Quick Chicken Tikka
Chicken Tikka in one form or another is, of course, enormously popular and it's easy to see why this recipe hits the spot; it is what it says it is: quick. There are, of course, quite a few ingredients, but provided you have the spices in stock and are efficient enough to keep them all together (I'm not unfortunately), then this can be put together in a flash. I particularly like cooking things which can be prepared early in the day and need minimum attention at the time when we prefer to relax with something cold, preferably with ice. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours if you can (and it will still be perfectly good if you can't), best of all, over night. It may be cooked in a griddle pan, frying pan, on a barbecue or in the oven.
8 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
150g full fat plain yoghurt
1 large tbsp. root ginger, grated
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. paprika
Three-quarters tsp. cayenne (more to taste)
1 large tsp. garam masala
2cm squeeze tomato puree (or from a jar)
Juice of half a lemon or lime
1 tbsp. oil
Put all the ingredients apart from the chicken into a large bowl and stir together to combine
Halve the thigh fillets and add them to the marinade, making sure they are well covered. Leave to absorb the flavours for as long as possible.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook in a griddle pan or frying pan for 5 minutes, turn the pieces over and cook for a further 5 minutes. The chicken may also be cooked in the oven
Serve with a simple Mint and Yoghurt Chutney: Add chopped lots of fresh mint, seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice to thick natural yoghurt.
I have kept the amount of cayenne small, but increase it if you prefer more heat. Add more ground coriander to cool it down
Personally, I prefer not to use a grill for this (and many other things) because so easily it becomes spattered with fat or juices bursting out from whatever is being grilled at the time, creating smoke for ever more.
Chicken tikka pieces cooked in the oven should take about 20 minutes.
The convention is to thread Chicken Tikka pieces onto skewers, but this feels like an unnecessary job to me, unless the chicken is to be barbecued of course. Also they do help if portion control is needed.
The colour of home cooked Chicken Tikka is not the bright orange/red often seen illustrated and sometimes created by food dye.
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