Monday, December 16, 2013

Laura’s Chicken Tikka Masala

This is our very favorite meal.

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes—you absolutely need to make this. In the words of my husband, "I could eat this every day.

I’ve tried making tikka masala in the crockpot and it’s just not as good as this. Trust me.

A few things to note:

Before diving into this incredible recipe, you will need to marinate the chicken for at least one hour (though the longer the better). I used a cast iron skillet to cook the chicken (though any large heavy-bottomed skillet would work just as well), and I do it in two batches. It doesnt take long.

*Garam masala is cheaper when purchased from an international market or Amazon, but it is available at most grocery stores.

Oh, and don't forget to buy naan! We like the "original" best. Your grocery store should have it in the bakery section, and it probably comes in a pack of two. I recommend getting four to six pieces of naan, depending on how many servings you plan to get out of the recipe. We got four generous servings out of it (we really pig out on this stuff), but you could get six servings if you added rice and/or a side dish. 

Side dish option: we love roasted cauliflower alongside this chicken. I drizzle half a head of chopped cauliflower with a Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with generous amounts of turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes. I like to get a bit of char on the cauliflower. (I love it so much I stand over the pan and eat several pieces before serving dinner.)

Have I mentioned how good this is? I promise it's not hard at ALL. Okay, let's get to the recipe already! 

Laura’s Chicken Tikka Masala
serves: 4 generous portions
active time: 10 minutes to prepare chicken and marinade, 20 minutes to make the chicken and sauce
total time, start to finish: at least 1 hour, 30 minutes 

For the marinade:
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp powdered ginger
  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

For the sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 cup jarred jalapeño slices (or one finely chopped jalapeño pepper)
  • 2 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • optional: fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

  • naan
1Combine the marinade ingredients and let sit in the fridge for at least one hour.
2. Once the chicken is marinated, lightly oil a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet and turn to medium heat.
3. Place ghee or butter in a large pot and turn to medium low. It needs to be big enough to hold the sauce and the chicken together at the end.
4Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and set a timer for 4 minutes. Turn attention back to the pot.
5Add garlic and jalapeño to the melted ghee/butter in the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally, for at least one minute.
6. Add garam masala, paprika, salt and pepper to the pot, stir well.
7. Add tomato sauce and heavy cream to the pot, stir well and simmer on low heat. To get it to a simmer I turned up the heat for a minute until the sauce bubbled, and then I slowly turned it to low. You want it to still bubble slightly, but not so much that it's popping out of the pan.
8. Once the chicken has cooked for 4 minutes, flip the pieces and cook for 4 more minutes.
9. Youll know the chicken is done if it breaks easily with a spatula. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the first batch of chicken to the sauce. 
10. Cook the second batch of chicken the same way and then add to the sauce, which should continue to be cooking over low heat.
11. Warm naan as the package directs. 
12. Turn off the stove and stovetop and sprinkle the dished-out portions of chicken with cilantro. Serve with warmed naan. 

don’t mind my crappy cell phone pic and my splotchy stovetop...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013 gift guide

- for him -

Ticket to Ride board game - $36.81
this game is easy to understand but still requires strategy.
I bought this for my dad last year, and we all enjoy it.

Buffalo Wild Wings gift card - $25
perfect for when his games aren't televised!
also great: Dunkin Donuts card, NFL Shop card, Amazon card

Outliers - $10.19
I can't recommend this one enough.
My guy loved it and I loved it, too.

Fleece crew neck sweatshirt from Old Navy - $22
who can resist a guy in a cozy shirt?
(reviewers suggest buying a size up if you
don't like a slim fit)

Random, I know. BUT! Andy saw a cheese slicer while we were
on our honeymoon and wanted it, and we have used it hundreds of times since.
Not even joking.
Who doesn't like cheese?!

Tennis Balls - $21
get him excited for warmer weather :)

perfect for playing or viewing outdoor sports

- for her -

Square pave earrings from Loft - $24.50
if I hadn't JUST bought gold and diamond studs
then I'd get these for myself.

Open Weave Infinity Scarf from Nordstrom - $20
love the fringe!

Chevron bracelet from Edor - $24
Edor is my favorite jewelry shop on Etsy. I have the "Arena"
and "Diagon" necklace. Her beautiful initial necklaces would also make
a great gift.

Bible verse art print from ashleeproffitt - $15
I bought this exact print for a friend
and paired it with a white frame.

Bamboo spatulas from Pampered Chef - $10.50
These are my favorite cooking tools!
I also love the $8 bamboo tongs.

a beautifully written coming-of-age story
(also my top pick from the books I read in 2012)

AMC gift card (or Regal) - $25
Spending $5 on popcorn doesn't seem so bad if
someone else has paid for your movie ticket.
also great: Sephora or Ulta card, nail or spa certificate

Moccasin slippers from Old Navy - $18
I have these (in wine) and LOVE them.
Can't beat that price!