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Saturday
Jan152011

Chicken Tikka Masala


I've mentioned before how I was reluctant to try international cuisine until the last few years.  Joel has done a great job introducing me to flavors of different worlds.  One "new to me" cuisine is Indian.  A while back, we went to a nice Indian restaurant near our house with some friends and the waiter was absolutely awesome.  He helped us to all order something completely different than the other people at the table, so that we could all share and try new things.  At the end of the night, each of the ladies at the table were presented with a beautiful orange rose.  Since then, we've tried making chicken tikka masala at home, however, we have used packets of spices and never made it from scratch.  I found this recipe on The Cooking Photographer and it looked delicious.  It also seemed relatively easy, using mostly things that I already have in my fridge or pantry.

For the Chicken:
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced
4 teaspoons Salt, or to taste
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
*1/2 Onion, chopped (I added this)

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt.  Stir in the chicken and onion, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Lightly oil a grill grate or a grill pan.  Grill chicken until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.  Discard any unused marinade.  *We cooked ours inside in a wok and it worked just fine.

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon Butter
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can Tomato Sauce
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute.  Season with cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir in the tomato sauce and cream.  Simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.  Add grilled chicken and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Transfer to a big serving platter and garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve over rice.

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