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I-Don’t-Seem-To-Have-Any-Cream Chicken Tikka Masala: Easy Chicken Recipes

Gluten-Free and simple chicken tikka masala made to satisfy my desire for it even though my cream disappeared on me! Easy to make with tons of flavor | Tasting Everything


There are so many awesome chicken recipes out there that just don’t have any gluten in them that it almost seems silly to repeat myself, but here’s another tasty gluten-free dinner! Falling off the bone chicken with crispy skin, a complex and creamy sauce, and some rice! Let the marinade to the work for you here; the yogurt, citrus, and spices make the chicken unbelievably tender and full of flavor. Any time you marinate chicken for one of your chicken recipes, try adding a little yogurt, citrus, or spice to help tenderize the meat! (It’s the same principle as the achiote pulled pork with citrus and beer recipe.) Also, don’t be afraid to burn the onions a little; the charring only adds complexity to the sauce. This is one of those delicious and healthy dinner recipes that you want to make sure you have in your back pocket!

Normally, this sauce uses cream, but mine seems to have disappeared, so here’s a recipe with extra yogurt! If you have cream, you can just add it to the sauce after you add the tomatoes and let the sauce thicken. With yogurt, you run the risk of getting a curdled, lumpy sauce, so you do have to employ a little technique for this. Make sure you let your yogurt come to room temperature, add some cornstarch and mix into the yogurt well, and then temper your yogurt with the sauce, which just means stirring a little hot tomato sauce into the yogurt to get it used to the heat. Nothing too difficult! These techniques will help you whenever you are working with recipes that call for heating yogurt. The cornstarch makes the yogurt able to handle being heated, and tempering the yogurt does the same thing, which means that if you do both steps, you’ve got a yogurt that can stand being cooked!



(I like jasmine rice for chicken recipes like this one, but feel free to use basmati (a more traditional choice for recipes like this one) or any rice you have, really! Want brown rice? Go for it! Just follow the package directions or use the brown rice bowl recipe I posted a few days ago.)



Chicken recipes for success! I-Don't-Seem-To-Have-Any-Cream Chicken Tikka Masala. Great for when you're out of (or avoiding) cream! | Tasting Everything


Chicken Recipes for Success! I-Don’t-Seem-To-Have-Any-Cream Chicken Tikka Masala

5 from 1 reviews
I-Don't-Seem-To-Have-Any-Cream Chicken Tikka Masala: Easy Chicken Recipes
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
An awesomely delicious chicken tikka masala recipe for when you're out of (or avoiding) cream!
For the rice
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 Tbs oil (I used coconut and the flavor was fantastic)
  • 1¼ cup water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 Tbs butter
For the marinade
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • 4 tsp finely minced or grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tsp smoked hot paprika or cayenne
  • 3 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2-4 chicken legs and thighs or 4 chicken breasts
For the sauce
  • ½ of the spice mix from above
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs cup tomato paste
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol or 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled or diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 Tbs corn starch
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach or arugula (totally optional)
  • Lemon juice - just a squeeze!
For the rice
  1. Heat the oil on medium. Add the rice and stir for 1-2 minutes. You want to get all of the rice kernels coated with the oil. Add the water and a heavy pinch of salt. Bring everything up to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat. Don't open the cover for the next 25 minutes! After 25 minutes, remove the cover, toss in the butter, and fluff gently with a fork. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
For the marinade
  1. Combine everything except the yogurt, lemon juice, and chicken and mix well. Take half of your spice mix and set it aside for the sauce.
  2. Fold the yogurt and lemon juice in to the half of the spice mix for your marinade. You want to be gentle with the yogurt so that all of the awesome living things can do the work of breaking down the tough proteins. If you beat them up, they won't be nearly as effective. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
For the sauce
  1. Add onion, cardamom, and chiles and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and darkened in places, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes with juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
  3. Take your room temperature yogurt and whisk in the cornstarch. Add 1-2 Tbs of hot tomato mixture and stir to combine. Add 1-2 Tbs more sauce and mix. Take your yogurt/tomato mix and add it back into your sauce. Mix well, add the cilantro, and remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, remove your chicken from the marinade and wrap in foil. Put it on a sheet tray and cook for 45 minutes if it's on the bone, 20 minutes if not. Unwrap or open the foil and return to the oven and cook until the skin is golden and crisp. If you have legs and thighs, this will take another 40-45 minutes. If you are working with chicken breasts, increase the heat to 400 and only give it another 10 minutes. (If you're working with boneless, skinless breasts, just take them out of the oven, cut them into bite sized pieces, and add them to the sauce to finish cooking.)
  5. Add to the chicken to the sauce and cook on a very low heat for about 10 minutes, just to allow the flavors to come together. Serve with the rice, the greens, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.



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