Laura Rennie

Laura’s Chicken Tikka Masala

Laura R.Comment
This is our very favorite meal.

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes—you absolutely need to make this. In the words of my husband, "I could eat this every day.

I’ve tried making tikka masala in the crockpot and it’s just not as good as this. Trust me.

A few things to note:

Before diving into this incredible recipe, you will need to marinate the chicken for at least one hour (though the longer the better). I used a cast iron skillet to cook the chicken (though any large heavy-bottomed skillet would work just as well), and I do it in two batches. It doesnt take long.

*Garam masala is cheaper when purchased from an international market or Amazon, but it is available at most grocery stores.

Oh, and don't forget to buy naan! We like the "original" best. Your grocery store should have it in the bakery section, and it probably comes in a pack of two. I recommend getting four to six pieces of naan, depending on how many servings you plan to get out of the recipe. We got four generous servings out of it (we really pig out on this stuff), but you could get six servings if you added rice and/or a side dish. 

Side dish option: we love roasted cauliflower alongside this chicken. I drizzle half a head of chopped cauliflower with a Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with generous amounts of turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes. I like to get a bit of char on the cauliflower. (I love it so much I stand over the pan and eat several pieces before serving dinner.)

Have I mentioned how good this is? I promise it's not hard at ALL. Okay, let's get to the recipe already! 

Laura’s Chicken Tikka Masala
serves: 4 generous portions
active time: 10 minutes to prepare chicken and marinade, 20 minutes to make the chicken and sauce
total time, start to finish: at least 1 hour, 30 minutes 

For the marinade:
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp powdered ginger
  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

For the sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 cup jarred jalapeño slices (or one finely chopped jalapeño pepper)
  • 2 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • optional: fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

  • naan
1Combine the marinade ingredients and let sit in the fridge for at least one hour.
2. Once the chicken is marinated, lightly oil a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet and turn to medium heat.
3. Place ghee or butter in a large pot and turn to medium low. It needs to be big enough to hold the sauce and the chicken together at the end.
4Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and set a timer for 4 minutes. Turn attention back to the pot.
5Add garlic and jalapeño to the melted ghee/butter in the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally, for at least one minute.
6. Add garam masala, paprika, salt and pepper to the pot, stir well.
7. Add tomato sauce and heavy cream to the pot, stir well and simmer on low heat. To get it to a simmer I turned up the heat for a minute until the sauce bubbled, and then I slowly turned it to low. You want it to still bubble slightly, but not so much that it's popping out of the pan.
8. Once the chicken has cooked for 4 minutes, flip the pieces and cook for 4 more minutes.
9. Youll know the chicken is done if it breaks easily with a spatula. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the first batch of chicken to the sauce. 
10. Cook the second batch of chicken the same way and then add to the sauce, which should continue to be cooking over low heat.
11. Warm naan as the package directs. 
12. Turn off the stove and stovetop and sprinkle the dished-out portions of chicken with cilantro. Serve with warmed naan. 

don’t mind my crappy cell phone pic and my splotchy stovetop...