Chicken Tikka Masala with White Rice + Spinach
Why we love it:
- 4 cloves Garlic (minced, divided)
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger (about a 3" piece, minced, divided)
- 3 Tablespoons Garam Masala (divided)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 3⁄4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional, divided)
- 3 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 11⁄4 pounds Chicken Thighs, Boneless/Skinless (sliced in 2" pieces)
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (divided)
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 pinch White Sugar (optional)
- 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
- 11⁄4 cups Water
- 1 pound Baby Spinach (washed)
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
Finely mince 4 cloves of garlic and a 3” section of ginger. You can do this!
In a large bowl, combine 2 garlic minced cloves (about half), 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (about half), 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala, ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Dice chicken into large 2” cubes. Add chicken to the marinade, turn to evenly coat and set aside to make the sauce or feel free to let it marinate overnight.
Finely dice half of an onion.
In a large pot with tall sides, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the diced onion, and the other half of both the minced garlic and ginger. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 6 - 8 minutes. Add the remaining garam masala, paprika and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if using). Cook the spice blend on the bottom of the pan for 30 seconds or so. Add the can of tomatoes and the sugar and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover partially and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, at least 10 minutes and up to 30 turning it down to low if you cook it longer.
Combine rice and 1 1/4 cups of water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid, add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir once. Turn heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 17 minutes then turn off the heat and leave it covered until you’re ready to serve dinner.
Preheat the oven to broil.
Place the chicken in one layer on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler and cook for about 5 minutes then check it and rotate the pan to brown the pieces evenly. Cook for 5 minutes longer or until blackened in spots and cooked through. When the chicken is done, scrape it and the juices into the pot with the sauce.
In a large saute pan, heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the clean spinach and cook for about 1 minute, moving around with tongs.
*If you have full size spinach, chop it into 1” pieces first.
**If it doesn’t fit in the pan in one batch, add part of it and when it starts to wilt, add more and keep cooking.
Add a pinch of salt and cook until it’s all mostly soft and wilted. I recommend removing it from the hot pan when there are still some sections that aren’t fully cooked, it will keep wilting as it sits and this keeps it from turning brown.
6. FINISH SAUCE
Add the cream to the sauce slowly, while stirring. Cook sauce with chicken and cream for a final 5 minutes over low heat.
Serve a scoop of rice, topped with chicken and sauce, spinach on the side.