Sister Jen and I had lunch on Sunday.
Ah, that sentence. There is so much awesomeness packed into that little sentence. Being able to meet her on a moment’s notice, without being airborne for 3 1/2 hours. For lunch. Glorious.
Wanna know what else is glorious?
We had Indian food.
I’m sort of her Indian-food-go-to-gal. And I’m totally okay with that. We did the buffet, but I wished I had ordered the Tikka Masala. Which, of course, had me craving it the rest of the day.
I’m not one to ignore cravings.
So, I made it yesterday.
I love this dish and have served it numerous times. I’ve never posted it before because I figured the list of ingredients might seem daunting to some of you. But I’m in a gambling mood today. And I just know you’ll hear my pleas to get over that, read through the recipe, and see how easy it really is. Right?…RIGHT?
The sauce alone…well…there is no better way to describe my feelings about it, then to simply quote it from the source, and my friend, Melissa who says, “Every time I make it, I spend the following morning anxious and fidgety waiting for lunchtime to draw near so I can inhale the leftovers.”
Note: Traditional Chicken Tikka Masala is cubed, threaded onto skewers, and then grilled. I’ve prepared it this way, but I have also pan fried the chicken or placed it in the oven under the broiler. All three methods work just fine.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into large cubes
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chile, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Combine everything on the marinade list, including the chicken. Marinate in a plastic Ziploc gallon bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight is better.)
Thread chicken onto skewers and grill until slightly undercooked, about 4 minutes per side.** Set aside on a plate.
Melt the butter and flour in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeño, and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the seasonings, and salt. Add the tomato sauce, and stir for 1 minute. Add the half-and-half, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes
Remove chicken from the skewers and add it to the sauce. Let simmer for a couple of minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over basmati rice.
**Don’t have a grill? No problem.
Broil the chicken: Adjust oven rack to upper middle position (about 6″ from heating element) and heat broiler. Put a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil chicken for about 15 minutes, flipping the pieces half way through. Chicken is done when it reaches about 160F and is slightly charred.
Bake the chicken: Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until juices run clear.