Thursday, 14 June 2012

Chicken Tikka

One of my favourite questions asked each day from my Miss 10 soon to be 11 is "What is for dinner?" (actually probably her favourite, my least favourite). This happens the moment she opens the car door each afternoon when I pick her up from school. Some days I have an immediate answer for her and other days I'd like to pull over on the side of the road and be a crazy lady screaming into the mythical cone of silence!! I now know exactly how my own mum would feel each afternoon arriving home from school and ringing her at work and asking the same question and either getting the answer I want to hear, deathly silence or she would say 'bread and spit'.

I often ask myself why do they bother asking if they know it's going to upset the chef, or if they aren't exactly going to like what they hear. There are a couple of meals that I hear all three kids groan at the mere mention of and they happen to be favourites of mine and ones that I learned from my own Mum. I'm sure B will agree the good old crumbed rissoles were a winner when we were growing up but my three haven't developed the same love for them as Mr M and I have. I will continue making them and continue hearing their cries of disgust each time! (I will win them over one day, make no mistake about that kids).

As most of you know the one particular cuisine that this whole family enjoys is Indian. I'm sure you have all seen and hopefully tried for yourself the "butter chicken" in a previous post. Another chicken dish that has become a regular is one I found in one of my favourite books from Janelle Bloom - "Fab Food for Family and Friends". It has similar flavours and spices and I think that's why kids 1, 2 & 3 all squeal with delight when I mention we are having it for dinner. It really is one of the easiest meals to prepare and the end results are delightfully tasty!

I did everything in the food processor and I have removed the chilli seeds once when I made it but have also left them in (well actually forgot to take them out for the little people but they still ate everything!).

You will need:   Serves 4
4 chicken breasts or 8 thigh fillets (I used chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
steamed basmati rice and lime wedges to serve

1 red chilli, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon grpound coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 lime, rind finely grated, juiced
1 cup Greek yoghurt - Greek is best for cooking as it won't separate and curdle when heated.

Yoghurt sauce
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated

For the marinade, combine the chilli, garlic and ginger in a small food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add all the spices, lime rind, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and the yoghurt and pulse until just combined.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a ceramic dish. Spoon over the marinade and turn to coat all the pieces evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight if time permits.

Meanwhile, for the yoghurt sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove the chicken from the fridge 15-20 minutes before cooking. Melt the ghee in a large, heavy based non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Don't be tempted to increase the heat, or the yoghurt and spices will burn and stick to the pan, Add the chicken and cook for 15 minutes (don't be tempted to turn it early). Turn the chicken for a further 5 - 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

Spoon rice onto serving plates, top with chicken and serve with yoghurt sauce and lime wedges.

M x

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