Happy Valentine’s Day from Cultivate Grace! As a special treat for the holiday, I want to share a pair of recipes people request a lot from me.

Chicken Tikka Masala (Slow Cooker) + Quick-Rise Skillet Naan

Our whole family enjoys this delicious Indian dish. We’ve tried dozens of recipes to make this at home and this was my final attempt to create my own. It’s great because so much of the work is done in advance and smells heavenly after simmering in the crock pot all day. Every person who has eaten this at our house has declared it restaurant worthy. 🙂

Warning: This recipe makes a ton! It fills a 6-quart slow-cooker to the brim.

We’ll be eating it tonight. With it’s pretty pink-ish, red-ish sauce, maybe you’d like to add it to your Valentine’s Day traditions, too?!?!

Chicken Tikka Masala (Slow Cooker) {Serve over Rice}

Chicken Tikka Masala (Crock Pot)

Ingredients

Marinade:

3-4 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into large pieces (2-4 pieces per breast is large enough to grill without having to use skewers))

3-4 pounds Chicken Thighs, Boneless, Skinless (cut into large pieces (2 pieces per thigh is large enough to grill without having to use skewers))

3 cups Greek Yogurt Plain

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin

1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 Tablespoon Ginger Ground

1 teaspoon Salt

 

Sauce:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Large Onion (cut into large chunks)

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

29 ounces Tomato Sauce

29 ounces Tomato Puree

2 Tablespoons Ground Ginger

2 Tablespoons Garam Masala

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

 

Last Minute Additions to Sauce:

1 Large Green Peppers Chopped (cut into large chunks)

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin (optional, but adding a little at the end livens the flavors)

1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala (optional, but adding a little at the end livens the flavors)

4 cups Heavy Cream

 

Directions

Marinade:

1. Cut chicken into large pieces.

2. Mix yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, and salt.

3. Toss chicken in marinade & refrigerate for at least an hour.

4. After an hour, broil or grill meat on high heat for 8 minutes on each side (it doesn’t need to be cooked through, but should be grilled to just before edges blacken on the outside).

5. Begin sauce while grilling/broiling. (Grilling really does taste better!)

Sauce:

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.

2. Sauté chunks of onion for 2 minutes.

3. Add minced garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

4. Set onion/garlic mixture in bottom of slow cooker.

5. Place grilled/broiled chicken pieces on top of onion mixture. Do not stir.

6. Mix tomato sauce, tomato purée, ginger, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

7. Pour over chicken. Do not stir slow cooker ingredients. Let it cook in layers.

8. Cook 4-6 hours on high.

Last Minute Additions:

1. About 1/2 hour to 1 hour before serving, add green pepper, additional cumin & garam masala, and cream.

2. Now you can stir all the ingredients well, until the cream is well blended.

3. This is the perfect time to start cooking rice & Naan to have it all hot and ready at the same time.

(Basmati Rice is a great choice for Indian food.)

Quick-Rise Skillet Naan

Quick-Rise Skillet Naan

Ingredients
3-1/4 cups All-purpose flour

generous pinch Salt

3/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1-1/2 cup warm water

2-4 Tablespoons melted butter or olive oil

Directions

1. Add yeast to warm (not hot water).

2. Mix flour and salt until incorporated. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. (You don’t need to knead the dough – and it’s a REALLY sticky mess in the bowl.)

3. Generously flour a surface and your hands.

4. Tear off an lemon sized piece of dough. It is still VERY sticky. That’s OK.

5. Push (or use a rolling pin & roll) the dough out into a very thin oval. It should be just thick enough to pick up without tearing.

6. Heat skillet on medium-high heat.

7. Brush with olive oil or melted butter and place Naan, butter side down, in pre-heated skillet. (If desired, you may sprinkle with coarse salt or garlic powder, or some other spice before placing it in the pan.)

8. Cook for 2 minutes, or until bottom side has brown spots.

9. Brush with butter and add any seasonings to the top side during this two minutes. I also prepare the next naan while I wait.

10. Flip naan and cover pan.

11. Cook for 30 seconds more (longer if your naan is thicker) and remove from pan.

12. Cover naan with a clean towel while you cook the rest. It’s best served hot – not reheated.