Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Authentic Butter Chicken

When it comes to Indian food, nothing is better than Butter Chicken. At least, that's how I feel. I made a low-calorie version before and enjoyed it very much. Then I tasted the real deal, served with chewy naan bread, and I knew I had to make it, too, calories be damned.

I was flipping through the holiday issue of Food & Drink magazine (a free magazine distributed at Ontario's government-controlled liquor stores) and found this authentic recipe, written by an Indian restaurant's owner. The chicken is prepared Tandoori-style, with a spicy yogurt marinade, while tomatoes are combined with spices, garlic and ginger, butter (of course) and some whipping cream to form an incredibly flavourful and oh-so spicy sauce - just don't over-do it on the cayenne!

Butter Chicken
Adapted from Food & Drink magazine
Serves 3

1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. minced or pureed garlic
Salt to taste 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp Garam Masala

4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 2 cups canned tomatoes, without juice
2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 green cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/3 cup whipping cream

To finish
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
2 tsp. sugar

Combine ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let chicken marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature. Add yogurt and Garam Masala and let marinate for 20 minutes longer.

Preheat oven to 425. Place chicken on a rack over a roasting pan (or baking pan) and roast for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Reserve.

Combine tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and chicken stock in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes or until tomatoes have completely broken down. Puree in a blender (or use an immersion blender).

Bring sauce to a boil. Add cayenne and simmer until sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in butter. Add the chicken and any juice and simmer for 5 minutes. Add (1 tsp.) ginger and cream and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust spiciness by adding up to 3/4 tsp. more cayenne. Stir in Garam Masala and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice or naan bread.


Elra February 11, 2009 at 10:19:00 PM EST  

Oh I really like this murgh makani, it is probably one of my favorite indian chicken dish.

MaryBeth February 12, 2009 at 10:12:00 PM EST  

I have never eaten Indian food before, this looks very interesting.

Parker February 13, 2009 at 9:06:00 AM EST  

Love the LCBO Food & Drink mag. Your butter chicken looks stunning, great photos and the recipe sounds delectable.

Anonymous February 14, 2009 at 4:19:00 PM EST  

I haven't eaten Indian food either - but that looks delish!

Jaime February 24, 2009 at 8:38:00 PM EST  

you should try the chicken tikka masala recipe in my blog, i think you'd like it :)

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