Chicken Tikka Masala

It’s not often that you find the true origin of your favorite dishes. Chicken tikka masala is one that has some common contriversy that I will now explain and set the record straight.
So we know that I have absolutely no Indian background whats over, however I love to find out little tid-bits of info here and there…it makes for good convo and you understand the ingredients you’re putting in your body and why they decided to get together.
So let’s break it down: The word tikka means pieces, as in pieces of chicken and masala is the flavorings, or the sauce.
I was chatting (well more like tweeting while walking around campus) with http://simplyfahad-istic.blogspot.com/ and he was explaining to me the true significance to the dish. As popular as chicken tikka masala is here in the states and in Britain, it is not nearly as popular in India. The dish has Indian influences through its spices and sauce, but was actually created in the United Kingdom.
The story dates back to the 1950′s where a British General was dining at an eatery and complained that the chicken was too dry. The terrified Indian chef scrambled around the kitchen and simply poured some tomato soup and spices over the chicken and ta-dah…chicken tikka masala was born. And now I hear that it is one of Britain’s most popular dishes.

 

Method:

1) First start by marinating your chicken. In a large bowl, add your cubed chicken, yogurt, garlic, ginger salt and pepper. Let marinade on the counter as you make the sauce. Or if you’re doing it in advance, wrap bowl in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator.

2) Now let’s make the sauce. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once butter begins to melt, add the garlic, ginger and Serrano pepper. Saute until it begins to caramelize, about 4-5 minutes.

3) Now add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. It will turn a deep red color.

4) Now here’s the fun part-spices! Add the paprika, garam masala and turmeric. Saute for another minute so the spices can release its flavors. The colors are just so intense too!

5) Add chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and darken.

6) As the sauce cooks, heat up your grill (or grill pan). Grill chicken pieces for about 3 minutes until charred and then flip over for another 2 minutes. It’s OK if its slightly undercooked, it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Reserve chicken to a separate plate until you’re ready with the sauce.

7) When sauce is reduced and done, ladle it in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan and bring up to a boil.

8) Reduce heat to simmer and add chicken to the sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

9) Finally, add the 1/2 cup of cream and stir well.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Ingredients

    Chicken Marinade
  • 1 lb chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into chunks.
  • 1 c plain Chobani yogurt (LOVED using this from a contest I won!)
  • 1 Tb grated ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro leaves or parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. First start by marinating your chicken. In a large bowl, add your cubed chicken, yogurt, garlic, ginger salt and pepper. Let marinade on the counter as you make the sauce. Or if you're doing it in advance, wrap bowl in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator.
  2. Now let's make the sauce. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once butter begins to melt, add the garlic, ginger and Serrano pepper. Saute until it begins to caramelize, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. It will turn a deep red color.
  4. Now here's the fun part-spices! Add the paprika, garam masala and turmeric. Saute for another minute so the spices can release its flavors. The colors are just so intense too!
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and darken.
  6. As the sauce cooks, heat up your grill (or grill pan). Grill chicken pieces for about 3 minutes until charred and then flip over for another 2 minutes. It's OK if its slightly undercooked, it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  7. Reserve chicken to a separate plate until you're ready with the sauce.
  8. When sauce is reduced and done, ladle it in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan and bring up to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat to simmer and add chicken to the sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  10. Finally, add the 1/2 cup of cream and stir well.
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Enjoy!

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