Chicken Tikkas Masala

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. When you marinate chicken in yogurt, it comes out tender and buttery. And Jake always likes the chance to grill things. If you don’t have time to marinate it overnight, try for at least 3 to 4 hours. This isn’t particularly spicy, so if you like heat throw in an extra serrano pepper or two.

For The Marinade:
½ c. Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless white-meat chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

For The Tikkas Masala:
3 Tbsp. ghee (or olive oil)
1 c. onion, finely diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. garam masala
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
14 oz. tomato puree
1 c. heavy cream
Cilantro leaves, minced, for garnish

Prepare the Marinade:

In a gallon-sized zipper-topped bag, place the yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili poser and salt. Seal the bag and mush the ingredients together until you achieve a uniform color. Add the chicken pieces and shake the bag to coat them evenly. Refrigerate overnight.

For the Tikkas Malala:

Soak 6-8 wooden skewers in water for at least half an hour, or use metal skewers. If you’re going to grill the chicken, prepare your grill according to manufacturer’s directions. If cooking indoors, preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers. If grilling, place the chicken skewers on the top rack and grill until completely cooked through and starting to go dark brown in spots. If cooking indoors, place the skewers across an oven-safe skillet or baking dish (the chicken should not touch the bottom of the skillet). Place the skillet on the top rack of your oven and cook until cooked through and starting to go dark brown in place.

While the chicken is cooking, place the ghee in large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the onion, garlic, and serrano pepper. Sauté the vegetables until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, and salt. Cook for about a minute. Add the tomato puree and ¾ c. water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine, then add the cooked chicken. Continue cooking for 6-8 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Serve with basmati rice. Garnish each serving with a little chopped cilantro.