"This dish is at the tippy top of my favorite foods list. In an effort to both tip my hat to tradition and find the easiest way to make Tikka Masala, I’ve blended methods here. You’ll be using high heat to bring out the roasted flavor of the spices, creating layers and a lot of depth. Then you’ll turn to the beloved slow cooker to take care of the rest. Serve it over a big bowl of either Basic Cauliflower Rice and top with jalapeños to your heart’s desire." -Casey Joy Garcia
Recipe excerpted from cookbook Fed & Fit: A 28 Day Food & Fitness Plan to Jump-Start Your Life with Over 175 Squeaky-Clean Paleo Recipes by Casey Joy Garcia
For the Spice Blend
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger (about ½-inch piece)
- 1 Tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 Tablespoon garam masala
- 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 Teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 3 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (13½-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- cream scooped from the top of 1 chilled (13½-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (about ½ cup)
- ¼ Cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
- fresh jalapeño slices, for garnish
- ¼ Cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
For the Spice Blend
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the spice blend. Set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. While the butter is melting, thoroughly coat the chicken on all sides with half of the spice blend. Working in batches so that no two pieces of chicken touch each other in the pan, add a portion of the seasoned chicken to the hot pan and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, just until the chicken develops a light brown crust. Transfer the browned chicken to the slow cooker and repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
Once the chicken is finished, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the hot pan. Once melted, add the rest of the spice blend and the chopped onion. Stir for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned but not burned. Add the tomato paste, whisk to incorporate, and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until the tomato paste develops a deep red color. Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, coconut cream, and lime juice. Stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker. Stir so that the chicken is coated on all sides.
Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
Serve garnished with the jalapeño slices and fresh cilantro.