Monday, April 7, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

I've found all my favorite kinds of food in Phoenix except 2: seafood and Indian food. I don't think seafood will ever be the same for me after living right by the ocean. But, I figured I could try to make my own Indian food. This is my favorite Indian dish; the version is done by Cook's Illustrated (unfortunately, I can't get the link to work tonight).

A Martha Stewart tip: freeze the ginger before grating. This makes it easier to measure, and I feel like you don't loose all that good ginger juice.

Chicken Tikka
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c plain whole milk yogurt
2 T vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 T grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce
3 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 t grated fresh ginger
1 fresh seranno chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced I left this out
1 T tomato paste
1 T garam masala
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
2/3 c heavy cream
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed backing sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1 inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt and serve.

Love this over some basmati rice!

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