chicken, chicken tikka masala, Indian, rice, tikka masala
Chicken Tikka MasalaSunday, August 18, 2013
Recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay. [Recipe makes 6 servings].
The main thing I changed was using cream rather than yogurt. Although yogurt is very common in Indian cooking, I went with cream to get the less viscous consistency that I prefer rather than the thicker outcome that Ramsay prefers. In addition, I went ahead and bumped up the amount of spices used. For my first attempt, I went with the amounts given in the recipe, but after watching Ramsay's video (and noting that the dish could use a little more intensity), it is obvious that he is more than generous when it comes to using rounded teaspoons and tablespoons over the more commonly used leveled amounts. The end product has the perfect amount of heat, a great flavor profile from the garam masala and curry leaves, and a rich and creamy texture.
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 white onions, julienned
1 green chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili powder (different than chili powder)
1 tablespoon tumeric
5 teaspoons garam masala
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 ounces diced tomatoes, juices included
1 cup heavy cream
20 curry leaves
6 standard-sized (or 4 extra large) chicken breasts, brined in advance and cut to 1-inch cubes (tikka)
Cilantro for garnish
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven or cast iron pot, over medium heat. Once heated, add the oil followed by the onions. Stir occasionally until softened, roughly 15 minutes. [Side note: From the point the onions are added until the diced tomatoes are added, feel free to add water to deglaze the bottom of the pot and prevent any burning from occurring]. Once the onions have softened and picked up some color, add the chilies, ginger, and garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and then add the chili powder, tumeric, and garam masala. Cook for several more minutes or until the spices are really fragrant. Add the brown sugar and tomato paste and cook for two more minutes. Lastly, add the diced tomatoes and simmer for ten minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down. Stir in the heavy cream and then either run the sauce through a food processor in batches, or use an immersion blender. Although not necessary, I prefer to run the purée through a fine-meshed sieve before returning to the pot to ensure a perfectly smooth sauce. Season to taste. Lastly create a sachet for the curry leaves and add to the sauce. Simmer on low while you cook the chicken.
Season and cook the chicken using your favorite method (sauteing, grilling, baking, etc.) and add to the sauce once fully cooked. Remove and dispose of the curry leaves.
Serve over basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and some naan.