Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

I made Chicken Tikka Masala for the first time, last year with a recipe I found in a magazine. The hubby started mentioning the dish recently so I decided to surprise him last night for dinner by making it. The big bummer was that I couldn't find that recipe. I swear my recipe binder is getting too big! So I did an internet search for Chicken Tikka Masala and found this one. It worked out great because I didn't have any garam masala--an ingredient that is often used in this type of recipe--but this recipe didn't call for it. I thought I still had some from the last time I made this dish but I didn't and couldn't find it after searching 2 grocery stores. This recipe was definitely delicious but I think that the garam masala is needed for that authentic flavor.

I made just a couple of modifications, I had 8 chicken thighs I wanted to use up so I substituted the chicken breast with them. Also, I didn't add the jalapeno as I knew it would already have a kick with all the spices. This was a great recipe and the naan I made along with it was a nice way to soak up the spicy sauce. Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe posted by Yakuta on
Serves 4

Ingredients for marinade:
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (I used 8 chicken thighs instead)
4 long skewers (I didn't use these)

Ingredients for sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I didn't use this)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour (I marinated for 3 hours).

Preheat a grill for high heat  (I cooked my thighs in a nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter. It was way too cold to grill these outside). Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Orange Beef with Cilantro Rice

This recipe looked great so I decided to give it a shot and it came out delicious. Although the recipe called for cooking this dish in a wok, I used a regular non-stick skillet and it worked great. It was super easy and very flavorful. Also, I used flank steak instead of skirt steak and it was wonderful. This is definitely a keeper. Enjoy!

Orange Beef with Cilantro Rice
Recipe by Rachel Ray magazine
Serves 4

Grated peel of 1 orange and juice of 2 oranges
1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 pound skirt steak, thinly sliced on the diagonal and slices halved crosswise
1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 bunch scallions, white parts thinly sliced and green parts cut into 1-inch-long pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt (I used 1 teaspoon along with 1/2 teaspoon of fresh pepper)

Directions: Place the orange peel and juice in a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the soy sauce and vinegar. Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, bring the rice and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Cover; simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and keep warm.

In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Using tongs, transfer the meat from the marinade to the wok and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the scallions to the wok and cook over medium heat, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes. Transfer to the beef. Pour the marinade into the wok and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and reduce by half. Whisk in the sugar and return the steak and scallions to the wok; turn to coat.

Stir the cilantro into the rice; season with salt. Mound some rice and beef onto each plate.