Friday, May 21, 2010

Indian Summer Part 1~ Chicken Tikka Masala

In the summer, the Santa Monica pier hosts a glorious concert evening every Thursday. We pack up some good food, vino and hop on our bikes to go lay a blanket down in the sand and listen to the music drift down from the pier while we enjoy the company of great friends and share all the yummy food everyone brings.
With Memorial Day weekend comin' right up, our Thursdays at the pier will be starting again soon. Of all the goodness we brought last summer- this was by far the most, um....well, detailed dish I made, but I think it was also the best- and surprisingly a fabulous picnic item!! I made the the tikka masala, some saffron rice and aslo made homemade naan, which will be the Parts 2 & 3 of my Indian Summer posting, coming asap....

I adapted this recipe from All Recipes and found it very easy to make and delicious, it was everything I wanted it to be~

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup 2% Fage Greek yogurt
1 T lemon juice (fresh)
4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T fresh grated ginger
Freshly ground black pepper & Kosher salt or freshly ground sea salt to taste (about a tsp salt, 2 tsp pepper)
Long bamboo skewers for grilling (soak them in water for 30 minutes to an hour before putting the chicken on them)

 1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
2 1/2 tsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
a handful chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper & Kosher salt or freshly ground sea salt (coupla pinches) to taste

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, cayenne, salt, pepper, & ginger. Stir it the chicken, coating completely- cover and refridgerate 1 hour.
PReheat your grill to high heat. Skewer the marinated chicken pieces and grilll about 5-7 minutes per side, until cooked completely through.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeno and sautee a minute or two. Season the garlic and jalapeno with the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, 20-25 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer in sauce about 10 minutes.
Serve on a large platter, sprinkle with cilantro- for picnic mode, let cool then transfer to a tuperware and transport to picnic with the cilantro in a little ziplock bag.

Our picnic was a 7 mile bike ride away and it was a cool evening picnic- I'm not so much suggesting this as a take on a giant long like to an all-day-in-the-sun picnic.

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