Chicken tikka masala recipe

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To create an approachable method for producing moist, tender chunks of chicken in a rich, lightly spiced tomato sauce, we began by coating the chicken in a yogurt mixture seasoned with cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Baking the chicken breasts was quick and worked well, but the additional char we achieved with the broiler was better and required no extra time. The basic combination of garam masala, fresh ginger, and fresh cilantro gave our masala sauce an authentic Indian taste. Serve with rice.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes


Chicken Tikka
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
Masala Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
    For the Chicken
  1. Combine salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne in bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. In large bowl, whisk yogurt, oil, ginger, and garlic together; set aside.
  2. For the Masala Sauce
  3. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in serrano, tomato paste, garam masala, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Coat chicken in yogurt mixture and place on wire rack set in aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until chicken registers 160 degrees and is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  5. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.

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