Friday, July 25, 2008

Tikka Masala

Alex wants you all to know that he threw the cashews on top and it makes the picture look cute!
After I got strong responses from my friends Jen and Amanda about Dave Lieberman being gay I started thinking more about Dave Lieberman...not about Dave being gay, but about his yummy food. While surfing his web site I learned that he has two cook books out. I scored his second cook book, Dave's Dinners, on Amazon for $10 and that includes shipping! Amazon's personal sellers are the way to go!

I was pretty trepidatious the first time I tried Tikka Masala at Kasbah Grill in Layton, but my courage paid off! This is one of those meals I would have hated as a child. As you see the pictures (with my comments included), you will understand better.

Chicken Tikka Masala:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons sweet paprika
10 cardamom pods, cracked lightly (I just used ground cardamom)
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
20 grinds fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream

Cut the chicken breasts roughly into 2x2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika, cardamom, honey, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Add the chicken pieces to the yogurt mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as overnight, but bring to room temperature before cooking. (It looks barf, but it is just marinating).

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the curry powder....(what the crap have you done to the onions?!)

then the tomato paste and cook a couple of minutes. (Now the onions are covered in goo!)

Add the cream and mix together until smooth. Slide in the chicken and marinade, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through but still tender and moist. The mixture should thicken. Serve over rice.

The chicken came out so tender! It is the coolest thing ever when you can cook your favorite restaurant meals at home! OH! I also added a 1/2 cup of half and half because the tomato paste really thickened this up. Next time I would add a half cup of chicken stock instead...just for a different taste.

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