Butter Chicken


My ultimate favorite comfort food is Indian cuisine – the spices, herbs, and blend of flavors combined into a single dish warm make for an extraordinary meal. The other night I made Butter Chicken, one of my favorite Indian dishes, and maybe it was because both my husband and I were ravenous, but it was probably the best version of Butter Chicken ever made. It’s definitely a hearty meal and will leave you in a food coma-like state, but it is definitely worth it. I like eating this dish poured over jasmine rice, but eating it with naan bread is always a good alternative. The be part is, Butter Chicken is great for leftovers.

Adapted from “The Food of India”

Butter Chicken Serves 6

3/4 in. (2 cm) piece of ginger, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 c. (80 g) blanched almonds

2/3 c. (170 ml) thick plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon garam masala

4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

14 oz (400 g) tin chopped tomatoes

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 lbs 4oz (1 kg) skin-less, boneless chicken thigh fillets, cut into fairly large pieces

5 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

1 large onion, thinly sliced

6 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves

4 tablespoons thick (heavy/double) cream

BLEND the ginger and garlic together to a paste in a food processor. Grind the almonds in a food processor or finely chop with a knife. Put the paste and almonds in a bowl with the yogurt, chill powder, cloves, cinnamon, garam masala, cardamom pods, tomato and salt, and blend together with a fork. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover and marinate for 2 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.

PREHEAT the over to 350 F (180 C). Heat the ghee or clarified butter in a deep, heavy-based frying pan, add the onion and fry until softened and brown. Add the chicken mixture and fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the fresh coriander. Put the mixture into a shallow baking dish, pour in the cream and stir with a fork.

BAKE for 1 hour. If the top is browning too quickly during the cooking, cover with a piece of foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving. The oil with rise to the surface. Just before serving, place the dish under a hot grill (broiler) for about 2 minutes to brown the top. Before serving, slightly tip the dish and spoon off any extra oil.

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