Chicken Tikka Masala

I was looking up spices for a recipe that Lisa had made when it occurred to me that I had no go-to purveyor of delicious spices in New York.  A quick Google search revealed that I worked only a few blocks from what turned out to be a most glorious spice shop that I cannot believe I’ve never been there!  The spice shop is called Kalustyan’s and walking into the store, further and further into rooms and rooms of spices, I felt like I was in cooking heaven.  It’s amazing that I didn’t run out of the store with more than one giant bag of things to cook and cook with, and I can’t wait to go back.

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While perusing the aisles, one of the things that caught my eye was a “chicken tikka masala” spice blend.  I’m not usually one for spice mixes (unless it’s to sprinkle over some weekday chicken or salmon, for which I recommend this array of options).

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I thought I would give it a whirl in combination with a recipe I found on Bon Appetit, and the result transported us to an Indian restaurant.  Matt’s request was that we try Lamb Vindalu next, so stay tuned, and maybe we’ll make it!

Ingredients

6 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 2.8 oz package Kaluystan’s Chicken Tikka Masala blend
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
Steamed basmati or jasmine rice (for serving)

Directions

  1. Combine garlic and about 1/2 spice mix in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt, and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours. Cover and chill remaining spice mixture.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the other half of the spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add cream and chopped cilantro. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Arrange chicken on rack in a single layer. Broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes.
  6. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, add to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cilantro sprigs.

Serves about 4-5

Adapted from Bon Appetit Chicken Tikka Masala

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