January 3, 2014

Tikka Tikka Chicken-E

I recently had the opportunity to preview a recipe for Stacy Makes Cent's new cookbook, Keep Crockin', (affiliate link) and let me just say, that like most of her recipes I've tried, it was delicious.
The new cookbook has a great range of ideas and recipes with many quickly becoming my new go-to's for family meals.

Stacy has graciously released her recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala and it is wonderful.  You can click the link for her recipe and get a feel for how Keep Crockin' will look.
The thing is, most of Stacy's recipes are ones with a flavor profile like we are used to eating.  It's real food and doesn't involve going out and buying a bunch of ingredients or spices that are unfamiliar.  It's real comfort food in my opinion.  Her combinations are a fresh taste, but very palatable.
Her riff of looking at old, country church cookbooks is very close to how my family likes to eat.  Yes, I would like to think that I was inspired to learn to cook by Julia Child, but I'm actually much closer to the regional, Southern cookbooks from the 1940s that my grandmother passed down to me.

My issue is S.L.O.W.
I so dislike the word.
I'd like to think I have layers and that there are many words that describe me in life, but I pray that slow isn't one of them.  I like my pressure cooker, remember.  I like speedy!
So don't tell Stacy, but I'm not one to use a slow cooker regularly.
I will add that I gifted someone a slow cooker for Christmas and think that they are super, duper handy, but they are just not something that fits into my lifestyle as our family has lunch as a main meal due to a husband/dad who works 2nd shift from 4pm till midnight.  This means that I can't put something in a crockpot after breakfast because it won't be ready in 2 hours for lunch.  We tend to have our main meal as a family at noon with dinner leftovers because it is just me and the kids.  I'm also not one to be that on the ball and wanting to think about lunch and dinner prep at 9am over coffee, but that is more the slacker in me.

So I adapted this to the stovetop, and call it Tikka Tikka Chicken mainly because I just like saying Tikka Tikka and it just makes it sound a bit more speedy.
Served over a bed of quinoa cooked in chicken broth and it makes a perfect E meal.  Here's another quinoa recipe that tells how I cook it.

To alter Stacy's recipe for stovetop is pretty simple and takes about 30 minutes, longer if you want to allow the flavors to really simmer into the chicken.
I also have 2 growing teens, a husband and a toddler who is a bottomless pit besides myself.  I usually double this recipe so that there's plenty for us and a couple of leftover servings as well.

Tikka Tikka Chicken-E
  • 1 pound of chicken breast meat cut up
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  •  ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  •  ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • HEAPING ½ cup sour cream (I use low fat to keep it E.  Use full fat and serve with zoodles for S)
  • quinoa or rice

I get the quinoa started cooking, and then place 1 tsp of oil in a large, heavy pan (I use an enamel cast iron dutch oven) over medium heat, add the chicken with some salt and pepper and allow to cook until it is that lovely caramel color.
If the chicken starts to act like it is going to stick, you can always add a splash of chicken broth.  This keeps it in E territory without adding more oil.

Another issue I have with slow cookers.... you miss out on coaxing the love from food.  You miss that moment when chicken goes from pale and pasty to that lovely shade of caramel and is packed with flavor.  You might not see it in the final recipe, but once there, that flavor doesn't go away.

Add the tomatoes and seasonings then stir it all together and let simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes. I will admit that I skip the shredding step as I just don't want to mess with it and it adds time ( a commodity I do not always have).
Stir in the sour cream the last 5 minutes or so and warm through.
Serve over quinoa with a salad on the side (to get those veggies!)  This makes an E meal in THM land.

The Keep Crockin' cookbook really is a great buy with photos of every dish.  It's a great inspiration for the seasoned home cook, or someone just starting out on a natural, whole foods lifestyle.
This link will take you to Stacy's original, wonderful recipe that she has released and allowed to be printed so you can get a tease at how good these recipes are.

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