Chicken Tikka Masala

This is an adaptation of the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated October 2007 magazine. I had recently pulled out the season’s past issues and chose a few recipes to try. This is something I order if eating out so I thought I would give it a try. The ingredients are basic except for the Garam Masala but I have that spice mixture in my pantry. However, I found that I did not have ground cumin. And not being sure of what is an appropriate substitute I used a shake of Garam Masala. I also used chicken thighs instead of skinless chicken breasts, and left the thighs whole when serving. Serve over rice.

For the chicken:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • about 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 7 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Mix the first 4 ingredients and press into the chicken thighs. Refrigerate this for 30 minutes. Whisk the last four ingredients in a bowl large enough for dipping the chicken pieces.

Heat oven to broil. Put shelf about 6 inches from broiler. Prepare a foil-lined baking pan with wire rack. I sprayed the rack with cooking spray to help prevent sticking. With tongs dip each piece of chicken in the yogurt mixture and arrange on the rack. Yogurt should thickly cover both sides of chicken. Broil chicken for 10 minutes on each side until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F. There will be nicely charred spots on the chicken. I had thick thighs (ha ha!) so turned the chicken an additional time for about 5-10 minutes.

For the sauce:

  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 1 small dried red chile, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half

The sauce can be prepared while the chicken broils. Heat oil and cook onion about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. I simmered this until my chicken was done. Then add half-and-half and return to simmer. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.

For serving: Add hot chicken to sauce. I had to spoon the sauce on top of the chicken to cover. Put heaping scoop of rice on plate. Place chicken with sauce on top.

My thoughts: This recipe has a lot of ingredients and is a bit fussier than usual for me. But this made three meals for Hubby and me so was worth the time and fussiness. I have in the past bought a jar of masala sauce and poured it over chicken to bake. This homemade sauce is much tastier than that was. Plan at least one-and-a-half to 2 hours to make this dish.

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