Saturday, February 9, 2013

Indian Butter Chicken

Remember those dinner plans that were postponed last weekend? Well, they were postponed for the second time thanks to Winter Storm Nemo last night.  I guess we'll have to hope that the third time's a charm next week! Instead of our planned sushi night out, KK found Indian Butter Chicken in my list of recipes a few times, so we decided to give one of the versions a try.

For this recipe, if you don't have cardamom, substituting it for 1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 ground nutmeg will do the trick!

WARNING: This sauce splattered everywhere while I was making it! I covered my skillet with a lid, but my white shirt still fell victim to a few splatter stains.  Be very careful while you're cooking, but I'd also suggest wearing some junky clothes.  Nevertheless, this dinner was great! We enjoyed the snowy evening with this delicious Indian dish, a Homeland marathon, and a bottle of off-dry Riesling from one of my favorite vineyards - V. Sattui.

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from Good Life Eats
Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes

1 onion (1/2 lb.), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup light cream (or half-and-half or heavy cream)
1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
salt & pepper
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, uncooked

1. Cook rice according to package instructions. Chop/prepare the remaining ingredients.

2. In a large saute pan, combine onion, ginger, jalapeño  and oil.  Stir frequently over medium-high heat until onions are  lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Saute for an additional 2 minutes.

3. Combine onion mixture, tomato paste, chicken broth in a blender or food processor.  Whirl until very smooth.

4. Pour mixture back into pan, add light cream and crushed bay leaves, and bring to a gentle boil over high heat (mixture is inclined to spatter).

5. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes.

6. While the sauce is simmering, season chicken with salt & pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon butter and the chicken to another skillet over high heat.  Stir until chicken is no longer pink on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.

7. Spoon chicken and sauce onto rice. 

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