Oct 17, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

There is a simple reason for why I haven't posted this recipe. That reason is: bunk beds. You may be saying to yourself: But Natalie, a bunk bed is an inanimate object that is not sentient or conscious and cannot possibly want to harm you. Well if you were thinking that, you would be wrong. Bunk beds are evil. They are too high and the ladders are inconvenient. In the event of an earthquake, I would not be able to climb under the bed and save myself because I would be 5 feet off the ground holding onto the water pipes for dear life. My bunk bed didn't even come with a railing! Luckily, some of my floormates had an extra railing. Thank god my boyfriend is in the engineering school and knows how to fix anything with duct tape. So right now, my safety is assured only by a duct-tape railing. I fear for my life on a daily basis.
"What if the duct tape won't hold?"
"Oh my gosh, I'm so tired I can't see, I hope I don't fall off this ladder."
"Why can't I feel a ladder under my feet? Oh, that's right. It's on the other side of the bed."
If I had a nickel for the number of times I have rolled onto the rail in my sleep I would have...well, probably about a dollar fifty. But still- if that railing wasn't there, I would be dead or in a coma right now.
The point is, bunk beds are horrible things that prevented me from writing this post. I climb into bed about to write this awesome post about Indian food...and I am so far away from my recipe book. Of course I can't get down because I know that I will eventually fall off the ladder and I'm not going to push my luck by climbing up and down all willy-nilly and with complete disregard for statistical probability. So then I sigh and say: well, this will have to wait until next time I get off this bed. Then I get off the bed in the morning exhausted and not seeing straight and forget to grab my recipe book.
Luckily, I have a paper to write tonight, so there is no need to climb onto the bunk bed quite yet. So, I am sitting at my desk where my recipe book happens to be. And here you go! Chicken Tikka Masala!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks

3-4 chicken breasts
ground coriander and cumin, to taste
1/2 cup plain yogurt
6 Tbsp butter
1 whole onion, chopped
4 clives garlic, minced
1 2" piece fresh ginger, grated/minced
2 1/2 Tbsp garam masala
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4-1 cup heavy cream
2 cups basmati rice
frozen peas

Season the chicken breasts with salt, coriander, and cumin on both sides, then coat the chicken breasts in yogurt. Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil lined baking sheet. Put the sheet pan under the broiler and cook the chicken 5-10 min per side. I ended up cooking it a bit over 10 minutes because the chicken pieces were pretty thick. Make sure that the chicken is completely cooked through, it won't be cooking much longer after this.
In a large pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter, then cook the onions until they are tender. Add the garlic and ginger and let cook for a minute. Add the garam masala and the tomatoes, stir, then add the sugar. Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir in the heavy cream. The original recipe called for 2 cups of cream, which seemed like way too much. 1 cup was plenty and I think if I had added anymore, it would have really messed up the consistency of the sauce. Chop up the chicken breasts and add to the sauce. When the chicken is warmed through, stir in some chopped cilantro.

While you are doing all this, have some rice going in the rice cooker. I made the rice that PW recommend, and it went really well with the chicken. Basically, throw the rice and water into the rice cooker, add 4 Tbsp butter, and then a healthy does of turmeric. (You can make this on the stove too if you don't have a rice cooker) When the rice is done, stir in the frozen peas and let it sit for a minute so that the peas can cook through.


1 comment:

  1. Dan has duct-taped the wrong thing. Instead of duct-taping the railing onto the bedframe, he should be duct-taping you onto the mattress!

    (always full of good advice)