Who hasn’t gone to an Indian restaurant and ordered the butter chicken? It is probably the most well-known Indian dish and it is my absolute favourite!!!
There are two main steps to make this butter chicken:
- Marinade, bake and char the chicken.
- Make the sauce.
You can make this dish with chicken breast or chicken thighs. I personally prefer to use thighs because I find their tenderness to be a better fit in this recipe. But either one works 🙂
So, once you have your chicken, it is best to marinate it for at least an hour. This will enable the chicken to absorb all the delicious flavour deep into its meat. So, if you are thinking of making this in the next couple of days, make a mental note of that. If you want to make this quickly after work, then think about preparing the chicken the night before and marinate it in the fridge overnight. Although I have to admit that I have made this one night on a spontaneous craving. So, as a result, I only marinated the chicken for 15 minutes while my oven was pre-heating. The butter chicken still tasted delicious but mainly because of the sauce. When the chicken has been marinated, you can taste the vibrant flavours deep into the middle of each and every bite. It makes a huge difference!
Once marinated, you bake the chicken partially in the oven for 10 minutes. Then you move your pan onto the top rack and turn your broiler on high. “Char” the top, which basically means partially blacken or burn. You only do this for a couple minutes unit you see the of of your chicken burn a little.
While your chicken is baking in the oven, you can prepare your sauce. The moment you get those ingredients and seasonings into your pan, the aromas are incredible. It is unfortunate that at this point you still have to simmer your food for another 20 minutes, because I’m telling you, you will want to eat that deliciousness as soon as you smell it!
Sprinkle some cilantro on top and serve this curry over Basmati rice or with Indian naan bread.
Add some spice to your dinner tonight and bring home the fragrance and taste of India with this delicious and creamy Indian butter chicken recipe.
- 1 and 1/2 lb. boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breast (about 2 chicken breasts or 4–5 thighs), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder or red pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. ginger, grated
- 1/2 tbsp. garam masala (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp. chilli powder or red pepper powder
- 1 16 oz. can of tomato puree (It may be called crushed tomatoes – look at the picture on the can)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (35% or whipping cream)
- 1/2 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- In a medium bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together: the chicken, yogurt, garlic, ginger, chilli powder and salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and allow it to marinade for 1-2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 475 F. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes on the middle rack.
- Turn broiler on high and move the chicken to the top rack. Char the top for 2-3 minutes until the top of the chicken begins to brown or burn slightly. Remove chicken from oven.
- In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil over medium high. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Add the coriander and cumin and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add onion, turmeric, garlic and ginger and cook until onion becomes translucent (2-3 minutes).
- Add garam masala, chilli powder and paprika, stir until coated and cook for about 40 seconds.
- Add the tomato puree and water and bring the sauce to a simmer. If you like your sauce to be smooth rather than chunky, remove from heat at this point. Pour the sauce into your food process and puree until smooth.
- Pour the puree back into the pan and bring back to a simmer. Add the partially cooked chicken.
- Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan with a lid and summer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the cream and fenugreek leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Serve over basmati rice and sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top.