Monday, May 5, 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala

Proving once again, that Britain may have turned a culinary page, I introduce you to the creamy, scrumptious bowl of curry goodness... Chicken Tikka Masala.

I used to think that movies/TV and other non-reading media were horrible methods for learning, then the internet happened.  It turns out that you can learn a lot from the TV, as long as you are paying attention.  The reason I never paid attention was that "educational" TV is boring. However, food shows are very interesting!

For example, several months back I learned about the curry tradition in Great Britain from watching The Supersizers on Hulu.  It turns out that despite the British tradition of making just horrible foods for literally centuries the Indians have been trying to fix Britain's palate one dish at a time.  Thank goodness for India is all I have to say.

Recently, Great Britain actually named their national dish to be Chicken Tikka Masala, which is only a little ridiculous considering it definitely was not developed in Jolly Old England, but they do consume a lot of curry dishes there and Madhur Jaffrey started a decidedly British curry revolution.

Whether this falls into the category of Faux-Indian or just Indian food, Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the easiest, most scrumptious, velvety pile of tantalizingly spicy goodness that you will ever have the pleasure of eating.

Honestly, this is not a spicy dish, but it is aromatic.  The spices and flavors have the power to transport you to your happy place, where nothing can interrupt quality time with a bowl of Yum!, Chicken Tikka Masala's texture is velvety, almost creamy.  And when the whole thing is piled high on a bed of basmati rice and topped with cilantro, you know that things don't get a whole lot better this side of heaven.

Traditionally Tikkas are cooked in a Tandoor, but I have been working with this recipe from Foodie with Family for two or three years now, and I think the crockpot method is the best method that I've come across.  Despite the fact that the crockpot does most of the work, this is still a bit of a time consuming dish, so be sure to set aside a bit of prep time and don't just plop everything in the crock pot and hope everything comes out all right.  I've never gone wrong with this dish, make it and love it today.

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Chicken Tikka Masala
A scrumptious, velvety smooth, tomato and chicken curry, made easier by some love from the crock pot.
  • 8 Thighs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs- Diced into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 Cup Full Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Medium White Onion- Diced
  • 6 Cloves Garlic - Pressed
  • 2-3" Fresh Ginger Grated
  • 24 Ounces Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeno- Finely Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Half and Half or Cream
  • 2 Teaspoons Corn Starch
  • 5 Tablespoons Butter
1. Mix yogurt and all spices2. Marinate chicken in yogurt mixture for at least 30 minutes3. Melt butter, then brown chicken4. Add chicken/butter mixture to a crockpot along with all remaining ingredients except half and half and cornstarch.5. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, then add half and half and cornstarch6. Cook on low for another 45 minutes then serve with rice, peas and cilantro
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 Servings

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