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Indian Butter Chicken RecipePlease do not let the ingredient list put you off from making this recipe.  It is delightful.  And full of aromatic spices and deep flavor.  I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, goodlifeeats.com.  Katie posts her weekly menu on her Facebook page and when I saw this dish listed, I knew that I needed to make it STAT.  I love Indian food and love how it can bring chicken to whole new, un-boring levels.

This recipe uses a few more pots and gadgets than I usually like, but it is so good that I did not even care.  I would double the sauce and freeze half for another night when you need a bit of exotic in your life and toss it with some sauteed pieces of chicken (or even a rotisserie chicken) and call it dinner.  I love the fresh cilantro and lime at the end, it adds just enough freshness that you need to balance all of the earthy flavors going on.

My husband walked into the house while I was making this an said that it was one of the best smells that he has ever smelled.  That says a lot coming from Mr. Meat and Potato.  And, my boys loved it and both finished their plates.  I told you that it is good.

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe1 onion chopped
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I used half, the kids were eating this too)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
lime wedges
chopped cilantro
cooked Basmati rice (cook according to package directions and set aside)

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeIn a large saute pan coated with olive oil, cook the onions, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic over medium-high heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned.

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeAdd the garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander.  Cook for two more minutes, stirring frequently.  This is where your house starts to smell amazing.

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeScrape the onion and spice mixture into the bowl of a food processor.  Add the tomato paste and chicken broth and process until smooth.

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeAdd the puree back into the saute pan and add the bay leaves and the cream.  Let come to a boil and reduce heat and let simmer until it has reduced to about 3 cups.  It takes about 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir frequently. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and set aside.  I clean out the pan and get it ready to cook my chicken.

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeDry the chicken well with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.  Preheat the pan to high.  Add the chicken and 1 Tablespoon butter.  Cook the chicken until it starts to brown and turns opaque.  About 3 to 4 minutes.

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Add the sauce back to the pan and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the remaining butter to the sauce and stir until it is melted and incorporated.

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeAdd some rice to a bowl and spoon the Indian Butter Chicken over top.  Squeeze a lime wedge over it and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Indian Butter Chicken RecipeDive in.

Indian Butter Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I used half, the kids were eating this too)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • lime wedges
  • chopped cilantro
  • cooked Basmati rice (cook according to package directions and set aside)

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan coated with olive oil, cook the onions, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned.
  2. Add the garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook for two more minutes, stirring frequently. This is where your house starts to smell amazing.
  3. Scrape the onion and spice mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the tomato paste and chicken broth and process until smooth.
  4. Add the puree back into the saute pan and add the bay leaves and the cream. Let come to a boil and reduce heat and let simmer until it has reduced to about 3 cups. It takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir frequently. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and set aside. I clean out the pan and get it ready to cook my chicken.
  5. Dry the chicken well with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. Preheat the pan to high. Add the chicken and 1 Tablespoon butter. Cook the chicken until it starts to brown and turns opaque. About 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the sauce back to the pan and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. Add the remaining butter to the sauce and stir until it is melted and incorporated.
  7. Add some rice to a bowl and spoon the Indian Butter Chicken over top. Squeeze a lime wedge over it and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.
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55 Responses to Indian Butter Chicken

  1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Bree! This was such a nice post to wake up to. Indian Butter Chicken is probably our family’s most repeated recipe and I usually have most of the ingredients on hand already, so it’s relatively inexpensive (after you invest in the garam masala). That first photo is breath-taking – the colors look amazing against that dark background. I love it! You definitely did this recipe justice.
    Katie | GoodLife Eats recently posted..Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Tart

    • bakedbree says:

      you are welcome! I do love your blog and everything that I have ever made is delicious and just the way you described. I am glad that you approve.

  2. Interesting. I’ve been making a similar dish but I like that in this one you make the sauce completely separately. So yes, you could make a double batch of sauce and stash half in the freezer. Going to have to give this a try.

  3. {natalie} says:

    that looks delicious. i need to pick up some spices and i’m set.
    {natalie} recently posted..Advent week one

  4. Melanie says:

    I love butter chicken and this recipe looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it…because I definitely will be trying it. Your photos alone sold me.
    Melanie recently posted..Gingerbread with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and Bananas Sugar Rush 5

  5. Matthew says:

    Butter chicken happens to be my favorite dish of all time.

    I will give your recipe a whirl.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Matthew

  6. Laura says:

    Wow, sounds and looks delicious. And your boys ate it also. I have two little ones, so that is a good sign. Will give it a try.
    Thanks!
    Laura in Ludwigsburg
    Laura recently posted..Erzgebirge wood art

  7. