Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mama Say Mama Sa Chicken Tikka Masala

Paula Leen is PROUD to bring you this delicious recipe of a LEENer version of that fabulous comfort food Chicken Tikka Masala with our Heavy Cream-less ('cause THAT heavy cream is what is gonna kill you y'all. That heavy cream... and natural causes...) so we present to you:

Mama Say Mama Sa The Ma-sa-la

1 Jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh Ginger Root, peeled (this can be done with a potato peeler) and roughly chopped
1/4 cup Garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tablespoon Water
1 cup Low-Fat Yogurt, divided
Juice of 1/4 Lemon
3 tablespoons Light Olive Oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne, divided
2 teaspoons Curry Powder, divided
1 pound Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 medium Red Onion, very finely diced
2 medium Tomatoes, diced (approximately 3 cups)
1/2 cup Skim Milk
Salt to taste

Whiz the Jalapeño, Ginger, Garlic, and Water in a food processor until roughly "pesto" consistency.

In a medium bowl, blend ONLY 1 tablespoon of the Jalapeño mixture (reserve the rest for later) with ONLY 1/2 cup Yogurt (reserve the rest of this for later too), Lemon Juice, and ONLY 1 tablespoon of the Olive Oil. Mix in ONLY 1/4 teaspoon of the Cayenne and ONLY 1 teaspoon of the Curry Powder. Add chunked chicken breasts and toss the coat thoroughly.

Let marinate overnight or at least 6 hours (If we mix it in the morning, then it’s ready for supper y'all!).

When your chicken is finished marinating, heat THE REMAINING 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat until soft and golden. Mix in 1 tablespoon of THE RESERVED Jalapeño mixture and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until mushy (use your stirring spoon to mash them to a pulp), about 10 minutes.

Stir in THE REMAINING 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne and 1 teaspoon Curry Powder.

While your tomato mixture cooks, prepare your chicken either in the oven or on the stovetop.

Oven method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thread chicken chunks on to skewers and place on a cookie sheet. Cook for 5 minutes on one side, then flip and cook on the other side for an additional 5 minutes or until just cooked through.

Stovetop method: Cook chicken in a frying pan over high heat, stirring frequently and until just cooked through.

Just before serving, thoroughly mix THE REMAINING 1/2 cup yogurt with a 1/2 cup Skim Milk in a large bowl. To prevent the yogurt mixture from curdling when it hits the hot tomato mixture, slowly add, by small spoonfuls, the tomato mixture to the yogurt mixture, thoroughly stirring with each spoonful. This will slowly bring the yogurt up to temperature. Keep going by small spoonful (don’t rush it or your dinner companions will hear a blood-curdling (get it? Curdling?) scream from the kitchen).

Once the tomato mixture is thoroughly mixed with the yogurt mixture (I swear it doesn't take that long), add the chicken. Stir to combine. Salt to taste.

Note: if the mixture isn’t piping hot enough for you, dump it all in a pan and heat. You’ve vanquished the curdling demons at this point and the sauce should hold together.

Serves 4 good portions or 3 particularly hungry portions or 1 starving drag queen.

"I'm not a drag queen, I'm a TAG queen!
Ooh, look: that Tadashi dress is on sale!"
-Paula Leen