Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala

I know that everyone thinks they have the “Best” Chicken Tikka Masala recipe but most of these food bloggers are cutting corners and they’re not honoring the full recipe.  Simple and easy recipes usually means that your not getting all of the flavor you could be enjoying if you put in just a little more love and finesse.  There are a ton of ingredients in this recipe.  In fact, probably the most I’ve ever published to date but after enjoying some Authentic Indian cuisine, Valentines Day, I decided this wasn’t a recipe I was going to cheat.  So I got to work on it, immediately, and I shopped around until I found all of the ingredients I needed to make the Best Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala Seasoning

The most common ingredient in Chicken Tikka Masala is Garam Masala.  Though, you can buy it as one seasoning, it’s really a combination of several other ingredients indigenous to India.  Ironically, though, Chicken Tikka comes from India, the Masala recipe was created in England for locals that preferred a gravy with their Chicken Tikka and rice.  So if you put the two together, you now have Chicken Tikka Masala and they both have the Garam Masala seasoning in them.

Other Ingredients in this recipe include Cardamom powder, which I have seen used as green and black seeds in recipes that use a blender and a sieve to strain the sauce.  Also Fenugreek Leaves are usually used but I could only find the powder.  I think everything else is more commonly known, like Cumin, Tumeric, Red Chili Powder(which shouldn’t be taken lightly), Coriander, Cinnamon and Clove.
Chicken Tikka Masala

The Chicken Tikka Masala Marinade

In the video tutorial, I show you how to make the Chicken Tikka Masala Marinade and this can be used the exact same way to prepare either chicken or shrimp.  Again, the Garam Masala is used for marinating but the easiest way to add in all of the other ingredients is to just mix them altogether from the start, then add spoon fulls to both the marinade and the Masala, separately.  The Seasoning recipe below provides you with enough spice to have a little left over, which is great on steaks, roasts and seafood.  Also, the marinade calls for Curd or plain Yogurt.  Use which ever is available to you.  I went deep with it and bought Greek.  On a side note, instead of Heavy Whipping Cream, I also bought Crema or Table Cream from the Mexican Food section in my dairy.

If you’re interested in trying my Plain or Garlic Naan recipe, to go along with this dish, I highly recommend it.  I also make a mean Curry Chicken Salad!

Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredients:

1 lbs Chicken or Shrimp

1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Ginger, chopped
1/4 cup Curd or Plain Yogurt
1 cup Table Cream or Heavy Whipping
4 cups Tomato Puree
1/2 Red Onion Chopped
1 bunch Coriander Leaves, chopped
1 Lemon, squeezed
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil, for cooking
1/2 tsp Salt

Seasoning
2 tbsp Garam Masala
1 to 2 tbsp Red Chili Powder, to taste(spicy)
2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Tumeric Powder
2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Fenugreek Powder or Leaves(preferred)
1 tbsp Cardamom Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tsp Clove, ground

Salt and Pepper to Taste

I use half of the garlic and ginger, all of the curd/yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and 2 heaping tbsp’s of the seasoning mix to marinade the chicken or shrimp. I use approximately 4 heaping tbsp of the seasoning mix for the sauce but you need to play that by ear and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Just be sure to watch the short video tutorial so that you can see exactly how to make this Chicken Tikka Masala.

Chicken Stock Broth

Chicken Stock

Is Chicken Stock Broth?

Technically Chicken Stock and Broth aren’t the same thing, though, they basically have all of the same ingredients.  Stock, however, is more concentrated and thicker because of the added bones and the cooked down gelatin secreted from them and Broth usually gets it’s flavor from adding meat instead.  So to be clear, Stock is made using cooked bones, broth has no bones and is made by using the meat only, instead.  Various herbs, seasonings and vegetables can be added to each to flavor them up but other than that there virtually isn’t any other difference.  These recipes are usually cooked an average of 3 to 4 hours but some recipes claim they can be done in as little as 30 minutes and as crazy as 12.  The truth is there is no absolute way of doing it as long as the desired effect is reached.  My recipe is called a Chicken Stock Broth because I use the tips from chicken wings.  This way the tips, most would throw in the trash, don’t go to waste.  And, because there is such a small amount of bone in them, it gives a nice happy medium base, between a Stock and a Broth, with plenty of flavor for any recipe that calls for Stock or Broth.

