Butter Chicken

I’m told this dish originated in India, but I’m not sure of its region. No matter really because it’s so good when you make it you’ll say it came straight from heaven! I love the simplicity of an exotically spiced stew and it’s a recipe that you can whip up with confidence.

butter-chicken

 Butter Chicken

4-6 Boneless skinless, Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 cup (one stick) Butter
1 14oz can Light Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
2 cloves finely chopped Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Ginger
Cilantro to garnish.

Chop the onion, garlic and grate the ginger then set aside.
Cut each chicken thigh into approximately three strips each.
Heat a heavy stew pot with a lid over medium-high then add the olive oil and chicken thighs then season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown.
Add in the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until onions are softened and translucent.
Turn the heat to a simmer then add the tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Stir until well combined. Add the stick of butter. (it’s a seriously giddy moment when you add, wantonly, a whole stick of butter to the pot)¬†
Add the garam masala, chili powder, and curry powder.
Stir then cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
If you’d like the sauce thicker, turn the heat up and boil uncovered for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Garnish with Cilantro and serve over Jasmine or Basmati Rice.

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Apricot Curry Chicken with Rice

There is an Indian place near campus here in Eugene called Evergreen. This is my amateurish attempt of their squeal inducing mango curry.

While the following recipe features apricot jam and heavy cream (because that’s what I had on hand) a mango chutney or jam and coconut cream would make this taste more authentic.

Apricot Curry Chicken With Rice

4 boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup Apricot Jam
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper

For the Curry:
1 1/2 teaspoons Cardamom
1 teaspoon Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/8 Cumin
1 teaspoon finely chopped Parsley
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Of course you can use the pre-made Curry powder from the spice section. It’s what I’d planed on doing until I discovered I was out, and trudging back to the store didn’t appeal at all.

In a large saute pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and brown the chicken about 3 minutes a side. No need to cook it through at this point, it will finish cooking in the sauce. Set aside the chicken.
Turn the heat to medium and add the curry mixture, Stir the curry into the remaining chicken juices and toast the spices for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and the apricot jam, stir until the jam is melted in to the sauce. Add the heavy cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce seems too think add a bit of water.

Add the chicken back into the pan, flipping it over once so that it is covered in the sauce. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (165 internal temp.)

Serve with Jasmine rice.