how to prepare Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Chicken Tikka Masala
    Serves 4
    1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, left whole
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 medium onion, finely diced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
    1 cup plain yogurt
    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon if you like this dish spicy)
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon paprika
    8 ounces canned tomato puree or crush tomatoes
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    Salt to taste
    1. Prepare the marinade: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, ginger, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, and black pepper. Pour the marinade mixture over the chicken and rub it all over the meat. Cover with plastic and let sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.
    2. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, position the top oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler (the second rung from the top in conventional ovens). Preheat the broiler.
    3. Cover the inside of a baking dish with tin foil or parchment paper, making sure the liner goes up along the sides. Transfer the chicken to the backing dish, wiping off as much marinade as possible (or else the chicken ends up steaming instead of broiling). Broil for 15 to 20 (depending on how big your chicken thighs are), flipping your chicken over halfway through the cooking time. The chicken should be cooked through and have some black/brown spots on the outside. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to cool.
    6. While the chicken is cooling, heat a Dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the onions and cook gently cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ground cumin, and paprika  and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato puree, scraping the bottom of the pan or pot to release any brown bits. Allow the sauce to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
    4. While the sauce is simmering, and after the chicken has cooled enough to touch, cut each piece into large bite-sized pieces.
    5. After the sauce has thickened, stir in the heavy cream and bring the sauce back to a simmer. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the sauce. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle chopped cilantro on top, and serve with basmati rice.

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