Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Can Make That Too: Chicken Tikka in Mom’s Kitchen vs. the Restaurant Version

Mom's Chicken Tikka
Chicken Tikka is basically an Indian shish kebab with lots of spices.  Traditionally these kebabs are cooked in a tandoor oven, which can heat up to nearly 1,000 degrees.  Indian restaurants have such ovens.  I don’t.  I researched online and found one for $600+. Not worth it.  I decided to use my own oven, which will heat to 545 degrees and makes perfectly respectable Chicken Tikka.

In fact, my Chicken Tikka tasted just as good as the version I ordered at Mayura, a critically praised Indian restaurant in Culver City, CA.  Surprisingly, the two Chicken Tikkas looked and tasted exactly the same.
Chicken Tikka at Mayura Restaurant
Chicken Tikka – serves 4 
2-3 boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
Remove any fat from the chicken breasts and cut them into 1-inch cubes.  Set aside. 
Combine yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, chili powder, cumin and paprika in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add the chicken cubes and mix again so that they are covered with the yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours. 
Pre-heat the oven to 545 degrees.  Cover a baking sheet with a silicone mat or foil.  Place the chicken cubes on skewers and the skewers onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.  Check to make sure it’s white in the middle, not pink.  If it’s pink, bake for 1 more minute.  Serve immediately.
                          For more recipes, order "Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen!"