Thursday, April 18, 2013

Butter Chicken (Indian Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce)

Had this at a wedding - Wow!

Actually, before I try the recipe below, I'm going to try crockpot style:

Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken, aka Chicken Makhani 

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (can be frozen)
1 med onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
approx 1 inch grated fresh ginger root
2 T lemon or lime juice
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
15 cardamom pods* (sewn together or tied in cheesecloth)
scant 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T salt (more or less to taste)
  2 tsp curry powder
1 T garam masala (used curry)

1/2 stick butter, cut into chunks
1 C plain yogurt

5 quart or larger crockpot. Most onion in the bottom of the crockpot, then place chicken on top. Scatter rest of onion and garlic over chicken. Combine dry spices, grated ginger, tomato paste, lemon or lime juice, and coconut milk in a medium sized bowl and pour the resulting mixture over the chicken and vegetables in the pot. Drop chunks of butter randomly over the top.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 (I doubled the recipe and cooked it on high for 2 and low for 4). The chicken will shred easily when fully cooked.

Stir in the plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving.

N.B. :
Powder of 12 cardamom seeds = 1 cardamom pod 3 cardamom pod = ½ tsp. cardamom powder
Spice Blend:

1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning  (I'll use curry powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne


3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 skinless rotisserie chicken, boned out and pulled into 1 1/2 by 1/2-inch chunks
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, placed in a colander and run under hot water to thaw
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Hot basmati rice, for serving
Pita bread, warmed according to package directions, for serving


To make the spice blend: Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The spices will be fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir will. Add the chicken pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Shake any excess water from the peas. Add the peas and cream to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice and warmed pita bread.

Variation: If you prefer shreds of chicken to whole pieces, remove the skin from the chicken and pull the meat into large chunks by hand. Add to the pan along with the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the tomato sauce and continue with the recipe.

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Thanks so much! I greatly value thoughtful comments!! ~ Gabriela