Butter Chicken

IMG_3094IMG_9960Butter Chicken
adapted from The New York Times

Ingredients

  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno (red or green) or serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 ounces ground almonds (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Basmati rice and/or naan, for serving

Method

Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).

Melt the butter in a large deep pan over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.

Add the cinnamon stick, tomato sauce, chile pepper and salt, and cook until the chile pepper is soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in the half and half and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the almonds, if using, and cook for another minute, then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve over basmati rice and/or with naan on the side.

NOTES

HOLY. CRAP. SO. GOOD.

So, butter chicken. For years, I never bothered to make it because I thought it was just like chicken tikka masala – marinate in lemon, yogurt, spices, cook with more spices, chile pepper, tomato, and cream. Same, right? NOPE. NOPENOPENOPE. I could not have been more mistaken.

This is, hands down, now my favorite Indian dish of all time. I cannot properly explain how complex and delicious and wonderful and amazing this is. Make it. You will not be disappointed.

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