Garam masala give this Indian Butter Chicken its full-bodied flavor.
Notes: If you can't find garam masala, use these seasonings: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon cracked dried bay leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro onto individual portions of butter chicken, if you like.
1 onion (1/2 lb.), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeño chili (about 1 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon salad oil
2 teaspoons garam masala (see notes)
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts, rinsed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
6 cups hot cooked white basmati rice
How to Make It
In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine onion, ginger, chili, and oil. Stir often over high heat until onion is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala. Scrape mixture into a blender; add tomato paste and chicken broth. Whirl until very smooth. Pour mixture back into pan, add cream, and bring to a gentle boil over high heat (mixture is inclined to spatter). Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl. Rinse and dry pan.
Mix chicken with pepper and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set pan over high heat; add 1 tablespoon butter and the chicken. Stir until chicken is no longer pink on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.
Spoon chicken and sauce onto rice. Add salt to taste. Squeeze lime juice over portions.
I have been making this recipe for 15 years, and I daresay, it beats what you find in Indian restaurants. It's so simple, tasty, and easy to multiply to feed a crowd. It's also a great recipe for those not used to the heat typical of Indian food. You can also lower the fat easily by cutting the cream and using yogurt as a mix-in at the end. I use a mix of chicken breasts and boneless thighs, because the dark meat holds a little more flavor.
Wonderful recipe - the nice masala flavor is the best part of it. I tried this recipe last night and it came out very good. One additional thing I did was to marinate the chicken (in 2 tbsp lemon jouce and 1 tbsp red chilli powder) for 1 hr. Also, I didn't have tomato puree, so I used regular tomato ketchup. I made the curry with Indian roti and my family loved it. I am going to archive this recipe for future use.
This recipe was very good and very quick. I used 12 boneless thighs and doubled the recipe for the sauce. I strongly recommend grilling the chicken, using the Tandoori Chicken Thighs recipe from CL May 2012. Grilling the chicken is more authentic according to my Mumbai-born husband, who, by the way, totally scarfed this down. Grilled shrimp or griddle-fried paneer (Indian-style cheese and, no, totally *not* light!) can be substituted successfully and authentically for chicken.
The two reasons it didn't merit a fifth star: the jalapeno peppers give the "wrong" pepper flavor. Substitute serranos for a more authentic flavor. Also, up the spices a little, including some ground red chili for depth of flavor.
My family LOVES this dish. I make over 150 recipes a year, and this is my son's favorite dinner, and he is hard to impress. He had 3 servings, I don't think he has ever had more than one, and also asked if he could have it for lunch the next day. My kids had never had Indian food before, so I wasn't too sure, but it was a complete success. I think the basmati rice is a must. I agree with the previous reviewer that said it is restaraunt quality. Also, for those of you who care, the calorie info is for 6 servings, and a servings of the butter chicken is about 1 cup.
This was so good - it actually tasted like it came from an Indian restaurant. I was impressed - considering how relatively easy it was to make. I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the boned skin-on chicken that was suggested - it turned out great.
I marinated the chicken in greek yogurt mixed with tumeric, garam masala, allspice, cinnamon, and garlic. The basmati rice at the local store was very pricey so I used some arborio because it is what I had on hand. I also served with buttered naan.
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