Week 51: Chicken Tikka (sort of)

So this week is a bit of double celebration – I’ve been making a new recipe pretty much every week for the last year (I started on Facebook then moved here later), and this week I had my 4000th viewer… They were probably disappointed that their search for “Nigella Breast” got my schnitzelly ravings.

This cheeky recipe caught me unawares, I was so busy being smug that I already had all the ingredients in the cupboard I didn’t notice that it needs to marinate overnight. So I started it off and then my lover whipped up an omelette.

This recipe comes from the Cupboard Love book, but is inspired by Vivek Singh’s Tikka recipe in ‘The Cinnamon Club Cookbook’ (which I’ve got my eye out for), and is a recipe I’ve had my eye on for most of the last year. What always worried me was having to make the masala, but I decided this time I would do without it.

To make Tikka for two you will need 2 boneless chicken breasts (book says skin on, but I could only get them skin off), half tsp salt, half tsp black pepper, 2 tbs lemon juice, 2cm fresh ginger (finely chopped), 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped), half tsp cumin seeds, half tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tbs yoghurt and 2 tbs olive oil.

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Firstly, with your trusty pestle and mortar grind up the cumin and coriander seeds, not too finely but it will smell amazing! Then chop up the garlic and ginger and add to the crushed seeds, then add the paprika.

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Pierce the chicken a few times and rub it all over with the salt and pepper. Toss into a bowl with the lemon juice, then add the crushed seeds, herbs, garlic and ginger, and then the olive oil and yoghurt and mix together with the chicken.  Cover the bowl and chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably over night.

When you’re ready to cook it crank your oven up as high as it will go, and heat a griddle to a medium high heat.  Line a roasting tin with parchment. Fry the chicken skin side down for 3 minutes, then the other side for 2 minutes (season the skin side with some extra salt). Any of the marinade left on the chicken falls off into the pan.

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Transfer the chicken to the tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.  Rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve with rice and chutney.

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It was delicious. I’m not just saying that. I loved the dry-ness of it too, I’m not the biggest fan of masala sauce so this was ideal. It went really well with the brown rice and some mango chutney I fould in the cupboard.

Next week a veritable feast for week 52. Hurrah!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

cupboard love

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