Chicken So Hot It’ll Fry Your Brain

As promised, the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe:


    1 cup yogurt
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
    3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
    4 long skewers
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons paprika
    3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


      1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

      2. Preheat a grill for high heat.

      3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

      4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Production Notes: I surfed the web for a couple different Chicken Tikka Masala recipes as Godzilla had previously informed me that there are dozens of CTM recipe variations. This one seemed the easiest so I went with it, encountering the following variations:

Fresh ginger: Ummm…I had one in the shopping cart when I was tooling around the store but when I got home there was no ginger to be found. There was also no ginger on my receipt and in fact I don’t remember actually putting the ginger on the check-out conveyer. I think I managed to simultaneously steal a chunk of fresh ginger and then litter when I left it in the cart. Dang. Thus I put in 1 tsp of powdered ginger.

Yogurt…or the marinade in general: I was a little fast and loose with the yogurt because I was too lazy to get a measuring cup out. Also, I decided that half a lemon contained exactly 1 TBL of juice. Again with the lazy. I did measure out all the spices right and next time I’m going to cut the salt back by half. I also marinated the chicken for double the recommended length of any recipe I had come across…basically the chicken went in Saturday and was cooked up Monday evening.

Soak the skewers before grilling, they have a better chance of not catching on FIRE when you grill the chicken. That’s actually a good hint for whenever you are using wooden skewers.

I doubled the sauce but not the salt, I went with just 1 tsp instead of the prescribed 3.

TheMan hates cilantro, there was no Italian evil.

I only chopped up one jalapeno because I only had one jalapeno in my garden ready for eatin. I left the seeds in though for extra spiciness. I was hoping that it might count as two (doubled the sauce) if I left the seeds in. Or something. Moving on!

We served the Chicken Tikka Marsala over couscous which was mighty tasty. The CTM was also a lot less spicy than I thought it would be given that the marinaid used 2 tsp of cayenne pepper. Yow! It has a nice burn but it really won’t fry your brain. I bet I could have added the second jalapeno and it would still be OK. You know, if I had a second jalapeno to chop up. I would definitely cut the salt in the marinaid in half and keep the sauce salt down to 1 or 1.5 tsp.

Random Other Tuesday Things: My delete key keeps popping off. It’s driving me nuts.

2007: Dammmned Delete key.

2006: JSFR: Pokka Oolong Tea

2005: Hey! Aren’t husbands supposed to be psychic? I thought I read that somewhere in the Wife’s handbook.

2004: Brain burning, no entry.

2003: You go girl/guy/gender neutral noun…enable that traffic, let it flow in a bi-directional fashion the way god intended it to.

3 Responses to “Chicken So Hot It’ll Fry Your Brain”

  1. momq Says:

    sounds tasty but I’d add that ginger and leave out the peppers as I don’t want my mouth to peel and leave. Other than that I would fool around with the sauce to make it skinnier – Do love the cream but would yogurt work here too?

  2. Kevin Says:

    That would probably blast my mouth apart.

  3. Boo Says:

    Oooo! Good thought MomQ. We’ll try the yogurt sub next time (along with the diminished salt). The peppahs stay though, mmmm spiCAY!

    Yeah, I’m afraid that you would have a big ol’ crater where your mouth used to be Kevin. TheMan declared it teh tasty in terms of the spice, which probably puts the dish about 4 or 5 levels beyond your food defcon 1.

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