tikka. sometimes chicken tikka, sometimes not.

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Serves 2

The sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance; gently reheat the sauce before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

chicken:
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Two (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/2 cup plain yogurt (use whole-milk)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh ginger

sauce:
One (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 small serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt
1/3 cup plain yogurt (use whole-milk)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Combine the garam masala, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then coat the chicken thoroughly with the spices, pressing to help them adhere. Place the chicken on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Whisk the yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger together in a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Make the sauce
1. Process the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until pureed, about 15 seconds. Heat the oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the processed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the yogurt and cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to be 6 inches from the broiler element, and heat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack. Using tongs, dip the chicken into the yogurt mixture so that it is thickly coated and arrange on the prepared wire rack; discard any excess yogurt mixture. Broil the chicken until the exterior is lightly charred in spots and the thickest part of the breasts registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking.

4. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Stir the chicken pieces into the warm sauce (do not simmer the chicken in the sauce). Stir in the cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.

VEGETARIAN OPTION:
Make the sauce, per the directions above. Then add the veggies: 1-2 peeled and cubed russet potatoes, 1-2c frozen peas, and 1/4-1/2 a head of green cabbage, sliced into long, thin green strips (if there is room in your pot, which there was not in mine, cauliflower and/or chickpeas would also be delicious, and the latter has the added benefit of adding a little protein to the meal). Put your lid on the pot and simmer until you can easily stick a fork in the potatoes. then add your yogurt and serve!

If you are having an indian-themed meal, this pairs awfully nicely with Aine’s samosas and gulab jamon for dessert. Pro tip: even better when you get to eat said Indian-themed meal with the entire wecookanddrinktogether crew.

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