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock Bones

Most restaurants will use raw Chicken Carcass’s for their Chicken Stock.  But, unless you’re carving up your own boneless breasts and chicken thighs, they’re a little hard to come by.  Though Restaurants purchase these frozen, by the case, you most likely won’t be able to find them at your grocery store.  Though, a good butcher shop should be able to sell them to you, a good alternative is the wings.  Most recipes will suggest that to you but I say, “humbug!”  Wings are spendy and cost a lot more per pound than breast meat or chicken legs and thighs.  So save the wings for other recipes and just use the tips.  Wing tips have enough bone, meat and skin on them to flavor up and color any good Stock.  I personally just add them to a zip lock back and store them in the freezer until I need to make some.

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock Herbs and Seasonings

A good Chicken Stock or Broth should have these basic ingredients; Onion, Parsley, Thyme, Bay Leaves and Garlic.  You go well over and beyond these or even cut back to the minimum Onion but these are the good makings for a good soup base or any other recipe that calls for Stalk or Broth.  The addition of vegetables will make it more hearty, so you end up with more of Vegetable/Chicken Broth; which is great because it adds more flavor.  Carrots, Celery and Leak are most commonly used; even Tomatoes, at times.  But if you want to add some heat you can throw in all kinds of different peppers and other spices.  In Asian cooking, it’s real common to crush ginger root and add that right along with the onion.

Chicken Stock

I mentioned that a good stalk is generally cooked for several hours and because of this there tends to be a lot of reduction in the stock.  But don’t hesitate to add more water and cook longer if you’re wanting or needing more Chicken Stock.  The picture below is my stock at the earliest stage of the process with all of the basic ingredients added that I’ve included in the list below.  Feel free to add anything else to this recipe.

Chicken Stock

Be sure to watch this short Chicken Stock Video tutorial below and I’ll show you just how easy this is to make your self.  Also be sure to look into any of my Cajun Recipes if you’re celebrating the upcoming Mardi Gras Holiday season.

Chicken Stock Broth Ingredients:

3 qt Water, approximately
1 lbs Chicken Bones, raw
1 Onion, cut in half
1/2 bunch Parsley
2 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
2 Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste, optional

This Chicken Stock Broth can last 3 to 4 days in your refrigerator.

Dirty Rice – Cajun Style Pork Fried Rice

Dirty Rice

The Best Dirty Rice, Ever!

I just can’t say enough about this Dirty Rice recipe.  I’m telling you, truly, it’s the best version I’ve ever had and I’m not just saying that because it’s my recipe.  My wife and I just kept going back for seconds, thirds and fourths.  Okay, there was nothing left when we got done eating and my kids loved it too.  Now that’s saying something because this recipe has liver in it.  It’s true, I designed this recipe to be more family friendly and than the traditional spicy recipes but don’t let that steer you away from trying it.  Some chopped peppers and a dash of Cayenne will quickly put you back in business, if you like it hot, and I guarantee this recipe will be at the top of your list of rice recipes, from here on out.

Dirty Rice

Traditional Dirty Rice

Most Dirty Rice recipes have a kick to them.  This means peppers and spice.  I avoid both in this version for several reasons.  First, because it makes it more family friendly and, second, because it can easily be added to this recipe, with out changing a thing, if you prefer it.  And, third, this version is absolutely amazing.

I mentioned before that I don’t use peppers in this recipe.  I add sweet peas instead and as an alternative to using Old Bay or something even spicier, like “Slap Ya Mama”, I use Knorr Beef Bouillon.  Now that’s not to say that any beef bouillon will work, because I’m not sure that it will.  I just know that Knorr is uniquely seasoned and balanced to make this Dirty Rice perfect.  In my opinion, it’s a lot like Ramen Noodle season packs or the seasoning pack found in a box of Rice-A-Roni.  So know that I’m not advertising for Knorr, I just know that it just works wonders in this dish.

Also, be sure to check out my Cajun Stuffed Peppers, my Jambalaya and both my How to make Boudin and my Boudin Balls recipes.

Dirty Rice Ingredients:

2 cups Rice, uncooked
4 cups Water
8 oz Ground Pork
4 oz Chicken Liver
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Fresh Parsely, chopped
1 Celery Stick, chopped
1 Cup Peas
2 tbsp Knorr Beef Bouilion
1 Stick Butter

Be sure to watch the short video tutorial for this Dirty Rice recipe and I’ll show you exactly how to make it.