Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wow, now that's what I call SPICY!

After my purchase of garam masala last week, Kate said I HAD to make Chicken Tikka Masala. Of course I had never heard of it, so I was on a quest to find out what this new chicken dish was all about. Turns out it is a very well known Indian dish. But seeing how I’ve never really been exposed to much Indian food, it was not well known to me. I’m not even sure if we have a good Indian restaurant in Central Alabama. Was it even something I would like?

I searched Kate’s blog because I knew if she was recommending it, it must be on there somewhere. It took me a few minutes since she has 50, yes 50, chicken recipes posted. I finally found it and it looked great! I decided to look around at other recipes also because hers called for a few things I didn’t have on hand. Let me tell you, a lot of food bloggers have made this dish and everyone seems to love it. I was convinced and set out to make my own.

I found what looked like a fairly easy recipe on allrecipes.com (but it didn’t actually call for garam masala and that is why I was making this dish!) and then found out that Jaime at Good Eats ‘N Sweet Treats had used the same recipe but added the garam masala to the chicken and the sauce. We also spell our name the same way so I was pretty sure she would be right on this too. ;)

I also discovered that most people serve theirs with Naan, an Indian flat bread. I looked at recipes and even chose one, but at the last minute decided I just wasn't up for that much work on a weeknight. So, I had garlic crescent rolls with mine and they were delicious!

I wish I had thought to make the marinade last night and let the chicken sit in it until tonight, but that much forethought just doesn't happen these days. I did let it sit for the recommended hour, but I think it would have been even better over night. I've never had the "real thing" before, but if it tastes anything like how mine turned out, I really like Indian food! The flavors were unlike anything I've ever had before. It was spicy, but the spice didn't overpower the dish. It was the perfect amount of spiciness for me. :)

Chicken Tikka Masala
Original Source: allrecipes.com-my changes/additions in italics

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste - I only used 1 teaspoon…who uses that much salt??
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces - I just grilled the breasts whole and cut them up later

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste (again, just 1 teaspoon)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, garam masala and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat a grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

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


Jaime said...

hi jaime! :) thanks for visiting my blog :) i'm glad you enjoyed this dish - it's my favorite indian dish and several who have made it said it was at least as good, if not better, than their favorite indian restaurant! :) a few have told me it's too spicy though, but i like my food hot! glad you decided to branch out and try something new.

my parents named me jaime for 2 reasons: (1) that's how the character on "bionic woman" spelled her name and (2) j'aime in french means "i love" (and it goes w/my middle name which means "beloved queen")
i've had people spell my name wrong all my life; i'm used to it now! i'm sure you've had the same problem too...

i found my garam masala at world market. not sure, but i'd guess that it's cheaper at places like that vs the nice mccormick stuff you find at a regular grocery store.

i think if you cut up the chicken and let it marinate longer you'll get better flavor but grilling the breasts whole definitely saves time :)

oh, and since the recipe you posted on your blog has the garam masala and the allrecipes one doesn't, i would put it on your blog as "Adapted from allrecipes.com"

Emiline said...

I love dishes like this. I love bold, spicy, Indian flavors.
Looks great!

Kate said...

Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I always worry when I recommend something that the person who tried it will hate it and my reputation will be forever ruined.

Also, for future reference, if you have a Trader Joes near you I always keep some of their frozen naan in my freezer. It's not as good as homemade, but it's a close second.

And yeah....we eat a lot of chicken in my home.

deLa said...

Our closest one is in Atlanta. About a 2 hour drive, i think. SAD! I love TJ's so!

Jaime said...

Dela's right. We don't have a Trader Joe's nearby. I've never even been to one, but I've heard great things about them!