Home » Homemade take-out: Chicken Tikka Masala

Homemade take-out: Chicken Tikka Masala

I am regularly told by friends that they are impressed that I cook myself dinner every night. And every time someone brings it up, I am still surprised. If you don’t make yourself dinner, how do you eat?

I mean, there are nights when I make toast and pile it high with whatever I can rustle up, then I call it a tartine and pretend it is extra fancy. Or I roast some veg and put it on top of leftover rice or quinoa and call it a “whole grain bowl”. What I am really saying is that not every night is a big production – it just feels better to say I made something like that then when I cave and pull out a box of gluten-free macaroni and cheese.

gf chicken tikka masala for #singleladysupper

But some days, I do go all out. I make a dish with multiple parts that I want seconds (or even thirds) of. Like Chicken Tikka Masala – the non-Indian Indian dish that everyone loves (my last roommate Helen informed me it was a Scottish invention).

gluten-free chicken tikka masala for #singleladysupper

This creamy, spicy tomato dish is always a hit when I make it – even if it isn’t the most resolution-friendly dinner. (You can always balance it with a big salad or some extra kale in your smoothie). This isn’t an old family recipe or something that tastes like childhood. It is simply a good dish that despite its multiple parts is actually pretty easy to put together – easy enough to make after a full day of work.

gluten-free chicken tikka masala recipe from frannycakes

Gluten-Free Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4 servings
Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite dishes (even if it isn’t totally authentic). Because I don’t have an old family recipe for this treat, I have adapted one by [url href=”http://www.foodnetwork.com/chefs/aarti-sequeira.html”]Aarti Sequeira from Food Network[/url] For best results, marinate the chicken starting the night before. If you decide at 6pm that this is what you want for dinner, you can get away with only marinating the chicken for half an hour,
Ingredients
  • For the chicken
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger*
  • 3 cloves garlic put through a garlic press or finely minced*
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, and cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • For the sauce
  • Sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic*
  • 2-inch thumb ginger peeled and minced*
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced and seeds removed (if you like your food spicy, you can leave the seeds in)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 2 14-ounce cans)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • Oil, for grilling
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Cooked basmati rice
Instructions
Marinate the chicken
  1. You are going to whisk together the yogurt, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper into a smooth sauce. Add the chicken to the mix and seal in a large ziploc or plastic container. Leave in the fridge overnight or at least 30 minutes before starting the sauce.
Make the sauce
  1. (If you need to make rice, I start it in a rice cooker before I make the sauce.)
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter.
  3. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic, ginger and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges.
  4. Next, add the tomato paste to the skillet. Cook it until it starts to darken in color (about 3 minutes).
  5. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute to draw out the flavors from the spices.
  6. Once they get aromatic (about a minute), add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup of water.
  7. Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened a bit, about 20 minutes.
Cook the chicken
  1. While the sauce simmers, heat a grill pan or cast iron griddle. Once it is hot, lightly brush it with oil.
  2. Place your chicken pieces on the grill – but make sure you shake of some of the excess marinade (too much gets a little messy)
  3. Cook the chicken until it starts to char -about 2 minutes on each side. The chicken will be purposefully undercooked because it finishes cooking in the sauce.
Finish the dish
  1. The sauce is currently a bit chunky, and we want a smooth, dreamy sauce. If you are using a deep enough skillet and have an immersion blender, feel free to use it. If not, pour your sauce into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  2. Pour your sauce back into the skillet and bring it back to a boil.
  3. Add the chicken, bring the sauce down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cream.
  5. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Notes
*I like to keep garlic and ginger pastes in my kitchen for occasions such as the desire to make this dish. You can find them in squeeze tubes in the produce section, and most often, I buy the ones from [url href=”http://www.gourmetgarden.com/en”]Gourmet Garden[/url]
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