Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Day 22 - Chicken Tikka Masala

Well since Tuesday there hasn't been much cooking going on in our house.  I've just been dead tired when I get home and on top of that neither of us has been hungry by the time we get home.  Luckily shooting wraps up on Sunday for this short job.  Thought I have to say I'm a bit petrified about what I'll do when the next job comes around, in terms of cooking and this blog.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Here's what the last few days have looked like:

Day 20 - January 26 - Sushi takeout from Sushi Marche, eaten at work

Day 21 - January 27 - Dinner at the Black Hoof with some out of town friends

Day 22 - January 28 -  Jamie Oliver's Chicken Tikka Masala - recipe below

I was happy for the break from the usual pizza on set on Wednesday night.  Of course I got a break from it because I planned ahead and when sushi was brought in for some other people I got some to save for dinner.  I should have cooked on Thursday night, but since it was our Saturday and we're working with some friends who are only in town for a short while, hitting up one of our favorite spots, The Black Hoof, was a necessity.  And boy was it worth it, the menu has changed since we were last in and the Pighead Tacos are to die for!

Then Friday rolled around and since I haven't been cooking and know the next couple days will be crazy, I made up for it.  I made two dishes that will be easy meals for the next couple of days.  One was the Food Network Canada's Cooking Club Challenge (which I'll post about on Piccante Dolce on Sunday) which we had for lunch and will likely eat for dinner tonight.  The second came from Jamie's Food Revolution.  I picked up the cookbook back in November and haven't cooked out of it yet.  The boy made an amazing beef cottage pie from it, but I felt it was time for me to crack the book open and make something.  I decided it was time to take a step out of my comfort zone of the classic American and Italian comfort foods that I generally gravitate towards and try a curry.  There are quite a few tasty sounding curries in the book, but I went with one we both love when we get Indian take-out, Chicken Tikka Masala.

I had to start with a curry paste, he notes that you can use a pre-made or packaged curry paste, but since it feels like too long since I've cooked properly, I wanted to make it all from scratch.


Jamie's Tikka Masala Paste
from Jamie's Food Revolution
makes 1/2 cup

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsps garam masala
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsps peanut oil
2 Tbsps tomato paste
2 fresh red chiles - I used thai chiles
small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsps almond flour

1. Peel garlic & ginger and set aside. Put a small frying pan on medium heat and add cumin & coriander to toast until lightly toasted and fragrant (a few minutes).  Add toasted spices to mortar and pestle or spice grind and grind to a fine powder.
2.  Add ground toasted spices and all of the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste.


Jamie's Chicken Tikka Masala
from Jamie's Food Revolution
serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 medium onions
1 fresh red chile - I used a thai chile
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 Tbsps butter
peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup tikka masala or mild curry paste
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
plain yogurt
sliced almonds
lemon

1.  Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise into 3/4 inch strips.  Peel halve and finely slice the onions.  Finely slice the chile. Peel and finely slice the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves off of the stalks and set aside, finely chop the stalks.
2. Put a large casserole-type pan on medium  heat (I used my 4 quart Le Creuset) and add butter and a couple glugs of oil.  Once melted and the pan is heated add the onions, chile, ginger and cilantro stalks.  Saute for 10 minutes until soft and the onions are golden.
3. Add the curry paste and chicken, stir to coat everything in curry paste. Season with salt & pepper.  Add in the tomatoes and coconut milk.  Fill one of the empty cans with water and add to the pot.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Check regularly and add water as necessary (I had tons of sauce and it wasn't necessary for me).
4.  Once chicken is tender and cooked through, season with salt & pepper to taste and serve garnished with cilantro leaves, almond silvers, a lemon wedge and yogurt.  Goes well over rice.

I made a cilantro lime rice to serve this over and per Jamie's suggestion a light green salad, I used romaine, dressed with just some lemon juice, salt & pepper.  I also picked up some whole wheat Chapati at the grocery store, heated them up, cut them into wedges and served them along side.  Our curry had some good heat as those thai chiles packed quite a punch, but it was a hit with the boy.  It wasn't as intimidating to make as I thought it would be and look forward to trying more curries over the course of the year.  I'm happy I stepped out of my comfort zone since it was one of the reasons I signed on for this challenge.

8 comments:

mamashack said...

Can I steal that one? I want to make this

Jen H said...

Of course! It was really good, my sauce didn't thicken as I had hoped but the flavors were all there. Using the thai chiles made it quite hot, so you may want to tweak based on what your boys like.

mamashack said...

that's why it appeals to me. Shack and I like things quite hot but the kid doesn't so although he really likes the flavours in thai and indian curries, he can't always tolerate the heat. With the paste I can totally control that but usually I am too lazy to bother lol

Ang said...

Sounds like your crazy busy!!! We appreciate you taking the time to make something yummy though:) I'm always trying to balance my life and career with blogging and recipe swapping. It can be challenging. Thanks for sharing! Have a great Sunday:)

Sandra said...

This looks amazingly tasty! I hope you get some rest:) Have a wonderful restful next week!:)

Jen H said...

Ang- I'm definitely busy, but kinda love the challenge of finding things to make.

Sandra - I already have a massage booked!

Aisha Jameel said...

Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good work
you can view some of my dishes on http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com ! i would be really happy if you follow it :)

Unknown said...

I make this all the time and love it, even made it for a big party I had at the house and it was a big hit. Though I would suggest using crushed tomatoes rather than diced in North America for any british recipes. The british diced tomatoes are thicker than the North American and are closer to crushed tomatoes. This is why a lot of people complain this turn out watery.

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