Another week, another snowstorm. I love winter and I love snow, but this winter is starting to wear me thin with all the ice – I’m tired of having to tiptoe around my neighborhood, paranoid of wiping out and injuring myself in front of all the houses with unshoveled sidewalks (soapbox rant: you live in a row home in the city – your sidewalk is a mere 8 feet long and has heavy pedestrian traffic – IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO SHOVEL 8 FEET OF SIDEWALK) . My poor dog goes days without a proper long walk because it’s just too slippery out there. I’m hopeful that today will at least provide a nice, thick layer of snow to cover the ice so we can go for a good walk this evening and then come home and enjoy a nice, warm dinner. If you’re stuck at home today with the snow and have a well-stocked spice cabinet, you just may have everything you need to make this chicken tikka masala, which would be a perfect way to brighten up another snowy evening. Indian food is one of my favorites to make at home, and I’ll be back next week to share my favorite saag paneer recipe. This chicken tikka masala is flavorful (but not too spicy) and comes together quickly on the stovetop or with minimal effort in the crockpot – I’ll share how to adapt it for either! Serve it over some basmati rice or perhaps with a side of homemade naan, and freeze the leftovers so you have an easy dinner waiting for you in the future.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4 to 6
Adapted from The Kitchn
- For the Chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- For the Sauce:
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, optional
- To Serve:
- 3 cups prepared basmati rice
- Trim excess fat off the chicken thighs and place in a shallow dish or large freezer bag. Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, and coriander. Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs, turning to coat each piece. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, 30 minutes up to 8-10 hours.
- When ready to cook, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the oven broiler to high with a rack positioned ~6 inches below the broiler.
- Remove the chicken from the yogurt, shaking off any excess marinate before placing in a single layer on the parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Broil for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160F on an instant-read thermometer.
- While the chicken is broiling, start the sauce. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add in the onions and cook 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste, garam masala, paprika, and cayenne and stir.
- Pour the tomatoes and their juices into the mixture and turn the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Once the chicken is done, dice into bite-sized pieces and stir both the chicken and the cream into the sauce. Simmer until everything is warmed through and the sauce starts to bubble. Stir in the cilantro just before removing from the heat.¿
- Serve immediately with rice. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month – to reheat from frozen, allow the chicken and sauce to thaw, either overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on the microwave. Transfer to a small or medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir on the stovetop over medium heat until heated through.
To Adapt for Slow Cooker:
Marinate as directed above. If you have time, start the sauce as directed, sauteeing the onions and adding in the ginger and garlic, followed by the spices and tomatoes (if not, skip the sauteeing step). Place chicken in the slow cooker, followed by the onion, garlic, tomato pate, garam masala, and paprkia. Stir this together to coat the chicken. Add in the diced tomatoes with their juices. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, uncovered, to allow the sauce to thicken. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.