Tender pieces of chicken cooked in a creamy, rich sauce that’s packed with flavor. This easy + delicious restaurant style Chicken Tikka Masala is my FAVORITE, so you should probably go ahead and add it to your dinner rotation immediately (just sayin’).
Have you ever made something insanely good but no one is home to try it? The first night my favorite chicken tikka masala came to life that happened. It was so incredible I casually packed some up, got in the car and drove to my brother’s house to “drop some off” (he hadn’t eaten yet because he was busy building something at his new house). As he enthusiastically said “Thank you!” with the door half open, he tried to snag the insulated bag out of my hands. I panicked and wedged myself in like a weirdo, so I could watch him taste it. . . THAT’S when you know you made something good.
My Favorite Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala
- 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (OR canola oil)
- ½ cup yellow onion *(if you don't feel like measuring it out) 1 medium onion yields about a cup, so ½ a cup is about half an onion
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 6 oz (can) tomato paste
- 15 oz crushed tomato (can)
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1½ tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ chopped shallot
- ½ cup heavy cream
- naan/pita for serving
- Prepare your chicken by lightly seasoning both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 325º so it is ready to heat up your naan/pita bread. (Skip this step if you have a toaster oven).
- Add grapeseed oil (or canola oil) to frying pan with diced yellow onion, minced garlic, butter and chicken thighs. As chicken thighs are cooking begin to baste the chicken by spooning the butter, oil, garlic and onion on top as it cooks. *This will add depth of flavor to the chicken, and will help caramelize the onion and garlic for our delicious sauce!
- Let the chicken sear on the first side for 4 minutes while basting it before turning it over. Then once 4 minutes has passed, flip chicken over. Begin to baste the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from heat and let it rest. DO NOT wash your pan yet*
- Remove cooked garlic onion and excess fat from pan (put them in a bowl and set aside) Take the same pan and put it back on the heat adding another tablespoon of fresh butter and a chopped shallot. Add your cooked garlic and onion back into the pan let the ingredients begin to caramelize.
- Turn your heat down to medium and add chicken stock, tomato paste, crushed tomato, and garam masala into the same pan. Season with ground ginger, chili powder, ground turmeric and cumin.
- Occasionally stir and let sauce simmer for about 10 minutes before slicing chicken and adding chicken back in.
- Turn heat down to a simmer add in heavy cream and let chicken and tikka sauce simmer for another 20-30 minutes.
- In another pot combine basmati rice and chicken broth (or water and chicken base) over medium high heat until it boils. Once rice is brought to a boil turn heat down to low and cover with lid until water is cooked down (about 15 minutes). Cut the heat and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
- Take out a baking sheet for your naan/pita bread. Put your naan on the ungreased sheet and place it in the oven to warm for about 2-3 minutes.
- It's ready! Plate your chicken tikka masala with basmati rice and use your warm naan for some delicious scooping!