Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Burning Nose Hairs Never Felt So Good

Yesterday I made one of the most awesome chicken recipes I have ever had.  LOVE IT!  The flavors were so taste buds were doing a jig the whole time I was making it (and eating it too).  My dear sister in law emailed me the recipe awhile back and I have been wanting to try it ever since then.  Cutting up the Serrano pepper caused my nose hairs to burn for a few hours afterwards (felt like my nose was in the next county).  However it was well worth it.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Sister In Law

Notes from sister in law: "1) This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted.  2) For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds for the chile.  3) If you prefer, substitute 2 t ground coriander, 1/4 t ground cardamom, 1/4 t ground cinnamon, and 1/2 t ground black pepper for the garam masala.  The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken.  Serve with basmati rice. (I used regular white rice; it worked fine too.) Serve with naan bread too.  Here is the recipe my sister in law uses for the bread.

1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 t table salt
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

Mix spices and press into chicken breasts. Refrigerate 30-60minutes.

Sauce 1
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (see note 1)
2 T vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 t worth)
1 T grated FRESH ginger

Mix well together and place in fridge to rest along with chicken.

Sauce 2
3 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 t worth)
2 t grated FRESH ginger
1 fresh serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note 2)
1 T tomato paste
1 T garam masala (see note 3)
1 (28oz) crushed tomatoes
2 t sugar
1/2 t table salt
2/3 heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (omitted)

Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook until light gold, 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste and garam masala. Stir together and cook until fragrant about 3 minutes (this is when my taste buds started dancing). Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in cream and simmer.  Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.  While sauce simmers, dip chicken breasts in yogurt mixture.  Broil about 6 inches from heat on a foil lined pan.  Discard remaining yogurt mixture. Cook until chicken registers 160 on an instant read thermometer.  10-18 minutes (or there abouts...flip chicken halfway through cooking time about minute 7).  Let chicken rest 5 minutes.  Cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce.  Stir in cilantro (if desired). Adjust with more salt if necessary.  Serve over rice and with naan.

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