Chicken Tikka Masala (Cook’s Illustrated)

I’ve never made anything from a Cook’s Illustrated magazine–I’m one of those goofy people who loves to read recipes without feeling like I have to actually cook them–until now, that is. Renae posted an absolutely delicious Tikka recipe courtesy of Bethany’s blog. The recipe I’m posting is slightly different and had me enjoying the process of cooking for the first time in a long time! Also, I’ve never broiled chicken before; the flavor (due to spices, yogurt AND cooking style) was a-mazing.

Ingredients (Chicken Tikka)

  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t table salt
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used less)
  • 1 C plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 t)
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger

Ingredients (Masala Sauce)

  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 C)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 t)
  • 2 t grated fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 t sugar
  • Table salt
  • 2/3 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions (Chicken)

  1. Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres.
  3. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger; set aside.

Directions (Sauce)

  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven (a large pan will work – RT) over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/2 t salt; bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in cream and return to simmer.
  7. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

Directions (Chicken) #2

  1. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler.
  2. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan.
  3. Discard excess yogurt mixture.
  4. Broil chicken until chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10-18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

Directions (Chicken and Sauce)

  1. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce).
  2. Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.
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3 Responses

  1. I am making this asap. How spicy would you say it is?

  2. I totally left out the serrano chile (kind of on purpose at first, then I changed my mind but didn’t have a chile!), so I’m no judge of the heat of the actual recipe. Without the chile, it was very mild.

  3. just wondering, how thick/ chunky was the end product? my family likes a lot of sauce for naan so should i make extra sauce?

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