Chicken Tikka Masala

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Pioneer Woman recipe is a little more complicated than most of my recipes, but after hearing glowing reports from a friend  I couldn't wait to give it a try.  I started to get nervous while I made it, since I had never even used half of the spices before (thank goodness they were 50%-off that week), but man oh man, was I glad I stuck with it.  It was full of flavor, had a lovely presentation, came together easier than I expected, and pleased the munchkins too.   This is definitely going on the "I'm trying to impress someone" recipe list!  Yum, yum!

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients: 

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt, to taste
ground coriander, to taste
cumin, to taste
1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbs. butter
1 large yellow onion (I used red, which tasted fine, but gave the sauce an off-color)
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbs. salt
1 piece (2-inches) fresh ginger, grated or minced finely
3 Tbs. garam masala (a spice that can be easily found in most well-stocked grocery stores or here's a recipe for a homemade version)
1 cans (28-oz.) crushed tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes, but would have preferred the smoother texture of crushed)
1 Tbs. sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, diced (optional)

2 cups basmati rice (no substitutions)
4 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. ground turmeric
4 cups water
1 cup frozen peas

DIRECTIONS:  To a rice cooker, add 2 cups basmati rice, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, and 4 cups of water.  Cover, turn your rice cooker on and walk away.  Or if you're like me and don't have a rice cooker, saute the dry rice in the butter until lightly browned,
then add the rest of the ingredients (except the frozen peas), cover and cook as directed. 

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.

Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes each side.  Watch carefully so as not to totally char the chicken.  (I just grilled my chicken outside instead of in the oven).  It should have slightly blackened edges.

Remove from oven (or grill).  Chop up into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

Next dice one large onion.  In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat.  Toss in the onions and saute until they are slightly browned.  As the onions cook, mince your garlic.  Next, cut off the outer skin and mince or grate a 1 x 2-inch piece of fresh ginger.  Add the garlic and ginger to the onions.  Then add about 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of Garam Masala spice and if desired, the chopped serrano pepper.

Next add the can of crushed or diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon sugar, while you continue to stir.  Let the mixture simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. 

After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer, stir in the 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream and chopped chicken breasts.  Stir well and add in the chopped cilantro.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes. 

When rice is done, stir in the frozen peas.  The heat will cook them just perfectly.  It tastes great and adds a nice dash of color. 

Serve the rice with the Chicken Tikka Masala sauce over top.  Serve warm with Naan bread.  Enjoy! 


Menu for 3/29 to 4/4

Sunday, March 28, 2010

MENU FOR 3/29 to 4/4

Monday--Buttermilk Pecan Waffles (birthday breakfast for daughter)
Ranch Mac & Cheese
Strawberry cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting (for daughter's birthday)

Tuesday--Ranchero Chicken Crostada

Wednesday--Tomatillo Chicken Chili

Thursday--Makeover Chicken Crescents (my kids' favorite meal of all-time)

Friday--Bruschetta Pizza
Gingersnaps (by request of a friend)

Saturday--Grilled hamburgers
Chips with Avocado Smash

Easter Sunday-- Chicken Cordon Blue (our traditional Easter dinner)
Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
Lemon Meringue Pie (also an Easter tradition)

Check out Organizing Junkie for lots more yummy menu ideas!


Tomatillo Chicken Chili

Friday, March 26, 2010

This recipe is from my amazing sister-in-law Mika.  She has always been a much better cook than me, but still has yet to post a recipe here on Recipe Shoebox.  Of course I'm not complaining or anything, since she's a tad bit busy with her 4 kids three and under (yes, there's a set of twins in there).   She sent me this recipe raving about how her girls just devoured it and thought we should try it out too.  Not surprisingly, it did not disappoint.    It came together fairly quickly and it was not as spicy as you might think with the jalapeno and green chilies in there.  In the end my kids were as big fans as hers were.  Thanks Mika!  
 Click here for printable recipe

The ingredients:
 (onion and garlic not pictured)

1 can (11-ounce) tomatillos (or 6-7 fresh tomatillos, with husks removed), quartered
1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cans (4-1/2-ounces each) diced green chilies
4 Tbs. vegetable oil (divided)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
2 cans (15-oz. each) navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup orzo
4 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. salt
Garnishments (as desired): crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:     (Fresh tomatillos should be easy to find in the produce sections of a well-stocked grocery store.  They look like small green tomatoes with a brownish papery husk.  Remove the husk before cooking with them.)
In a blender or food processor,combine the quartered tomatillos, jalapeno halves, cilantro, and diced green chilies.  Blend until thick and smooth--about 1 minute.  Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the diced chicken in 2 Tablespoons of oil.  Cook until brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large soup pot, sauté the diced onions in 2 Tablespoons of oil until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic, sauté 1 minute.  Then add remaining ingredients--cumin, coriander, chili powder, beans, orzo, water, bouillon, and salt.  Add blended tomatillo mixture and chicken.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.  Stirring frequently to ensure orzo does not stick to bottom of pan, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until orzo is done.  Serve hot with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream if desired.  Makes 6 hearty servings.  Enjoy! 


