Rich had a taste for chicken tikka masala, and had even come across a pretty spiffy looking (and simple!) recipe on line. I had recently made a fresh batch of my own garam masala, had a tub of plain Greek style yogurt to use up, and boneless, skinless chicken thighs were on sale; it was kismet!
Note: garam masala ingredients can vary by region or household, so I took advantage of that in making my own by cutting down on some of the spices and seasonings I’m not too, too fond of, and adding others I am.
I took a few other liberties with the original recipe, adapted from one by the nice folk at Jaali Bean, by adding a pound of sliced ‘shrooms and a goodly bit of my Sherry Peppers Sauce (which I add to just about everything but cake). I’ve noted the ingredients I used and amounts, but if you can’t get or don’t have something (or don’t care for one specific ingredient), feel free to try a substitute. Buttermilk would work nicely in place of yogurt in the marinade, and creamed cottage cheese could always stand in at the end for the heavy cream. No matter how you make it, this is a very good – and simple – chicken recipe. Try it with the basil and pine nut rice, or mebbe a freshly made batch of buttered naan. Yum.
•1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
•2-1/2 tbsp plain, Greek yogurt
•1 small lemon, juiced
•1/2 tsp turmeric
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp garam masala
•1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
•1/8 tsp sea salt
•1 (14-1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
•2-3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 large onion, diced
•1 cinnamon stick
•1 cup water
•2 tbsp tomato paste
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp brown sugar
•1 tbsp garam masala, divided
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•Sea salt, to taste
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
•16 oz sliced ‘shrooms
•1 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp olive oil
•2 tsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! You can leave it out entirely, or substitute sweet chili sauce, this Indian-style sweet and sour sauce, or Tiger sauce from the market (tho’ I am working on my own Tiger sauce, stay tuned),
Whisk the marinade ingredients together and pour over the chicken thighs in a gallon sized zipper bag. Seal the bag and toss and squeeze to coat the chicken, then stash on a rimmed plate (to catch any drippage) in the fridge for – surprise, not overnight! – an hour or two, turning the bag over a couple of times, if you think to.
Melt one tablespoon of butter with one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, then add the ‘shrooms and sauté for about five minutes. Add the Sherry Peppers Sauce and continue to sauté until any pan liquids have been cooked off. Transfer the ‘shrooms to a bowl and return the pan to the heat.
Remove the marinating chicken from the fridge and set aside.
Melt the other tablespoons of butter and olive oil over medium high heat, then add the diced onion, a bit of sea salt (1/4 tsp or so), the cinnamon stick, and one teaspoon of the garam masala.
Cook for about ten minutes, until the onion is tender and the spices fragrant, then add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess marinade, and add to the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until the outsides are no longer pink and chicken is almost cooked through – mebbe ten minutes, turning the chicken over after five minutes.
Add the remaining teaspoon of garam masala, the brown sugar, Sherry Peppers Sauce, ‘shrooms, and the cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and very tender. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Add chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and serve hot, with rice or naan.