Chicken Tikka Masala

      11 Comments on Chicken Tikka Masala

I can’t deny it any longer; Fall has arrived. All those recipes I eschewed during the warmer months suddenly look appealing. Today I tried a Chicken Tikka Masala from the previous issue of Cook’s Illustrated. The dish was very well received; my photo doesn’t do it justice! And it was a fairly easy dish, without a lot of prep work required.

I only wish I had saved some of the chicken from the masala sauce; I suspect it would have been yummy enough all on its own to warrant trying all by itself.

I might also try this with thighs sometime, just to see how it works with a more flavorful cut of chicken.

Recipe under

Chicken Tikka Masala, from “Cook’s Illustrated” issue eighty-eight
serves 4 to 6

Combine in a small bowl …
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 and 1/2 teaspoons table salt
Sprinkle both sides of …
    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
… with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together …
    1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
    2 tablespoons sesame oil
    2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
    1 tablespoon grated ginger
Set yogurt aside in fridge with chicken.

Thirty minutes later, in a large dutch oven heat until shimmering …
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
Cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add …
    1 tablespoon garam masala
    2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
    2 teaspoons grated ginger
    1 fresh serrano chile (including ribs and seeds)
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add …
    28 ounces crushed tomatoes
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While sauce simmers, start rice cooker with …
    1 cup basmati rice
    1 1/2 cups water

Also, set an oven rack to second position from the top (6 inches from the top) and turn the oven to high broil.

When sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, stir in …
    2/3 cup heavy cream
Return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

Arrange a wire cooling rack on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt). Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160° F on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in …
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

Notes: The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken.

11 thoughts on “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. abrichar

    Salivation may commence

    That sounds SOOO good. Nice job bolding the ingredients for easier shopping — that’s a great recipe sharing touch!

    I really hope you started this post last night, and not that you’d already made and eaten this by 7:30am. That’s a lot of prep for early in the morning!

    1. browse Post author

      Re: Salivation may commence

      I started with a post to last night, and then followed up in my personal LJ with the recipe, since a couple of people asked for it.

      The recipe formatting is my own “house style”. That I even call it such probably shows that I was a copy editor at one time. Yeah, the basic idea is to have the ingredients spread throughout the recipe in the order you use them, indented and bolded to make assembling your shopping list easier. And then I bold specific times and temps, just to make sure I don’t miss them as I’m skimming the recipe. *whattageek*

      The first couple of times I make a dish, I lean very heavily on the recipe, and then I get a little more casual and innovative with subsequent versions. My recipe for chicken enchiladas originated from Cook’s Illustrated, and has since evolved until it is nearly unrecognizably from the original.

  2. oregongirl

    mmmmm. That looks yummy!
    I’ve never cooked anything Indian before. I was thinking that I’d never find the ingredients, but just remembered that we have an Indian grocery right here in town!

    It’s too late to start on this today, but I may try this for dinner tomorrow. Thank you for sharing!

    1. browse Post author

      I’m not a big Indian cook either. But this recipe is really accessible; everything in it should be findable at a half-way decent grocery; FredMart or Safeway should do. The garam masala will be with all the other spices, you can easily use veggie oil instead of sesame oil, minced ginger in a jar is usually near the minced garlic in a jar. (Or you could buy fresh and grate/mince it yourself.)

      If you make it, drop me a note letting me know how it turns out!

  3. satyridae

    I liked this recipe too. The only changes I made were to use bone-in thighs (and a bit longer cooking time as a consequence) and I had to make my own garam masala since I had none on hand. But it’s a keeper, and really easy.

      1. cattibrie

        once my husband and i move to the area, that may actually be possible! we’re actually coming up this weekend (tomorrow) to take a look around the area and get an idea of what the neighborhoods are like. we’re wanting to buy a house and it’ll help to have an idea of which neighborhoods we’d actually want to live in, as well as the fact that i’ve never spent any time in the area, so it’ll be good for me to see what it’s like. move is tentatively planned for jan/feb of 09, after we finish wringing a decent down payment out of our jobs here in san jose. 😉

  4. fitfool

    Very cool. I saved this recipe to my favorites to try it out some day. I would love to be able to whip up this dish at home. Thanks for sharing it!


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