I was left to my own devices… and a semi-well-stocked pantry.
I started with a recipe from Alosha’s Kitchen…and chicken from the freezer, canned tomatoes from the summer and left-over cream from lord-knows-what. But as I scanned the ingredient list, I realized modifications would be necessary.
I didn’t have yogurt to marinate the chicken, but I did have a scootch of left-over sour cream from this year’s latke-fest. I didn’t have garam malsala – an Indian spice blend – but did have most of the ingredients. And the recipe called for grilling the chicken first before simmering it – and I had no interest in adding the extra step of precooking the chicken, much less digging out the grill from under its blanket of snow. Instead, I added some smoked onions to the sauce to give it that extra depth.
This was a bit more labour intensive than I planned, but still only 20 minutes from start to finish. All-in-all a delicious dish!
From the garden: canned tomatoes and jalapenos
Here’s the original recipe with my modifications.
Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from What's for Dinner via Alosha's Kitchen
1 cup plain yogurt (I used 2 tbs. sour cream)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips or large cubes
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 smoked onion
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 jalapeno chile, minced (I used a smoked jalapeno leftover from the summer garden)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala (or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger + 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom + 1/8 tsp. clove + 1/4 tsp. cinnamon +1/8 tsp. cumin)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
In a small mixing bowl, combine everything on the marinade list, including the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is better.)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, ginger and jalapeño, and stir for a minute. Add the chicken and lightly brown. Stir in the seasonings, and salt. Add the tomato sauce, and stir for one minute. Add the half-and-half, and simmer, covered, until the sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through.
Serve with basmati rice or naan bread. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Happy New Year! Wishing you a sparkling and joyous year.