After stuffing ourselves at an Indian restaurant for my birthday with my parents, Bryan and I decided to recreate our favorite dish from the meal: Chicken Tikka Masala. The waiter recommended this creamy tomato dish and the fact that I don’t remember what else we ordered that night attests to its merit.
I searched online for a recipe and there just happened to be a Pioneer Woman version. I need to branch out from using her recipes, but I can’t help it; she keeps drawing me in with her luscious photos and sarcastic instructions. If you are into cooking at all, you must check out her super-popular site.
I also got to use my new Christmas present for this dish: a dutch oven!
In Chicken Tikka Masala, chicken gets cooked separately and added in at the end. Bryan and I roasted the diced-up thighs on skewers in the oven with some Indian spices like cumin and coriander, and plain yogurt on top. I think this was in lieu of a marinade, which other recipes called for.
For the sauce, crushed tomatoes are simmered with sauteed onions and spices: garam masala, coriander, cumin, fresh garlic and ginger, and one powerful serrano pepper. Near the end, you add heavy cream and finally the chicken pieces.
The consistency is like a really thick soup with bite-size chicken, and we served it over brown rice and cilantro on top. On the side, plain peas and fresh mango were a relieving compliment to the masala’s spice.
I’m usually pretty self-congratulatory with my cooking efforts (unless I majorly fail, like these Thanksgiving-spiced lentil burgers I tried once), but seriously, this was one of the best things I’ve ever made. Wickedly spicy, hearty, rich and exotic.