Chicken Tikka is one of our favorite recipes to make, since the weather warmed up we’ve made this at least once a week on our gas grill, it’s so delicious and low carb too!
For this recipe I opted to create simple little Chicken Tikka skewers, but you can just as easily apply the marinade to larger chunks of chicken if you prefer.
If you’re wondering if this is a hot spicy dish, the answer is no, although you could easily increase the heat simply by upping the amount of cayenne pepper this recipe calls for.
What is Chicken Tikka?
The word ‘Tikka’ in this instance refers to small chunks of marinated meat or vegetables that are then baked or grilled on a skewer.
Usually it’s small pieces of boneless chicken threaded onto skewers after marinating in spices and dahi (yogurt) so it’s very similar to a boneless version of tandoori chicken.
Is there a difference between Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala?
Chicken Tikka is simply the marinated grilled pieces of boneless chicken.
If you want to turn it into Chicken Tikka Masala you then simmer the already grilled pieces of chicken in a masala sauce which is often made with a spicy tomato based sauce and can include coconut and cream, though there is no one standard for the recipe and it can vary widely depending on who is making it.
Is Chicken Tikka good for you?
Yes! It’s a healthy recipe that includes lean chicken meat, yoghurt and healthy spices. Lean chicken is high in essential protein containing with 31 grams of protein per 100 grams, it also contains vitamins B and D, as well as thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin K.
My recipe for chicken tikka skewers is also low carb so it’s a great option if you are following the Keto diet.
How to Make Chicken Tikka
STEP 1 – Chop the chicken breast into small one inch sized pieces, then add the salt and lemon juice, mix well, and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
STEP 2 – Finely chop, or puree the fresh ginger and garlic together in a blender, and then mix in with the chicken pieces, the yoghurt, and all the spices.
STEP 3 – Cover the chicken pieces in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
Step 4 – When you are ready to cook the chicken, thread the pieces onto skewers like you see in the picture below, don’t pack them on there too tightly though. If you are using wooden skewers you’ll need to soak them first so they don’t burn.
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How to Cook Chicken Tikka under Broiler
Preheat your broiler and brush a pan suitable for use under the broiler with a little bit of oil
If you prefer you can use a wire rack over a half sheet pan, or use a smaller foil lined pan for easy clean up (see photo above) and balance the skewers on there.
Broil your chicken tikka about 5 inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning as needed for about 10-12 minutes total or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Do not overcook or your chicken will dry out.
How to Grill Chicken Tikka
Brush your already hot grill grates with a little bit of oil.
Cook your chicken tikka skewers over a direct heat for about 4 minutes per side, turning until each side is a little charred around the edges and the chicken is fully cooked. This will take about 8-12 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces and the heat of the grill.
More Chicken Recipes
Chicken Tikka Skewers
Delicious and flavorful, this healthy low carb recipe for Chicken Tikka Skewers is both easy to prepare and quick to cook.
- 1.5lb skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks 675g
Cut the chicken into 1 inch sized chunks and place in a bowl or ziplock bag for marinating.
Add the salt and lemon juice, mix well, and let the chicken sit in that for 30 minutes.
Finely chop or puree the fresh ginger and garlic together in a blender.
Add the yoghurt and spices to the garlic/ginger mixture and then add it to the chicken pieces, mix well to combine. Marinade for up to 6 hours or overnight.
Thread the chicken pieces onto 8 metal skewers, do not pack them too tightly on there.
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN TIKKA UNDER BROILER
Preheat broiler and brush a sheet pan suitable for the broiler with a little oil to prevent the skewers from sticking.
If your skewers are long enough you could balance them over a small sheet pan like I did (see photos in post) which means they are not sitting in the juice and you can turn them easily for even browning.
Another option is to place the skewers on a wire rack made for a half sheet pan, this will also keep the chicken from sitting in the juices.
Broil about 5 inches from the heat for 4-5 minutes per side, turning as needed for about 10-12 minutes total or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Do not overcook or the chicken will be dry.
HOW TO GRILL CHICKEN TIKKA
Brush the hot grill grates with a little oil.
Cook the chicken tikka skewers over a direct heat for about 4 minutes per side, turning until each side is charred and the chicken is fully cooked, will take 8-12 minutes.
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey