Chicken Tikka Masala [Archive] - Glock Talk


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06-21-2008, 22:37
This is from the September/October 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated, and it is awesome good! It's restaurant quality, and pretty easy to make.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4 to 6

Chicken Tikka
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. table salt
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

Masala Sauce
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 Serrano chile, minced (seeds and ribs removed)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. garam masala (McCormick's Spices is recommended, though you can make your own)
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
2/3 C heavy cream
1/4 C fresh chopped cilantro leaves

Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken breasts and press into the flesh so it adheres. Place chicken on platter and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring until light golden (8-10 minutes). Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant (around 3 minutes). Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Combining the chicken and the sauce:
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture. Chicken should be coated thickly. Arrange on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan.

Broil chicken 6" from the broiler until the thickest part is 160 F and the exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 - 18 minutes, flipping chicken half way through.

Let the chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1" chunks and stir into warm tomato sauce (do not simmer the chicken in the sauce). Stir in cilantro.

Serve over rice (preferably basmati).

06-25-2008, 08:46
I was at the Indian section of a local grocery store and picked up some seasoning blend for Chana Masala. It's basically a chick pea dish. Holy cow! What a great blend. I've used it on white beans with stewed tomatoes and did lamb shanks last weekend with it. It's different form run of the mill curry powder- it's even got ground pomegranite seeds in it.
Find it and buy it if you can.

06-26-2008, 08:09
Interesting recipe. In the chicken tikka masala recipes that I use, the chicken is usually cut into cubes and marinated in the yogurt for 6 to 8 hours before being cooked. I like to thread the chicken onto soaked wood skewers and grill over charcoal, gives the most authentic flavor.

Does the sauce have any "heat"? With only 1 serrano chili, I think that the sauce would be a bit on the mild side. Traditional chicken tikka masala needs to have some heat to it. Make your own garam masala, you know that it will be fresh and you can adjust the spices to your taste. Just keep small quantities of whole spices in your pantry and grind them as needed.

06-26-2008, 08:55
Marinating and kabob style grilling are traditional, but the Cooks Ill./America's Test Kitchen folks who developed this wanted a recipe that can be done year-round even in an apartment w/o a grill.

You will be surprised at how great the chicken turns out in this simple version. Letting the spices sit on the chicken for 30 minutes really does the trick, and the yogurt keeps it moist under the broiler.

As for heat, I jack mine up. Last time we had it, I sliced a fresh jalapeno all over my serving, and I added more cilantro to my taste. Serrano i seven hotter. You can also add more cayenne to the rub mix.

I have had tikka at restaurants in the US and UK (where tikka was invented), and I find this one is in the pretty darned good category (and easy for any home cook).

06-26-2008, 10:38
Thanks for the reply. Last time I made chicken tikka masala was in February for an Indian dinner at a local church. Made 30 POUNDS of chicken breast to serve 80 people. Took a long time, but was yummy. I also tend to add extra hot pepper to mine. Will have to try this quick approach. If you are interested, I have a great recipe for naan. Will post or send via email, if you want. Is from the CIA and works every time.

06-26-2008, 13:10
Please post the nan recipe. I usually make do with flat bread, which is as close to nan as I can find in local stores. I've never tried to make it.

06-27-2008, 06:59

1 pound AP flour
1 Tbs Baking powder
1 Tbs Salt
1 tsp Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
3/4 cup Warm (115 degrees) H2O (maybe slightly more H2O depending on humidity)
2 Tbs Yogurt (plain, drained in cheese cloth for 4 hours)
1 Egg

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the warm H2O and sugar to dissolve, add the yeast and allow to proof for 10 minutes. Add the yogurt and egg to the H2O mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the H2O mixture and mix to make a soft dough. Knead for 3 minutes and allow to rest until double in bulk (1-1.5 hours).

Divide dough into 2 inch balls and set aside. Roll or stretch each dough ball out to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Place on hot grill or griddle and cook until both sides are browned and charred in spots (3-5 minutes per side, depending on cooking temp). Brush with melted garlic-cilantro butter and serve.

WAY better than commercial flatbread!

(This recipe is from the CIA where I have taken a number of cooking classes. I usually make this dough in a stand mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. I knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky, about 3 minutes after the dough comes together. Usually end up using between 3/4 and 1 cup of H2O total to get the dough to form. I judge this by the way the dough comes together, takes a little practice. MUCH easier than it sounds!)