Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

Kendall from Res-o-puh-leese is a Taste & Create participant, so I've been perusing her blog occasionally. (She'd be one of my partners this month if I hadn't made a mistake in the signup list!) I couldn't resist this recipe for one of our Indian favorites, Chicken Tikka Masala, from her Indian Fiesta, uh, Feast.

For her "fiesta, uh, feast," she also makes Paneer Pakora, Naan, Lassi and rice. But I have two young boys. With them running around, Chicken Tikka Masala it was. I wanted to make Kendall's Naan also, but forgot about the rising time. Number One whipped up some extra thick tortillas that worked just fine to sop up the delicious sauce.

The Chicken Tikka Masala is tangy and savory and yummy! I can't wait to try it with grilled chicken and fresh naan!

Chicken Tikka Masala

For the marinade:

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (I couldn't find my cayenne)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon butter, clarified (you can either microwave the butter or melt it in a pan, using only the yellow liquid off the top, not the lighter colored solids that sink to the bottom)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Coat a large heavy skillet with clarified butter over medium heat. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin and paprika. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the sauce is simmering, cook the chicken.
Had I planned ahead and skewered the chicken pieces prior to marinating them, we would have grilled the chicken. But I didn't think of it, so we just fished the pieces out of the marinade and fried them in some olive oil in a pan. Next time, we'll grill them!

Add chicken to sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

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