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Chicken Tikka Masala with Green Chutney

Chicken Tikka Masala with Green Chutney

Day 124

It has been too long since my last post. Day 124 is more
like Day 1224, and that’s okay. Life got in 

the way, but I’ve still been trying
new recipes and tasting lots of good food. For this and most future blog posts,
I’m sticking to recipes that I can call my own. That is to say, I’ll decide
what I want to make, I’ll research recipes for the dish, then I’ll do my own thing.
Like this, each recipe will be my own, but will perhaps be inspired by dishes
from various previously published cooks. Today’s recipe is the first—of many,
hopefully—in that vein. Here we go!

 

Although we struggle to agree on favorite meals in our
house, collectively speaking, one ethnicity that we all crave is Indian. The
rich and aromatic spice blends offer a hint of piquant, a hint of sweet, and
lots of robustness. When we eat Indian out, my husband and daughter usually
order chicken tikka masala while I tend to venture more into the vegetarian
menu choices. Since we do all agree on the yumminess of chicken tikka masala,
that’s what I chose to recreate at home.

Here is the result of no fewer than five tries to get the
level of spice just how we like it (and we like it a bit spicy, but not too
much, fyi). The cilantro-mint (green) chutney is a must for us, so I’ve
included that here as well.
NOTE: Marinating the chicken in the yogurt mixture overnight
(up to 24 hours!) is a really good idea to maximize flavor.
8 tsp. grated fresh ginger
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely diced
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt (get the cheap stuff)
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts, sliced thin or pounded (or
a mixture of boneless breasts and thighs)
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander,
cumin, curry powder, about ½ of salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a
small bowl. Set aside. In a Ziploc bag, place raw chicken.
Combine ½ of spice mixture (above) with yogurt and pour into
Ziploc. Turn chicken to coat thoroughly. Seal tightly and place in fridge
overnight (or up to 24 hours—the time is completely up to you since the chicken
tastes better the longer it marinates).
Cover and chill the rest of spice mixture until ready to
make the dish.
When ready, heat butter and olive oil in a cast-iron skillet
over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, and tomato paste. Cook until onions are
soft and the tomato paste is darker. Add rest of spice mixture and cook about
3-5 minutes more. Stir regularly, as bottom of pan will begin to stick just a
bit. Add can of tomatoes. Bring to boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer
and thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in oven with broiler on high, place chicken on a
broiling rack or shallow pan and under broiler. Watch carefully and cook until
chicken starts to blacken a bit—about 10 minutes. The chicken probably won’t be
cooked through just yet, but remove from oven and chop into bite-sized chunks.
Add to tomato mixture and simmer until chicken is cooked
through. Add cream and chopped cilantro, then continue simmering for an
additional 10-20 minutes.
2 bunches cilantro, very bottom stem-part removed
¼ chopped jalapeno pepper

juice of ½ lemon

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until
smooth. Serve, as is, with chicken tikka masala.

An aside: If desired, take half of the chutney and combine
with 1 cup of (whole-milk-Greek) yogurt, stirring to combine. Use the other
half of the chutney without yogurt. This allows for two dipping sauces rather
than just chutney.

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