Chicken Tikka Masala


Okay. Let me be extremely transparent – I did not create this recipe on my own. In fact, I don’t think I had ever even had Chicken Tikka Masala until I decided to try and make it on my own. But it was delicious!

Indian food is not something that I have a natural taste for, and because of that I knew I needed to follow a recipe step by step.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon this recipe by Karina at Cafe Delites to guide me along the way.

I truly enjoy sharing my recipes with others – I do! However, one of the best perks that has come from creating this site and putting in all of this effort is that I am finally able to re-create some of the awesome recipes that I develop in the midst of a creative tornado in my kitchen. There have been too many instances where I have wanted to remake something, and I could not for the life of me remember how I had made it the first time. So this helps.

That being said, for the sake of keeping all of my favorite recipes in one place – whether they derived from me or a talented, professional chef, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala.

RECIPE

Prep Time  15 minutes

Cook Time  30  minutes

Serves 4 people 

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade
  • 6  boneless and skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground red chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, longer if possible.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until sizzling. Add chicken pieces in small batches making sure not to overcrowd the pan. (The chicken pieces should not be touching.) Fry until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, melt butter in the same pan, gently scraping up any remaining brown bits. Add in onion, and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Continue mixing until fragrant, about another 20 seconds.
  • Add tomato paste to the pan, along with chili powder and salt. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and darkens in color.
  • Stir the cream and sugar into the sauce. Add chicken and cook for another 8-10 minutes. The sauce should be thick and bubbling. If needed, add a small amount of water to thin out the sauce.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice and fresh Naan bread.

Cajun Chicken Pasta



There is one reason, and one reason only for going to Chili’s: Cajun. Chicken. Pasta.

I’ve been obsessed with this pasta for as long as I can remember, which is far enough back to know that my uncultured mouth couldn’t handle the heat and would ask for the seasoning on the side.

There are certain recipes I try not to recreate, because it makes my dining out experiences less than exciting. This was one I had steered clear of for a while, but I finally decided to go for it. Sorry Chili’s, I won’t be needing you for a while!

RECIPE

Prep Time  15 minutes

Cook Time  40  minutes

Serves 4 people 

Ingredients

Pasta
  • 16 oz Penne Pasta
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 Boneless, Skinles Chicken Breasts, tenderized
  • 6 Tbsp Butter (About 3/4 Stick)
  • 1/2 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika (regular is fine, too)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne (More or less, depending on your spice preference.)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour (for seasoning chicken)
For Serving
  • 2 Roma Tomatos, Diced
  • 1 Stalk Green Onion, Chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well, saving about 1/4 cup pasta water for later.
  2. In a medium small mixing bowl, whisk to gether ingredients for cajun seasoning. Separate seasoning into halves, pouring one half in a Gallon Ziploc bag. In the Ziploc bag, add two tbsp flour to the seasoning mixture. Shake well to combine. Baste tenderized chicken breasts with 1 tbsp Olive Oil, and add to the Ziploc bag with the seasoning. Shake until the chicken is evenly coated.
  3. In a large skillet, heat remaining Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Place each chicken breast in the pan, and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Melt your butter in the skillet, scraping up any brown bits. (Pro-Tip: If you have a significant amount of brown bits in the pan after cooking the chicken, add a splash of white wine or lemon juice – the acidity will pull it right off!)
  5. Add diced onion to the pan, and cook until translucent – about 3 minutes.
  6. Next, add in minced garlic and cook until fragrant – about 45 seconds.
  7. Reduce heat to Medium, and gradually whisk in lemon juice and heavy cream. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking slowly until the ingredients are incorporated.
  8. Fold in Parmesan and remaining seasoning and cook for another 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. If the mixture is too thick, add more heavy cream as needed; if too think, add flour one tablespoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved.
  9. Stir in pasta and reserved pasta water and toss to combine.
  10. Serve sliced chicken breast over a bed of pasta, topped with diced tomato, sliced green onion and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan.

