Chicken Tikka Cheater… Taking a leaf out of Delia’s Book

27 Feb

Well Delia cheated, so why can’t I!?

It’s not something I am going to do often, however when it has been a long day and you have been on your feet is all you really desire is a yummy dinner that doesn’t take an age to cook.  I know this as well as the next person.  So tonight it was short-cut time.

I popped to Marks & Spencer’s and I bought their ‘Tikka Masala Sauce’.  I love their sauce range as they are seemingly the most authentic (I haven’t tried too many other types to be honest), but I know that M&S make simple, good, honest food and I like their ethos, so that is where my sauce came from.  I am not an M&S food snob – I promise.

So, what to add to the sauce… chicken is the obvious, but what about a vegetable – sweet potato?  I decided to take the plunge and add it in; and I will be doing it again.  It was delicious as the tomato-y sauce really went well with the sweetness of the potato – I am not sure I even really needed the chicken.  Maybe I will go 100% veggie next time, though I may need even more vegetables!  Here is how to do it folks…


COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

MAKES: 4 portions



  • 1 Jar of M&S Tikka Sauce – it cost me £.179
  • 1 Sweet Potato – it cost me 33p
  • 1 Onion – it cost me 33p
  • 1 Large Chicken Breast  – it cost me £1.70 (This was from my local butchers and included the fillet, so it was huge! Most supermarkets remove this and sell it on as a ‘chicken fillet’ when really it belonged to your chicken breast.)
  • 250g Wild Rice – it cost me £51p


Like I said before, I don’t normally cheat like this and use a jar sauce.  I believe that food should be cooked from scratch and be healthy and nutritious, but if you have had a bad day and are going to be naughty – do it but do it well and as healthily and tastily as you can.

So, peel and chop the sweet potato into very small cubes – I recommend 1cm cubes.  Then pop these into a small pan and add boiling water.  As these are so small they are going to take about 10 minutes to cook.  Do not over cook them so that they are dropping and making a sweet potato soup in your pan!

Chop the onion into a small dice and pop this into a pre-heated frying pan.  Leave this to cook, moving it around occasionally.  You want the onion to be very soft and slightly golden – not burnt, so keep the heat quite low.

Whilst the onion cooks away, chop your chicken breast up into approx. 1cm pieces too.  I say to do this quite small as I like to ensure all my ingredients are similar sizes and therefore I get a mouthful of rice, chicken, sweet potato and sauce.  I am not one of those people who eats all the separate elements of my dinner individually i.e. all my veg, all my protein then all my carbs!  No!  You want a little bit of everything in each mouthful.

Now the onions are soft, add the chicken and cook until golden and cooked through.  This should take about 7 minutes.  Whilst this is cooking I would measure out the wild rice, put this in a pan and cover with boiling water and then pop the lid on.  This will take 15 minutes, so your chicken should be cooked when the rice is half cooked.

The sweet potatoes will be ready to, so drain these and add these to the chicken and onions.  It is time for the sauce!  POP open your jar and pour into the frying pan with your lovely ingredients.  Fill the jar 1/3 full, place the lid back on, give it a shake and then pour this into the frying pan to.  We are now going to cook this until it reduces a little and thickens up and coats all of your chicken and sweet potatoes.

Time is up, everything should now be ready.  Drain the rice, serve and place a large dollop of your meat and sauce into the middle!  Pick up your fork and go… you deserve it!



2 Responses to “Chicken Tikka Cheater… Taking a leaf out of Delia’s Book”

  1. londoncab53 March 12, 2013 at 3:37 am #

    Love this! I advocate eating real food, not processed, but sometimes you just need to be quick. This wasn’t expensive and you mostly did use real food, brilliant!
    So happy to find someone else that loves food and loves to talk.
    Thanks for checking out my blog, looking forward to trying your onion chutney recipe.

    • gemsfoodgems March 12, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Hello… I agree, always make fresh healthy food – if you can. If you can’t its ok to cheat, but try and still be as healthy as you can and include vegetables! It also shows that healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive. Thank you very much for your lovely comments! Let me know how the chutney goes. It is yummy!! x

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