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Chicken Tikka Masala

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Incredibly tender chicken in a richly spiced sauce with just a hint of heat. Absolutely worth the time to multi-task this to your table!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (or More To Taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
  • 1 cup 2% Greek Yogurt (not Fat Free)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Grated Ginger
  • FOR THE MASALA SAUCE:
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger (fresh, Grated)
  • 1 whole Serrano Chili (fresh, Ribs And Seed Removed) Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 can (28 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ⅔ cups Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cups Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Preparation

For the chicken combine the cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture and press into the meat. Set chicken aside in a glass dish.

In a large bowl combine the yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger. Spoon the yogurt mixture evenly on both sides of the chicken and spread to cover. Put the chicken breasts in the glass dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the chicken breasts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. Bake until the chicken is fully cooked and lightly browned. Remove it from the oven and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes. Carefully slice into bite size pieces.

While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the sauce. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring frequently until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chili pepper, tomato paste and the garam masala. Cook stirring continuously until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream and return to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Toss the chicken in the warm masala sauce but do not cook it. Stir in the cilantro and check the seasoning. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired. Serve with rice and Naan bread.

(Recipe adapted from a recipe originally posted in a 2007 issue of Cooks Illustrated.)

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