Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian food. So many people have a fear of Indian food. What many of them don't realize is that a lot of Indian food uses ingredients that everyone has heard of before. I'm not saying that the stories we have all heard are false.... The food can be pungent and its spicy as hell, but if you ask me good food has its side effects. I have known that I wanted to make Indian food for a while, but I couldn't find the right thing. Finally I did. It was a few weeks ago that the Wubbster (my partner) and I decided to get some Indian food from Trader Joes and have a mini feast. Most of it was good, but the Chicken Tikka Masala was the best. Then when her and Marcoco (Marcus for those of you who know him) decided to go to a Bollywood flash mob (oh I am jealous! ) I knew that this was the week. So the adventure started. I must warn you now... The food is spicy and delicious! It is an ethnic rollercoaster that you want to ride again and again.

Recipe from use real butter.

  • 1 lb. chicken breast or chicken thigh, boneless and skinless
  • 4 tbsps vegetable oil (or 3 tbsps if grilling the kebabs)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsps plain yogurt
  • Wooden Skewers (or metal if you have them)
***Masala recipe to follow
I used two chicken breasts for this recipe. You can use breast or thigh pieces. Cut the chicken into 3/4 inch to 1 inch pieces. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Refrigerate for two hours or up to overnight. The longer you marinate, the tastier and better the eats. White the chicken is marinating soak your wooden skewers in a sink full of water. This will prevent them from burning when you cook the chicken.
The chicken can be cooked on a grill or in the oven. I choose to use the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. While the oven is heating, skewer your chicken. Lightly oil a foil-lined baking sheet. Make sure not to put too many pieces of chicken on each skewer as this will cause the chicken to cook unevenly. Place the baking sheets in the oven and cook 7-8 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook another 7-8 minutes. If you are grilling, the cooking time is cut in half.
  • 1 chicken kebabs recipe (above)
  • 3 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 2 onion, diced
  • 4 tsps minced garlic
  • 4 tsps peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 fully ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tsps sugar
  • 2 cinnamon stick (approx 1-inch or 2.5-cm)
  • 4 tbsps butter
  • 1 lime, juice of (about 1.5 tbsps)
  • 1/2 cup (65 ml) heavy cream
  • 6 tbsps water
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook (stirring frequently)
until the onions begin to brown.
Turn your heat down to medium low and add the chopped tomatoes. Cover and continue to cook until the tomatoes are soft and can be easily mashed. This should only take a few minutes.
Once the tomatoes are soft begin to mash them and the onions up into a paste. Stir in the cumin seeds, coriander, paprika, red pepper, salt, black pepper and sugar. (If you are not a fan of spicy food you can use less red pepper.) Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the mixture into a blender and puree until it is smooth. Be very careful because the mixture will be hot. Return the mixture to the saucepan.

Stir in the butter, cinnamon stick, lime juice, heavy cream, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve with white rice and naan. Naan can be found in most grocery stores. I make my own from scratch but if I'm feeling lazy, Trader Joe's carries a delicious alternative.
So... the next time you want to make something new and exciting for your family...think about Indian food! This is one that pleases all!

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