Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala & More Birthday Shenanigans

I love to celebrate when we can.  So in addition to this fine dinner out with my boys, we had some extras this weekend. 

So for the weekend celebration of Josh’s birthday we went down town to watch the mushers take off for the Yukon Quest (much less known, but more treacherous than the Iditarod.)  And I didn’t bring my camera!  Argh!  What was I thinking!?!?

Okay, I’m done kicking myself, I guess.  Dinner was amazing if I don’t say so myself.  Josh requested our favorite dish about a week in advance: Chicken Tikka Masala.  There are no Indian restaurants for about 350 miles, thus I have been more adventurous in attempting the recipes myself.  Let me tell you though, to get it right, it takes time.  A lot of time.  The previous recipe I tried for this dish took three days to make.  Still worth it!  This one need to start the night before, but just to let the chicken marinade.  Anyway, here’s how it went:

The night before:

Chicken Tikka:
1-2 cups plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1/4-1 tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

4-5 chicken breasts, cubed

Stir all ingredients except chicken into the bottom of a large plastic container. Add the chicken and coat the chicken completely with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight. 

Okay, then morning of:

1 can 16 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 5.5 oz tomato paste
2 inches fresh ginger or 1 Tbsp ground
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp of lemon juice)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander

1 cup cream
Fresh cilantro, chopped (great flavor in the stems, too!)

As needed:
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Turn your oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack over top. Spread the chicken with the marinade on the baking sheet and place on the baking rack under the broiler and broil on each side about 10 minutes. You don't have to worry about cooking the meat all the way through; you are just looking for a nice browned color.

While the chicken is broiling, in a pan over medium high heat, add about a tsp or two of oil. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a few more minutes until the mixture is nice and fragrant. Place the mixture into your crockpot.

 To that, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala,curry, lemon juice, tikka paste, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir together. When the chicken is done broiling, add them straight to the slow cooker. Slow cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

(my little helper:)

Then stir in the 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and salt if it needed to enhance the flavor.  Before serving stir in cream and top with fresh cilantro.  I don't have a picture of my finished product, because I forgot to take one.  I was just so excited to start eating.  But heres what it looked like (from here)

Except here's the way to eat it.  Pit the Tikka Masala in it's own bowl.  I cook up some brown rice on the side. 

But mostly you're going to be scooping up the chunks with garlic naan. Great recipe here

We drank orange pineapple juice (the closest thing we hand to a Mango Lassi) and Monkey bread for dessert.  Because monkeys are kinda Indian, right!  Happy birthday again, my dear!

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