Tuesday, September 27, 2016

(My Version of) Priya's Famous Butter Chicken


One of my good friends makes amazing butter chicken. Really outstanding. It's sort of legendary in our circle of friends. 

D will come home, gushing that his friend - her son - brought butter chicken for lunch. In the lunchroom, her butter chicken holds the highest value. And K leverages it well in their mid-day food bartering. "I think you need to give me one more strawberry since it is butter chicken."

She even brought some over last year on April 26th which is Jake's birthday and he opted for that instead of the dinner I had planned. No worries...I have thick skin.

And, over the years, all of us have asked for her recipe. She finally assented and printed out copies for us in June. It has taken me this long to actually make it. I bought the chicken this weekend, but time got away from me. Then, yesterday, I swore that I wasn't going to turn on the stove - it was 95 degrees in Monterey - but the boys insisted.

This is my version with slight adaptations. I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breast; I added a few more aromatics; I served it over a basmati-wild rice blend; and I added some chili paste to make it a little bit more spicy. But it was made in the spirit of her recipe. It was delicious. And, even better than delicious: it was not as difficult as I imagined.

D did criticize my sauce texture. "Mom," he pointed out, "Ms. Priya's sauce is thicker. You should try for that next time. Okay?" Okay.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs organic chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 6 T unsalted butter, cut into 2 T chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1-1/2 C)
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tgrated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3” stick cinnamon
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1 T chili paste (optional)
  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • cooked rice for serving

Procedure
In a large mixing bowl, massage the salt, pepper, 1 t chili powder, and turmeric into the chicken. Let stand for 15 minutes.

In a large, flat-bottom pan, cook the onions, ginger, and garlic in 3 T butter until softened and the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the remaining butter and melt. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant.

Add the chicken to the spiced paste and brown until cooked through, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Add in the chili paste, if using; we like our butter chicken a little bit spicy. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes - until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Pour in the cream, whisk to combine, and simmer until that it thickened to your liking.

Serve garnished with cooked rice. Enjoy!

6 comments:

  1. OK, just adapted shopping list so we can enjoy this soon! I've been out of the kitchen all month and this will be an amazing welcome back entree.

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    Replies
    1. Can't wait to hear if you like it!! My family loved it...yesterday for dinner and today for lunch!!

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  2. Hobbling around on crutches meant the prep took longer than anticipated, but it was SO worth every minute. The kitchen aroma drew kitchen helpers (and sauce tasters) early on and anticipation ran high. The chicken was delicious, but the sauce... the sauce was heavenly. We can't wait for tomorrow's lunch to see if the flavors develop even further overnight. Thanks to you and Priya for sharing the recipe.

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