Chicken Tikka Masala

INGREDIENTS:
Chicken:
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp salt
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 c yogurt
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger

Masala Sauce:
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 jalapenos
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs garam masala
28 oz crushed tomatoes
3 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 c heavy cream
1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp turmeric

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl.Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Add the crushed garlic and ginger.Rub it on the chicken and drizzle the olive oil. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight (or several hours).Take the chicken out from the fridge and add the yoghurt. Make sure it coats the chicken well. Let marinate for another 1-2 hours. In the meantime, get all the ingredients for the masala ready.

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, turmeric, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It is at this point that you may adjust the seasoning and add more spice if you like it spicier. Stir in cream and return to simmer.Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, grill chicken on medium heat. Make sure you coat the chicken well with the yoghurt. Also, make sure you oil the grill …as the chicken can easily stick. You can also do the chicken in the oven using the broiler. Just adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees 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 cilantro, and serve over rice.

Tips:

If your sauce is too thick, thin it out with some more cream or milk or chicken stock before serving.

You can also grill the chicken first and keep it warm… then proceed to make the sauce…

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