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.

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 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.

Print this recipe? butter-chicken

Chicken Puff Pie

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My biggest peeve about chicken pot pie is that the crust to stew ratio is terribly disproportionate.

For the Stew:
1/2 cup Butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup Flour
4-5 cups Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
2 cups Mixed Vegetables
I used a combination of frozen (thawed) and fresh veggies I had left over.
4 cups cooked Shredded Chicken
You can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken or roast your own. I roasted 2 big chicken breasts then let them cool before I shredded.

In a large high sided pot over medium high, melt the butter. Add the flour and mix until a paste forms. Add the stock, whisking briskly. Turn the heat down a bit and continue to whisk until the sauce is thick. Add more stock if it’s too thick. Season with salt and pepper and the herbs de Provence.
Add the vegetables and shredded chicken. Stir to combine then heat through. You can set this aside off the heat and get started on your pastry crust.

For the Crust:
1 package Puff Pastry (I use Pillsbury)
Egg wash = 1 egg mixed very well with a bit of water
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Defrost the puff pastry and unfold onto parchment lined baking sheets. Cut each pastry sheet into fourths and arrange so they are about an inch or so apart.
Now for each square, measure in at each side roughly half an inch in, and score a line with a knife. Don’t cut all the way through!
Use the egg wash on the outside border of the square. Try not to dribble on the sides or the square won’t puff.
Season with salt and pepper, and place in the over for 20 – 25 minutes.
When they are golden brown and puffy, set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled gently press down along the score line creating a little cup in the pastry.

Spoon the stew into the pastry crust and serve.

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Dinner Tonight: Beef Sauvignon


I can never find Burgundy wine. Maybe it’s the same thing? Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. Whatever the case, I’ve always used Cabernet Sauvignon in my version of Beef Bourguignon.

Let me tell you a secret about this classic French stew. It’s cheap eats. It’s what you want to have when you are pinching pennies as hard as you can. I made this for six people for $6.34 per person.
Also, this is a great seduce a man or impress the in-laws meal.

Beef Sauvignon

1 large (7-10 lbs) or 2 small: Beef Chuck Roast
10 rashers of Bacon
8-10 medium Carrots
1 large Sweet Onion
1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups water
10 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper

Prep:
Cut up your roast into large chunks, about 1 1/2 inch cubes. Trim off most of the fat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. (I’ll let you decided how much)
Snip the bacon into 1 inch chunks.
Peel and dice the onion.
Peel and cut the carrots into 1 inch rounds
Wash and strip the leaves off the thyme.

Heat a heavy bottomed stew pot over medium high heat. Brown the bacon until crispy, then remove and set aside.
Brown the beef in small batches on all sides. You’re not going for fully cooked just a browned crust on the outside.
You should be developing a browned stuck on mess on the bottom of your pot. This is good. Yur doin it rite! If the bottom is getting black, turn down the heat your pot is too hot.
After all your meat is browned, place it on the plate with the bacon and set aside.
In go the diced onions. Saute on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
Turn up the heat to high for just a moment and then add about a cup of the Cabernet and scrape the bottom of the pot freeing the lovely browned bits and stirring them into the wine until dissolved.
Turn the heat back down to medium and toss in the carrots.
Toss back in the beef and bacon and stir everything together.
Add the rest of the wine. Yes, the whole bottle.
Add about 2 cups of water or enough to barely cover the meat.
Bring the stew to a boil, Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Skim the fat off the top of the stew every 1/2 hour or so.
If the finished sauce is not thick enough for your liking, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Stir this mixture into the sauce. It’s cheating yes, yes I know!
Sprinkle the thyme over the top before serving with a nice baguette.