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Cooking with Local MASTERCHEF Contestant

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Simone is hanging out in the kitchen with top 40 MASTERCHEF contestant Brien O'Brien as he whips up some vegan tikka masala. Brien, a local from Redding, created his own recipe using cauliflower and coconut milk. Check out the recipe below the next video!


  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 white onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk OR 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Add salt if needed.


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Mix spice blend.  In separate bowl, add vegetable oil to chicken thighs then season with spice blend.  Mix thoroughly.  In a tall skillet melt clarified butter then cook seasoned chicken on high until browned.  Remove chicken and set aside to cool.  In same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add chopped onion.  Cook for 4 minutes or until translucent.  Next, add tomato paste and cook an additional 4 minutes.  After tomato paste is caramelize add fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and crushed tomatoes to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  Once pan is deglazed add coconut milk (or cream) and chicken stock to pan.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Cut cooled chicken into bite size pieces.  After sauce has simmered for 15 minutes add crushed red pepper flakes, freshly chopped cilantro, and chicken.  Simmer another 10-15 minutes.  Serve on top of one cup white rice with fresh chopped cilantro as garnish.