Quick Chicken Mole with Rice

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This recipe I found in a Taste of Home magazine was super quick and easy to make and a bit different than our normal fare. The first time I made it, it was a bit too spicy for a couple of the younger ones, but after I cut the chipotle pepper in half and used a mild salsa instead of medium it was fine.  The kids were fascinated by the fact it had cocoa in it and they all eagerly devoured their servings of the milder version.  Of course, I conveniently forgot to mention that it was also healthy for them and my 12-year-old daughter begs me at least weekly to make it again soon! 

Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:
1-1/2 cups chunky salsa
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. unsalted peanuts, divided (I only had salted peanuts)
chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I only used 1/2 pepper)
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. baking  cocoa
1-lb. chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. olive oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro

Directions:  In a food processor, combine salsa, 1/4 cup peanuts, chipotle pepper, lime juice, and cocoa; cover and process until blended.

In a skillet, cook chicken in oil over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add broth and salsa mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve over rice; sprinkle with cilantro and remaining nuts.  Enjoy!  


Whole-Grain Stuffed French Toast

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's always a challenge finding good, wholesome foods that my family will eat.  This recipe from the Food Network magazine was just the right balance of whole grain, low-sugar goodness for me and enough crunch and citrus flavor to please the kids.  With just a light sprinkle of powdered sugar over the top, the kids devoured these savory stuffed French toasts without a drop of syrup.   I also liked that they were hearty enough to last them all the way to impossible feat with a bowl of cereal. 

Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:
8 slices whole-grain bread
4 Tbs. light cream cheese (I didn't measure. See note below.)
4 Tbs. low-sugar orange marmalade (I didn't measure)
2 large eggs
egg whites
Zest and juice of one orange (about 1/3 cup of orange juice)
1-1/2 cups bran flakes cereal
1-2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1-2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. powdered sugar

Directions:  Spread 4 bread slices with cream cheese and the other 2 slices with the orange marmalade (NOTE:  I didn't measure.  I just spread a generous layer of each until it looked good).  Combine to make 4 sandwiches.  
Whisk the whole eggs, egg whites, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla in shallow bowl.  Place the bran flakes in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pins or your hands.  Pour the crumbs onto a plate.  Dip both sides of each sandwich in the egg mixture, 

then in the crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs onto the bread.  

Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Add the sandwiches in batches and cook until the outsides are golden and crispy and the insides are melted (about 3-4 minutes per side).  Add more oil and butter as needed.  

Slice the French toast sandwiches into triangles.  Cream cheese filling will be quite hot, so let cool slightly before serving.  Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.  Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy!  


Menu for 3/22 - 3/28

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This menu is dedicated to my sister Kristina, who calls me at least twice a week to ask me what we're having for dinner. :)

Monday--Award Winning Chili (the best chili recipe ever), Lion House Corn Bread
Tuesday--Egg Salad Sandwiches
Wednesday--Potato Soup with Bread Bowls
Thursday--BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing
Friday--White Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Onions (for the adults), Personal Pizzas made on sandwich thins (for the kids--coming soon)
Saturday--Whole-Grain Stuffed French Toast
Leftovers (for dinner)
Sunday-- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas (still perfecting)

Potato Soup with Bread Bowls
(it's normally not green, this was just our St. Patrick's version from last year)

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

White Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Onions

Lion House Corn Bread

Whole-Grain Stuffed French Toast (coming soon)

Be sure to go check out Laura's blog for lots more menu ideas.


Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I found the recipe for this garlicky dish over at Kara's Kitchen Creations, which is one of my favorite places to find new recipes.   The garlic and Parmesan cheese gave it its amazing flavor and the pasta and chicken made it instantly likable to the kids, despite the presence of the green spinach.  This is an easy-to-make main dish that is definitely staying in our keeper files!  
  Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:

6 Tbs. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 box (1-lb) penne pasta
5-oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1 Tbs. dried basil (or 1/2 cup fresh)
6 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in  a small glass bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute to blend flavors.

Pour about 1 tablespoon of the flavored oil in a skillet.  Salt and pepper chicken and cook in the oil over medium high heat until chicken is browned and juices run clear.

Add the chopped and spinach and saute with the cooked chicken for 1 minute (or until just barely wilted) and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package; drain well.  Add cooked chicken/spinach to pasta, along with basil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.  Then stir in the remainder of the flavored olive oil.

Toss lightly until all ingredients are well-combined.  Serve immediately.

Makes about 6 servings.  Enjoy!

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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