• Gary Corcoran

Butter Chicken (Murgh Mkhani)

Butter Chicken is one of the most popular curries in the world. It was created by Indian chef Kundan Lal Jaggi in Delhi, India in the 1950s, using leftover tandoori chicken, served in a tomato gravy, made rich with butter and cream. It is relatively easy to make. Chicken pieces are marinated in yogurt and mild spices, then cooked in an creamy, buttery curry sauce. The aromas alone makes this dish worthy of making and will immediately transport you to India. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts if you prefer. I always prefer dark meat, but Gayle prefers breast meat. You can even make the butter sauce in advance if you wish to allow the flavours to develop.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Mkhani)

Serves 4 - 6 Ingredients for the marinade: 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into pieces 1 cup plain full fat yogurt Juice of one lemon 2 T garlic, finely chopped 2 T ginger, fresh grated 1 T garam masala 1 T cardamom powder 1 t turmeric powder 1 t salt 1 t cumin powder 1 t Kashmiri chili powder* For the butter sauce: 4 T olive oil 6 T ghee 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 T garlic, finely chopped 2 T ginger, fresh grated 1 T garam masala 1 T cardamom powder 1 T coriander powder 1 t cumin powder 1 t Kashmiri chili powder* 2 t salt 1 T sugar 2 cups of tomato purée 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream Few sprigs of coriander Combine all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a medium bowl. Add your chicken pieces and let marinate for an hour or overnight if time permits.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade and add in batches to your pan making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for a couple of minutes. You are not looking to cook the chicken, just brown it. Set aside and keep warm. (You will finish cooking the chicken in the butter sauce.) Discard marinade.

Heat ghee in the same pan. Sauté the onions for about 6 - 8 minutes while scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Now add your garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute or so. Now add your dry spices and sauté for about a minute stirring constantly to cook your spices. Add tomato purée, sugar and salt. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Pour your tomato sauce into a blender or pulverize till smooth using an immersion blender.

Add your cream and stir into the sauce. Add the chicken with juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 10 - 12 minutes or so on low heat covered till chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened to your liking. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice and naan. Note: *Kashmiri chili powder may be difficult to find. If so, mix 5 teaspoons of paprika and 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder. It’s not a perfect substitute but will suffice.

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