Friday, February 17, 2012

Consecrated Kitchen

So…. I’m part of a cooking club called the “consecrated kitchen.” Three times a month I prepare a meal for 10, and in return we have a hot, delicious meal Monday through Thursday ready for pickup on my way home from work. Think about it- dishes one night a week, nobody gets bored of the same old-same old, shopping for one meal once a week, and not running ragged trying to find a new recipe every night. 

Thursdays are usually my night to cook and last night we had a couple friends over so I needed a meal that could easily serve 12. That could only mean one thing, INDIAN!

Tikka Masala is a dinner group favorite, and friends usually ask for seconds. I love this recipe because it can serve an army and makes excellent leftovers. My friend Leona and I discover this keeper a few years ago and with a few extra ingredients, it gives the Bombay House a run for its money. I’ve also included a fabulous rice recipe and the two go hand in hand. Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala (4-6 people) 
(Note the pictures have larger portions as I was tripling the recipe. Also this recipe is fairly simple even though there are quite a few steps.)

The Chicken
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 chicken breast

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (If I'm feeling healthy I go low-fat)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced (when cooking for a lot I always buy the pre-minced garlic)
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger 

Chicken Prep
  1. Combine tumeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt in small bowl
  2. Rub both sides of chicken with spice mix
  3. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  4. Whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger cover and put in fridge

Masala Sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh serrano chile minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes 
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Sauce Prep
  1. Heat oil in large pot (best if you have a dutch oven) over medium heat until simmering. Add onion and stir frequently until light golden (6 to 8 minutes)
  2. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato pastes, and garam masala. Continue stirring until fragrant (3 minutes)
    Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cream and cilantro and return to simmer
Cooking Chicken

  1. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to about six inches from heating element and heat broiler (I tried the grill for the first time and it worked great)
  2. Use tongs to dip chicken into yogurt mixture and place on broiling pan. 
  3. Broil chicken until thickest part reads 160 degrees (about 15-20 minutes)
  4. Don't forget to flip chicken halfway through
  5. Cut chicken in to cubes and stir into sauce
  6. Stir in cilantro
Indian Rice Serves 4-6 people

  • 1 1/2 cup basmati rice or long-grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup peas
Rice Prep
  1. Rinse rice: Put rice in a bowl and add enough water to cover the top by about two inches. using hands gently swish the grains to release the starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat about 5 times or until the water is basically clear. 
  2. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil along with salt and pepper, cover
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted
  4. Add onion and saute until softened but not browned (3-4 minutes)
  5. Add rice and stir to coat grains with butter
  6. Cook until edges of rice grains begin to turn translucent (3 minutes)
  7. Stir hot seasoned water into rice and return to boil
  8. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed (20 minutes)
  9. Remove from heat and remove lid and place a kitchen towel folded in half over teh saucepan and replace lid
  10. Let stand for 10 minutes
  11. Add a cup of heated green peas to rice