Indian Butter Chicken

3 years ago

*Step 1: Chicken*

1.5 lbs of boneless chicken, breast or thigh meat
2-3 tsp red chilli powder
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt (use more depending on your taste)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp grated garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
a good pinch of saffron threads
2 tsp red paprika
butter for basting

1. Rub red chilli powder, lime juice and salt onto the chicken and set it aside for about 15 minutes.
2. Whisk together yogurt and cream and then add grated ginger, grated garlic, garam masala, saffron and paprika and mix well. This is your main marinade.
3. Add this marinade to your chicken and ensure that the chicken is coated well with this mixture.
4. Marinate it for at least 4 hours for best results.
5. Arrange the chicken on a rack with a tray underneath to collect the drippings. Discard the marinade.
6. Set your oven to broil on high and broil the chicken for 5 minutes. Turn it over, baste with butter and broil for another 5 minutes. If you use chicken breasts then adjust the time accordingly.
6. At this point, you have several options: serve it with roast potatoes and salad or eat it as is and hope for some leftovers so that you can move on to Step 2. Or put a hand of steel on your heart and move on to Step 2.

If you use breast meat, don`t forget to make a few deep incisions so that the marinade can seep in as much as possible.
The original recipe calls for a drop of orange color. I prefer to use red paprika instead.
I made this without garam masala last week as we had visitors who were not big on spice and it worked just fine.
While 4 hours is preferable, I have marinated it for as little as 2 hours and the chicken has not been any the worse for it.
If you like the burnt bits on your meat, broil the chicken until that point.
I have tried cooking the marinade with the drippings from the tray but it wasn`t very popular. The chicken is very moist and tender and has a fair coating of the spices that it does not need any gravy with it when served tandoori-style.

*Step 2: Sauce*

1/2 stick butter
3 tbsp grated ginger
3 tbsp grated garlic
1.5 cans of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
3-4 Thai chillies. slit vertically and deseeded (use more if you want to up the heat)
5 tsp ground cashewnuts
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or cayenne pepper and red paprika)
1/3 cup cream
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Melt butter in a kadhai and add grated ginger and grated garlic.
2. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the fibers turn a golden color.
3. Add diced tomatoes and about 2 cups of water.
4. Cover and cook down until most of the water has evaporated.
5. While this is cooking, chop the tandoori-style chicken into bite-size pieces.
6. Blend the cooked down chunky sauce into a smooth mixture using a hand blender or in your blender. If your blender is like mine, you may want to cool the mixture quickly using a few ice cubes.
7. Pour the smooth mixture back into the kadhai and add the chopped ginger and green chillies. Cook for a few minutes and then add ground cashewnuts and stir to ensure they mix well into the sauce.
8. If you like, adjust the sauce to a thickness of your liking by adding some water.
9. Add salt and Kashmiri chilli powder and bring the sauce to a boil.
10. Gently add the chopped chicken into the sauce and simmer for 7-8 minutes.
11. Stir in heavy cream and remove from heat.
12. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with naan, roti or with rice. The choice is yours.

The original recipe required 2 sticks of butter and 2/3 cups cream in the sauce. I think that`s rather unnecessary and too fattening, but you can do that too if you want.
Almonds instead of cashewnuts works just as well.
I used 1/2 the number of green chillies. Add more green chillies to make it spicier if you like, it depends on how spicy you would like it to be!
And, yes, there really is all that ginger in the sauce. Do not reduce the amount of chopped ginger -- it gives a lovely taste to the sauce.

Cheers! :)

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