Gluten Free Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala

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If you adore Indian food, you may have been fortunate to have chicken tikka masala. You can easily make gluten free chicken tikka masala at home. Include spices you probably already have in your kitchen, or venture out and add a new spice or two. Either way, this dish is spicy and delicious.

Size of Chicken Chunks:
If you plan on grilling the chicken (produces the most authentic flavor), be sure to cut the chicken chunks large enough so that it doesn’t fall through the grill grates.

Marinating:

You marinated the chicken for under 5 hours. Some recipes require you to marinate overnight. Any recipe containing two acids, in this case, yogurt and lemon juice, they begin to cook the chicken if you marinate for over 5 hours. Over-marinating results in dry, chalky-textured, and stringy chicken.

Grilling vs Frying:

Traditional chicken tikka masala is made with chicken that is cooked in a  tandoor (cylinder shaped clay or metal oven reaching up to 900 °F). The closest thing to a tandoori is a grill. Charring adds so much flavor. If you must fry the chicken, be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point and if possible, use a skillet that can achieve charring like cast iron. Broiling will work as well. Just be sure to not over-broil the chicken or it will turn out dry.

Garam Masala:

Many spices blends (a blend of multiple spices) often contain an anticaking agent that may contain gluten. If you cannot find gluten free garam masala, make your own.

Fenugreek:
When you omit authentic Indian spices in your home cooking, you will get something similar to restaurant Indian food, but not quite there. Fenugreek is one of those spices. Dry fenugreek contributes sweetness and bitterness to saucy dishes. Its maple syrup flavor turns into more of a dark caramel flavor when combined with other spices and ingredients. Plus, fenugreek is supposed to be awesome for healing the digestive tract.
Gluten Free Naan:
You can make the naan in advance. Then just throw them on the grill to reheat and soften to freshness.

Gluten Free Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 52 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 servings

Gluten Free Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala

Flavorful and spicy, this gluten free chicken tikka masala is a delight! Serve with amazing gluten free naan or rice along with your favorite vegetable.

Ingredients:

    For the Marinade:
  • 1 cup plain gluten-free yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika (for color)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free garam masala (Simply Organic) (or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry fenugreek (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds (3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • For the Masala:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or as needed
  • 4 ounces tomato paste*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, pinch of stevia, or other equivalent sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup gluten free chicken broth (Organic Low-Sodium Better Than Bouillon) (or water)*
  • 1 cup heavy or light cream, or as desired
  • Fresh fenugreek (in small amounts), coriander, or cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Add all of the marinade ingredients to a bowl and combine. Add the chicken pieces to a container with a lid and pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and shake to coat all pieces. Refrigerate no longer than 5 hours.
  2. When ready to prepare, remove the chicken from the container and allow to drain. Discard the marinade. Grill or fry the chicken in a small amount of oil on the stovetop until no longer pink inside, 8 - 12 minutes. 
  3. For the masala, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic; saute for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir in the tomato paste, water, and cream. Simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the sauce to a bowl and using a hand blender, puree into a smooth sauce. (Alternatively, allow the sauce to cool and puree in a countertop blender, in batches, if needed.) Then, return the sauce to the skillet.
  5. Add the cream and stir to combine.
  6. Add the grilled chicken and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh fenugreek or cilantro. Serve with Gluten Free Naan or over white or brown rice. Garnish with your choice of fresh herbs.

Tips

*If you prefer to make the sauce using fresh tomatoes, chop 1 pound fresh tomatoes and purée them, including the skins and seeds, in a blender with 1 tablespoon tomato paste and a tad bit more of sweetener (sugar, stevia, etc.) When using fresh tomatoes, omit the tomato paste and 1/2 cup broth/water from the recipe.

When you're in a hurry, use rotisserie chicken.

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