Saturday, February 6, 2010


For me the quintessential Indian dish is butter chicken. You can tell the calibre of the restaurant you are at simply by the sauce - many try to use a cream of tomato base which is always too salty (like prepared soups are) and not a robust fresh tomato taste. I love to make it at home for my family...and the bonus is leftovers can be chopped up and made into sandwiches or put on salad!!!!
This is NOT a low-cal option, but it is the #1 way to get into my good books by preparing it for dinner ... hint, hint !!
BUTTER CHICKEN - Murgh Makhani
2 cups Balkan-style plain yogurt
6 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece of gingerroot, minced
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp each lime juice and medium curry paste
2 tsp each mild paprika, ground cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp salt
8 air-chilled free range chicken breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp Garma Masala
2 tsp each mild paprika and medium curry paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • Line a sieve with cheesecloth; set over a bowl. Add yogurt; drain in refrigerator for 1 hour. Discard liquid; place yogurt in a large bowl and whisk in garlic, ginger, garam masala, lime juice, curry paste, paprika, cumin, coriander and salt.
  • Add chicken to bowl (or a large ziploc freezer bag), and turn to coat with yogurt marinade. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Place chicken, skin side up, on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan; spoon yogurt mixture over top. Roast in a 400F oven until no longer pink inside - about 45 mins. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Skim fat from pan juices, reserving juices in pan.
  • BUTTER SAUCE: Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion until browned - approx. 10 mins. Add garam masala, paprika, and curry paste; cook, stirring often until fragrant and beginning to stick to the pan - about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan; mash tomatoes with spoon. Simmer until spoon drawn across the bottom of the pan leaves a gap that fills in slowly - about 15 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly. In a food processor or blender, puree until smooth *You can make this ahead of time and allow to cool; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours*
  • Pour sauce into a roasting pan; bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits. Add cream and butter, a few pieces at a time, cooking just until each is melted and incorporated. Pour over chicken. Garnish with coriander.
  • ENJOY with a cold beer and naan bread!!!

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