February 21, 2010

Butter Chicken


My husband and I are huge fans of Indian food.   I mainly lean more towards curry dishes the majority of the time but we both really love Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).  My friend, Asad wished me luck in making this dish as his mother has been trying to make it for years and it hasn't come out right.   I'm sure our levels of approval to what it SHOULD taste like are very different.   In our opinion, we came pretty close to the same flavor as our favorite Indian restaurant, Cafe Iravat.  So that it what we used as a comparison to how it should taste.  I was so excited that it turned out to taste so good.   Sorry, I couldn't share with Asad because we pigged out and ate all of it.  Maybe next time.  It was very simple and delicious!!  We also stopped by the Spice Rack market around the corner from our house on the way home to pick up Naan to go along with our meal.  They make it fresh while you wait.  Wow!!!  We also got a serving of their butter chicken to try it out.  We snacked on that while I had everything simmering.  Their version was really spicy but very flavorful.   Maybe everyone's idea of Butter Chicken is different.  But now that I have my own I'm sure I'll be making it often. 

2 lbs chicken thighs, fat trimmed off
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (**If you want it spicy, you may use 1 tsp or more.)
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cardamom
Juice of 1 whole lime

1 onion, diced
1 c butter
1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 c half and half
basmati rice or naan

Combine first 9 ingredients and marinate covered overnight. 

Saute the onion in the butter until soft in a dutch oven.  Add marinated chicken and cook to brown on all sides.  Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  Simmer  covered for at least 30 minutes over medium-low heat.  I think the longer you simmer the better it will be as all the flavors have time to marry and become better and better.  I simmered for 30 minutes stirred and then simmered another 20 minutes.  Add the half and half just before serving. Serve over basmati rice or scoop up with naan.   Enjoy!

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