Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce - A Daring Cooks Challenge

Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
I have always wanted to make a nut butter of some sort, weather it be peanut butter or almond or cashew. So you can understand my bit of excitment when I saw we were doing just that for this month's Daring Cook's Challenge!

We had the choice of a few different nut butters to make along with different recipes, and after looking at what we had to work with I choose the Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce for the challenge (I had all the ingredients in the kitchen :D). I do however plan to try all the other recipes that were suggested, as I wanted a chance to taste them all!

Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe notes: Substitute the protein of your choice for the chicken. This is a smooth sauce, so the onion is removed before serving. If you prefer, dice the onion and leave it in the sauce or substitute a bit of onion powder.

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
4 (6 oz / 170 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt to taste

Spice Blend:
1.5 tablespoons (20 ml) garam masala seasoning
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper

4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter
1 large onion, cut in half pole to pole
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce/425 g) can tomato sauce
⅓ cup (80 ml) almond butter
⅓ cup (80 ml) milk
½ to ¾ cup (120 to 180 ml) chicken broth or water, more as needed
1 cup (240 ml) frozen peas (optional)
Hot basmati rice for serving
Chopped parsley (optional garnish)
Sliced almonds (optional garnish)
  1. Cook the chicken. If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sauté 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cook the chicken in 2 batches, adding more oil if needed for second batch. Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside on clean plate and keep warm.
  2. Prepare spice blend. Stir garam masala, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently for several minutes to infuse the butter with onion flavor. Keep the heat low to avoid burning the butter; a little color is fine. Add the spice blend and garlic and cook for 1 minute or till fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, stir well, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Whisk in almond butter and milk until thoroughly combined with tomato sauce. The almond butter is thick so it takes a while to make a smooth sauce. Return to simmer. Add broth (or water) to sauce to reach desired consistency; return to simmer. Add more broth (or water) as needed to thin sauce as desired.
  4. Remove onion from sauce and discard. Stir frozen peas (if using) into sauce. Transfer sliced chicken to sauce. Simmer gently for a few minutes until peas and chicken are heated through.
  5. Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and/or sliced almonds if desired
The recipe above are straight from The Daring Kitchen post for this month's challenge. If you would like to check out what the others have done and the recipes please go to The Daring Kitchen website!

Chicken with Curried Tomato Almond Sauce
I didn't change much in this recipe except the basmati rice (I used brown rice), the garam masala spice, and I made my own tomato sauce. The nuts were really easy to blend into a butter. Just put about 1 cup of almonds (to make a half cup butter) in a food processor and pulse until broken up and powdery. Almonds are fairly dry, so add a couple of tablespoons of oil to them to make a smooth almond butter. 

The garam masala seasoning wasn't something I could find, so I had to make my own. I looked up a recipe and found one that I could do with the spices I had on hand. Thanks to Chow and the awesome people on the forums over there for sharing recipes and links :)! I found the recipe I used at India Snacks. This recipe doesn't include cardamom, which almost everyone on that thread said was necessary for garam masala, but I didn't have it on hand. 

As for the tomato sauce? For that I used canned diced tomatoes, blended in the food processor (only because the hubby can't abide chunky anything just about) and allowed to simmer with the rest of the ingredients for about 45 minutes.

The flavor turned out great! I loved the very slight sweet taste from the tomatoes and the flavor and texture of the almonds. This wasn't spicy as most curries I've had but had wonderful flavor. I'll definitely make this again as it was also a hit with the hubby, even though he said it was a new taste to him. 


Mardi Michels said...

That looks absolutely fabulous! I have bookmarked it to use when the weather is a bit cooler!!! Nice job!

TeaLady said...

VERY NICE!! This looks so delicious. I forgot all about DB this month. Shame on me. After seeing yours, I know I will have to go back and do it.

Audax said...

That is truly interesting that your dh found a new taste and he liked it!!! This recipe sounds like a winner to me tomato and almonds sounds like an odd pairing but everybody raved about this in the forums. I just love your photos so clear. bright I can see each grain of rice well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

tariqata said...

Lovely photos and a delicious-looking dish!

I couldn't agree more about making your own tomato sauce for this one, too, and isn't garam masala both wonderful and easy?

shelley c. said...

That sounds delicious, and your photos are so appetizing! I love the substitutions that you made, too - the dish sounds absolutely wonderful. Great job with the challenge!

Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz said...

Like you I wanted to try all the nut butters lol. But you chose wonderfully with the curry and almonds. Looks really good.

Joy said...

Great recipe. I liked how you curried the tomatoes.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Ooo! I LOVE nut butters!!!!!!!

FabFrugalFood said...

Your curry looks amazing - and I'm not a big curry fan. But. I must try yours!

Donna@ Fab Frugal Food

Adriana said...

This recipe sounds delicious and your pictures are so amazing! Good job.

Anonymous said...

congratulations on a very successful sounding curry and challenge! It's great when our challenges mean our families experience new things they like!

Margie said...

Excellent job creating your own curry blend! Your curry chicken looks phenomenal!

TaGa_Luto said...

Thats it! I'm going to make this as well. You've convinced me to make it. I actually have some almond butter left, so there's no excuse for me not to make this.
Good job on this challenge.

Mother Rimmy said...

Great job. I don't participate in these challenges, but I sure love watching how well everyone does with them. Looks fabulous!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Looks super yummy! I love some almond butter.

J.Sterling said...

looks wonderful! I still wish i tried this one! Who am I kidding, I will :D

Cocina Savant said...

What a delicious curry. It has been too long since I have had any. This is certainly on the to do list now.

Joy said...

WOW! this looks great, I love that you used almond to make this curry. It's funny how many different ways you can use an ingredient -- I am so curious about the flavors. I think once I move I will be making this for dinner, me and collin LOVE LOVE LOVE curry!

Valérie said...

The chicken looks excellent, and your pictures are lovely. Bravo!

chef_d said...

Looks very delicious! This is going to be on my to-do list...Good job on this challenge :)

Susan @ The Spice Garden said...

I, too, am bookmarking this post for cooler weather! The combination of almond butter and curry spiced sauce is inspired ... excellent post!

Judy said...

I've been looking for a new chicken dish to try since I'm always making the same thing. This looks great and although I've never tried to make homemade curry I'd really like to try this!