
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 0z. of tomato sauce (I roasted three large tomatoes, and ran them through a food processor with basil)
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Slice chicken into strips (or large chunks), combine all of your marinade ingredients and let chicken marinade as long as you can - at least two hours, to overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cook your chicken for 20 minutes, or until almost cooked through.
While your chicken is cooking, melt your butter, and add flour to make a roux. Stir in garlic and jalapeños and stir for one minute.
Stir in your the remaining seasonings, and continue to stir for two minutes.
Add in your tomato sauce and stir for two minutes.
Add the half and half and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Stir in your brown sugar, add in your chicken, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.