This is the best chicken tikka masala recipe ever, and it's so rich and perfectly spiced. A double caramelization process produces a chicken tikka masala that tastes just like the best restaurant-style dish.
2cupsheavy creamor half-and-half, See Notes for alternate diets
basmati rice See Notes for alternate diets
Marinate the Chicken
Combine all marinade ingredients besides chicken in a medium bowl and stir well. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
Make the Sauce
Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add serrano chiles, garlic, ginger, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a nice toffee color, about 20 minutes, adding a few drops of water here and there if drying out and sticking. Add garam masala and paprika and stir well. Cook until fragrant, a few minutes, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if necessary to reduce sticking.
Stir in the tomato sauce then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to your skillet. Add sliced bell pepper, fenugreek, and salt.
Meanwhile, cook the chicken. Preheat broiler and place a wire rack over a baking sheet. Place chicken pieces on top of the rack. Broil, turning occasionally until browned in spots and cooked through, about 8 minutes total.
Simmer for 30 minutes on medium-low heat or until thick and more like a paste than a sauce. Add the heavy cream and stir until very smooth. Taste and correct seasonings. Add chicken, stir well, and serve over basmati or cauliflower rice and naan. Top with plenty of chopped cilantro.
Mild: 1 serrano chile, seeded
Medium: 1 serrano chile, not seeded
Hot: 2 serrano chiles, not seeded
If you're on a Whole30...
You can use a compliant non-dairy yogurt, like Kite Hill unsweetened, to marinate your chicken. You can also skip the yogurt entirely and simply marinate the chicken in spices and lemon juice, or use canned coconut milk to replace the yogurt.
Use 2 cups coconut cream (just the solid white part of a can of coconut milk or cream) in place of the half and half.
Serve over steamed cauliflower rice, not regular rice.