Saturday, February 27, 2010

Butter Chicken

Now I know the title of this recipe intrigued you, because when the word "butter" is in the title, everyone's ears perk up.  Or eyes if you're reading this, I guess.  And butter chicken is actually and Indian dish.  I hope I didn't lose you there.  Hence the mound of basmati rice underneath.  It's really simple to make, accompanied by a heaping portion of rich and delicious.  John and I both loved the dish, but I would definitely recommend cutting the cream a bit and increasing the spices (as I do in the recipe below).  Both of which surprise me immensely - using less cream and making something spicier?  What?  But trust me, I know how I like my Indian-ish food! 

First you need to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours.  You will need kosher salt, lime, cardamom, corriander, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, and black pepper.

Take a couple of chicken breasts and place them in a bowl.

Add 5 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoons ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon cardamom, and 1 whole lime, juiced. 

Toss the chicken well with the spices and lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up until overnight.  

Dice up half an onion.

Here's the butter part of butter chicken.  Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. 

Add in your diced onion and cook for 3-5 minutes.  

Here they are nice and translucent. 

Now add in your marinated chicken breasts, ideally moving the onions so the chicken breasts can directly touch the skillet.  

Cook for 10 minutes total, flipping the chicken about halfway through.

Now add a small 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and about 7 oz. of diced tomatoes (I had to use half a 14.5 oz. can) to your pan.

Mix it up well so the chicken is somewhat covered.  This is a good time to add in some extra spices.  You will want to add at least 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but do some taste tests and see how spicy you want it.  Then I also suggest adding in a dash of cumin, corriander, and cardamom.  Now place a lid on your pan and simmer for 30 minutes.  

After your 30 minutes are up, add 1/2 cup cream.  Stir well and do one last taste test for spices. 

Serve over a heaping mound of basmati rice.  This sauce is rich, but not as filling as the sauces I typically find at Indian restaurants.  The chicken is extra moist - much more so than your average chicken breast.  This is probably a good recipe to play with to see how much cream and spices you want to add to make it taste the way you prefer.  I know I'll be repeating this recipe soon to get my own specific ratios down.  I also think I might try crushed tomatoes (instead of diced) next time to avoid the chunky texture.  But that's just me. 

Butter Chicken
From Tasty Kitchen by way of Pioneer Woman

2 chicken breasts
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cardamom
1 whole lime, juiced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
7-8 oz. canned tomato sauce
7-8 oz. canned diced or crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place chicken breasts in a medium-sized bowl.  Add garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, cardamom, and the juice of one lime.  Toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or for as long as overnight.  

Heat a pan over medium heat.  Melt two tablespoons of butter and add 1/2 diced onion.  Cook until translucent and add marinated chicken breasts.  Cook chicken for about 5 minutes per side and then add in 8 oz. tomato sauce and 8 oz. diced or crushed tomatoes.  Add additional cayenne pepper (at least 1 teaspoon) and an additional dash of cumin, coriander, and cardamom to taste.  Cover pan and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 cup cream and serve over basmati rice. 


  1. I think everyone in the blogosphere is salivating over this dish this week! :) I put my chicken in the fridge to marinate last night and will be serving it up tonight. Hope it turns out as well as yours!

  2. I did that recipe with the whole amount of cream it asked for and it was WAY too much. Glad you've cut it down here.

    I'll def be making this again with less cream and more spice!


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