Chicken Tikka Masala

Obsessed! I have eaten this three times in the last three weeks. If I were one of those super organized meal planner types this would be on the rotation. Alex told me he could eat it once a week (and we have).

You are going to need a little time to make this. It cooks for about an hour BUT you don’t have to stand at the stove babysitting it.

Never made Indian food before? This is a good starter dish. Everything besides the garam masala (which you can make with supermarket spices) can be found at any grocery store. Easy!

Chicken Tikka Masala

What is chicken tikka masala? It is little bits of chicken that have been marinated in yogurt and spices then roasted and served in a spicy and creamy tomato gravy over basmati rice. So good! Your home will smell wonderful as this simmers away. I added some lightly fried paneer (non-melting Indian cheese) to my batch but you could leave it out.

I love supporting local ethnic grocery stores. There is always something new to me that I discover in these little shops. I bought everything besides the chicken at Namaste Plaza in Omaha. If you’re local or in the Omaha area check them out!

You can easily adjust the spiciness by adding less cayenne. The first time I made it I added closer to 1 teaspoon and I thought it was great, however, the kiddos did complain about it being “too spicy”. The next time I made it I added about 1/2 teaspoon and it was a tiny bit spicy but not too much for the kiddos. Add more or less according to your preferences.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves: 4-6 Cook Time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on spice preference
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 cup plain yogurt
2-3 pounds chicken breast, cut into large chunks

for the masala
2 tablespoon ghee (or butter)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 medium size tomatoes, chopped (or 2-15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes)
3 whole green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Combine the turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, salt, and cayenne to make a spice blend; divide the spice blend in half.
2. Combine half of the spice blend with the garlic, ginger, yogurt, and chicken in a ziplock bag, close bag and massage marinade into chicken. Place in fridge marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until soft about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes, cardamon, white pepper, and remaining spices. Reduce to low heat and simmer until thickens and becomes dark for about 40 minutes.
4. While sauce is simmering skewer the chicken and grill until cooked through or place on parchment lined baking sheet and cook under the broiler for 5 minutes per side. Make sure not to over char the chicken.
5. Once sauce has deepened in color, transfer to blender, and blend until smooth. Work in batches if needed. Strain through mesh strainer to remove cardamom shells and tomato skins.
6. Stir in cream and return to a slow simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Salt if needed.
7. Stir in chicken and cilantro for a minute or two before serving over rice.

Posted in Gluten Free, Main Dishes | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

Last week we had at least four consecutive days of gloom and doom. The sunshine must have been on spring break throwing back the margs because she forgot to show herself for at least four consecutive days. I am not sure how those that live in dreary, rainy, cloudy climates can manage. I need to see the sunshine on a regular basis to keep me from going insane.

Then Thursday we got snow. Of course. I’ve been a Midwestern girl all my life so snow in April isn’t a shocker. Seeing the snow flying actually made it smile. Probably because I was well on my way to going insane. The promise of gorgeous temperatures arriving in time for the weekend helped me get through the April snow shower.

When the weather is all gloom and doom and I haven’t washed my hair in many days, the motivation to cook an elaborate meal is nil. Rotisserie chicken to the rescue!

Lemon Chicken Soup

Snow + soup go together like PB + J but I knew I didn’t want regular chicken noodle soup. I springified (new word!) this soup with a big squeeze of lemon juice. The addition of the lemon juice gives it a fresh new flavor. Perfect for a gray rainy Spring day.

This soup is ready to eat in less that 20 minutes since I took a short cut by using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Quick and easy and my new favorite Spring soup! A generous squeeze of lemon juice makes this soup anything but basic.

Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 6 Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium size carrots, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 shallots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt, if needed
2 cups broken noodles (I used linguine and fettuccine)
2 cups shredded chicken (I used Rotisserie)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 large lemon, juiced (if small squeeze one lemon)

In a large stock pot over medium heat sauté carrots, celery, and shallots in oil for about 5 minutes until veggies have started to soften.
Add in garlic and sauté for another minute
Pour in 8 cups stock and season with salt if needed, bring to boil over high heat
Stir in broken noodles and cook for about 10 minutes until al dente
Stir in chicken, white pepper, and parsley. Cook for 2-3 minutes
Squeeze in lemon juice before serving

Posted in Soups | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Salad

Hello! I know it has been awhile since I’ve popped in to say “hi.” Man has life been crazy busy lately. Ballet, soccer, swimming lessons, PTA, converting recipes for my new website (YAY!), and a quick room make over for my daughters has occupied all of my time.

But I have been busy cooking, because hey my family still needs to eat! As we head into Spring the schedules seems to be jammed packed with activities. You may not think you have time to cook anything but I am here today to help.

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Salad Sandwich -Homemade Paleo Mayo makes it the best!

Pop by the store on your way home and pick up a rotisserie chicken or roast your own if you have the time and get ready for a quick chicken salad sandwich that is good any time of day.

Ever since I learned how to make my own mayo I’ve kind of been in to it. Like dreaming about new mayo combos constantly. PLEASE MAKE YOUR OWN MAYO FOR THIS SANDWICH. I am sorry to yell at you but seriously the sun dried tomato mayo is so fab.

Blend up some oil packed sun dried tomatoes in about 1/2 cup -3/4 cup of the homemade mayo. Stir that into rotisserie chicken meat you picked clean, some diced celery, and fresh basil. TA-DA a super fab sandwich ready in 20 minutes or less.

I served mine on some croissants I picked up from the grocery store but little tea rolls would be great too.

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich

1 rotisserie chicken, all meat pulled off, (I had about 3-3 1/2 cups of meat) save carcass to boil for stock
1/2 cup -3/4 cup homemade mayo (recipe below)
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes (mine were packed in oil)
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup basil, julienned

for the mayo
1 egg
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch of salt
1-1/4 cup light tasting olive oil, divided

In blender add egg, lemon juice, mustard powder, salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil
Place lid on blender and turn to high
With blender running slowly SLOWLY drizzle in the remaining 1 cup of olive oil (this should take a couple minutes)
Stop the blender once all the olive oil has been added and the mayo is creamy
Remove to a glass storage container and refrigerate (can use right away if you want)

Place 1/2-3/4 cup mayo in blender and combine with sun dried tomatoes until tomatoes have been combined
Place chicken, celery, basil, and sun dried tomato mayo in bowl and stir until well combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve


Posted in Lunch | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Irish Cream

Next Tuesday marks the day where everyone is Irish for the day. Barrels of Guinness will be consumed and every where you look people will be wearing green. Every Ginger will be assumed to be truly Irish. :) And crappy American bars will dye their American beer green *shudder*. Seriously just drink the Guinness for a night. You might actually like it! 

Irish Cream

For those of you that don’t like beer might I recommend Irish cream? How about homemade Irish cream? It is easy to make. Grab a bottle of Jameson while you’re out shopping this weekend and mix yourself up a batch. Serve it over ice as soon as you make it! Cheers! Be smart and be safe guys!

Irish Cream

1-1/4 cup Jameson whiskey
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder

In a large bowl whisk everything together until combined.
Using a funnel pour the mixed liquid into a bottle.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice.

Posted in Beverage | Tagged as: , , , , , , | 5 Comments
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