Today was my final cooking practical at Le Cordon Bleu for my Cuisine Across Cultures class. Starting Monday I will start my last class of culinary school. I can’t believe how fast it has gone by, but that’s a story for another day. Back to the practical.
For our assignment each student in the class drew a card which had a different ethnic food. There was Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Cajun and drumroll…. Indian. I drew Indian. Now I was excited and anxious at the same time when I drew Indian, I am not as familiar with Indian cuisine as I am of other cuisines; I mean imagine if I had drawn Italian.
Anyways, we were to come up with a recipe and memorize it. Then today we had to fabricate a chicken and use that chicken to produce our dish without a recipe. In thinking of Indian food and having to incorporate chicken I immediately knew I wanted to do a chicken tikka masala along with homemade naan.
I’ve never made this dish before today and I have to admit, I had more fun cooking it than I thought I would.
If you have never made Indian food from scratch I highly recommend you make this. I was pleasantly surprised and I know you will be too.
3-4 chicken breasts, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 onion- diced, 4 cloves garlic- minced, 1 small chunk ginger (about 1 inch minced,) 28 oz diced tomatoes, 1 cup cream, basmati rice, 1 cup peas
Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with some kosher salt. Next sprinkle them on both sides with some coriander and cumin. Then coat the chicken breasts completely with the plain yogurt. Grill the chicken breast about 4 minutes each side. You could also broil this in the oven.
In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and sauté until they are slightly browned. As the onions cook, mince your garlic. Next, cut off the outer skin and mince or grate a 1 by 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions. Also throw in about 1 tablespoon of salt.
Next you are going to add about 3 tablespoons Garam Masala spice. Then add your can of diced tomatoes. Continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add about 1 tablespoon sugar. Let this mixture simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.
Cook 2 cups Basmati rice, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon Ground Turmeric in 4 cups water. Make sure that you use Basmati rice. Once cooked add your peas.
After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a little bit, add in the 1 ½ cups of heavy cream. Now, chop up your chicken breasts into chunks and stir them into the Tikka Masala sauce. A handful of chopped fresh cilantro is a nice addition if you like cilantro. Serve the rice with the Chicken Tikka Masala over top. Make sure to have some Nann bread handy, too.
Stay tuned for the garlic naan bread I made to go with the Chicken Tikka Masala!