20 Minute Chicken Tikka
Traditionally Chicken Tikka is made in a Tandoor (Indian clay oven) and cooked extremely hot and fast. Most of us don’t have one of these laying around so then next best option is a grill. If you are like me - you don’t own a grill, or are too lazy to be busting it out for a simple weeknight meal. This is where I got your back, you can get the same taste as you would by cooking on the grill, but without all the of the hassle.
1 tsp Garlic Ginger Paste
2 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt To taste
3 tbsp Yogurt
2 lb. Chicken Breast, butterflied (Substitute Paneer or Tofu as well)
1-2 tbsp Tandoori Spice Mix (use store bought or my recipe)
Mix the yogurt, salt, spice mix, garlic ginger paste, and lemon juice in a bowl and mix. This is the time to take a taste and adjust the flavor as needed. If it is too spicy for you, dilute with more yogurt. If it’s not spicy enough add more spice mix. Store bought spice mixes usually contain salt so be wary of that before you add any additional. Once you are satisfied with the flavor add the chicken and let marinade for a minimum of 10 minutes. For best results refrigerate overnight in an airtight container. If using paneer or tofu allow more time to marinade to allow flavors to soak in. The idea here is to let all the spices intermingle with the chicken. The longer they all chill out together the more flavorful the result.
Farmo Fun Fact:
One thing I love to do is marinade in a larger batch and split up and freeze individual portions of chicken in zip top bags. When I am ready to cook, I take the zip top bag out of the freezer and put in a bowl of water for an hour or so before I am ready to cook.
My cooking method of choice is probably the most underutilized kitchen appliance – the broiler. Most of us have a broiler but either a) don’t know what it is, or b) are too intimidated to use it. Trust me - once you get the hang of the homie Mr. Broiler, you’ll be hooked. Not only is it quicker and easier than a grill, but it requires less clean up as well. Check out my write up on the Broiler here.
Assemble your broiling rig as described above. To make your chicken tikka you want to place your chicken evenly across your wire rack and drizzle a little bit of oil on the pieces. Next adjust your oven rack to the middle option and set your broiler on high. Once the broiler has had a few minutes to warm up you want to place your chicken on the middle rack for about 4 minutes. You want to see the edges of the chicken get a little crispy you want to flip the pieces and let it cook for another 3 minutes or so. At this point I like to take one of the (thicc) pieces of chicken and slice it open to see if it is cooked through. It should be white, with no pink remaining. If you want to be fancy and use a thermometer your chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees. You are going to want to take it out around 160 degrees and let carryover cooking take you the rest of the way. You will get better with reading doneness over time so don’t sweat it if you’re off the first couple of times, it’s an instinct which will develop the more you cook.
Now if you don’t want to do it this way another option is to cook it on the stove top. Heat a pan of your choice on medium high, and once up to temperature add about a tablespoon to tablespoon and a half of oil. Let the chicken breast cook until a nice crust develops on one side and then proceed to flip and turn the heat down slightly to medium until it is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Use the same doneness technique which I described above.
This is where you can let creativity take over. My favorite option is to toast a nice bun, add some sautéed onions and peppers and a nice slice of cheese. Another option for the carb conscious is to dice the tandoori chicken and make lettuce wraps or toss in your favorite salad mix for a nice twist on a boring lunch. I’ll dedicate a few posts of how to be creative with this chicken with some out of the box ideas. The flavors are so versatile that you can potentially meal prep this chicken in advance and use it in a few different ways throughout the week.
Chicken Tikka Tacos
Mumbai meets Mexico.
Here's a fun idea to use your newly made Chicken Tikka. Make a quick slaw using sliced cabbage, onions, carrots, and cilantro. Top it off with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Serve on warmed tortillas with your favorite shredded cheese. Read the full recipe here