Chicken

Chicken Tikka Masala

I realized something interesting this morning.

My backyard is an out of control mess.

I know this to be a bona fide fact, because Daisy is tracking pine needles all through the house. I am literally finding them everywhere…. her bed, the sofa, under the dining room table, and in my futon chair (which she isn’t supposed to be on)…

sneaky pup…..

So, utilizing my enormous capacity for rational thought, I have come to the conclusion that I have several options:

1. Don’t let Daisy out

2. Shave all her fur off so nothing will stick to her

3. Clean up the yard.

I think option #3 is my best bet.

IMG_6562

Chicken Tikka Masala – adapted from epicurious

For the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 to 4 breast halves total)
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbs. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbs. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups canned tomato purée
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional sprigs for garnish

For serving:

  • Naan (Indian flatbread)

Marinate the chicken:
Use a fork to prick the chicken breasts all over on both sides. Arrange the chicken breasts on a large sheet of plastic wrap, spacing them apart from one another, then cover with a second large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, beat the chicken until the breasts are an even 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Add the pounded chicken, and rub the marinade over the meat. Set the chicken aside while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, and grated ginger. In a heavy, wide 4-quart pot or sauté pan over moderately high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until light brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate then stir in the spice and ginger mixture. Add the tomato purée, water, and milk,and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to gently simmer the sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. DO AHEAD: The sauce can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 3 days.

While sauce is simmering, cook chicken:
Heat a heavy 11- to 12-inch griddle or skillet over moderately high heat until very hot and add 1/2 tablespoon of peanut oil. Working in two batches, cook the chicken breasts, turning them a few times and lowering the heat if the chicken chars too quickly, until just cooked through and browned well on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Add the chicken to the simmering sauce and continue to gently simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the black pepper and chopped cilantro and serve.

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