Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala with Coconut Rice

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There are few foods in this world as comforting as a hot, steaming, fragrant plate of chicken tikka masala. But that’s just like, my opinion, man. I love how it makes my kitchen smell, I love eating it, and I love how easy it is to make at home. That’s enough talk, right?

Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala

Adapted from Once Upon a Chef

Special Equipment

  • A grill
  • A set of metal skewers

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 2 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup whole fat greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

For the Sauce

  • 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, I didn’t have any, hah)

For the Coconut Rice

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup long grain basmati rice
  • pinch of kosher salt

Method

  1. Mix together the yogurt and the spices for the chicken, transfer to a large zip top bag and add the chicken. Mush it around and set it aside for at least an hour, overnight if you do it ahead or forget about it.
  2. Heat up the grill. Start skewering the chicken. Pack it tighter than you think you should; we’re not making kebabs, we’re making tikka. Grill these on each side for a few minutes. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Time for the sauce. Heat up a large heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high. Melt the butter and add the onion, cooking until translucent, then add the ginger and the spices and cook a minute more. Yeah, now it’s smelling awesome, isn’t it? Add the tomato paste and mix it around as best you can. Cook it for a minute and add the tomato sauce. Stir it and let it come to a bubbling simmer, turning down the heat if needed.
  4. Time for the rice. You know how to make rice, right? We just substitute coconut milk for the water. That’s it. Super simple but the taste is unbelievable. Throw a pinch of salt in there, awesome, done.
  5. Back to the sauce. Add in the heavy cream, stirring gently. It’ll turn a nice, rich rusty color. Remove the chicken from the skewers and send them for a swim in the sauce. Serve with the coconut rice you just made and top with cilantro, if you like that sort of thing.
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