Tips

  1. All of the seasonings combined are equal to 2 tbsp cajun seasoning.
  2. The best way I have found to tenderize my chicken breasts is to lay them out on a cutting board, cover them with a piece of plastic wrap, and pound until the breasts are thinned out evenly. Tenderizing isn’t absolutely necessary, but since we are frying the breasts in this recipe it will aid in making sure the chicken cooks evenly.
  3. If you don’t already have one, you I highly recommend that you invest in a sauce whisk! They are the best for mixing sauces – so much better than the traditional whisk! I believe mine is from Pampered Chef, but I can’t find it on their website. This one from Williams Sonoma looks like a great alternative, or you can find them on Amazon by searching “sauce whisk” or “spiral whisk”.

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie



Wow. What a week month+ it has been! I’ve had this recipe typed up and ready to go since February, but the snow-pocalypse we had in Texas over Valentine’s Day week was quite a huge life interruption, to say the least. To be honest, I just had no motivation to get my life back in order afterwards.

I have also had a major case of writer’s block, and that combined with a moderate to severe case of OCD has been crippling for this recipe sharing adventure.

So here I am, sharing a recipe with nothing heartfelt to say about it.

OH! These do hold a special place in my heart because of my dad. Growing up, he always had a freezer stocked with Banquet brand chicken pot pies, which is how I came to love them so much and why I ever tried making one from scratch in the first place. (Banquet is still the best frozen pot pie brand there is – anyone who disagrees can fight me.) How is that for heartfelt?

RECIPE

Prep Time  20 minutes

Cook Time  30  minutes

Serves 4 people 

Ingredients

Pie Filling
  • 4 Cooked Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • 1 Russet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Pie Crust

Instructions

  1. To cook the chicken, season with salt and pepper and place in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of chicken broth. Turn Instant Pot to “Meat/Stew” setting, close lid and set timer for 15 minutes. Once pressure has naturally released, remove chicken from the pot and allow to cool for 5-7 minutes. (Don’t throw away the broth yet – you’ll need it for the filling.)
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil and add in diced onion. Saute until translucent – about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour about 1/2 cup of leftover chicken broth into the skillet, and add frozen vegetables and diced potato. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes, until vegetables and potatoes are fork tender and most of the broth has evaporated.
  5. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Season generously with onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
  6. Combine vegetable mixture, cream of chicken and diced/shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Follow the instructions on your pie crust box for prepping your crust. Pillsbury has some great tips for getting the perfect pie crust that I have yet to master here.
  8. Pour filling into pie crust, and top with second crust. Brush top crust with egg wash to get the perfect golden-brown, crispy crust.
  9. Bake at 425° for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden grown.
  10. I know this is the hardest part – but if you want your pie to hold its shape when you serve it, you HAVE to let it cool for at least 20 minutes, if not more.

Easy Creamy Alfredo Sauce


Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you haven’t noticed, pasta is kind of my thing. Probably too much my thing, honestly. Then again, who doesn’t like pasta?

I always avoided making Fettuccini Alfredo at home because all of the jarred Alfredo sauces were pretty gross, to say the least. So instead I would hop on over to good old Olive Garden anytime I was craving a hefty serving of Seafood Fettuccini Alfredo. Yes, Olive Garden. Sue me.

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

Well, once again we owe a huge shoutout to #lockdown2020 because I finally had the time and desire to try making Alfredo sauce at home. Little did I know, it was pretty basic and consists only of the things I love most – milk, cheese, butter and garlic. You know, all the healthy things we keep around the kitchen.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Recipe

Prep Time  5  minutes

Cook Time  15 minutes

Serves 6 people 

Ingredients

  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt one stick of butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add in garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle flour in over butter and garlic, and whisk together to thicken. 
  2. Whisk in milk, cream, cream cheese and parmesan and simmer for 5-7 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, gradually add in more cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tips

  1. This sauce tastes great in pasta, but would also be delicious lightly drizzled over steak or veggies.  
  2. Add in some red pepper flakes for a little heat, or grated Romano for a little extra flavor.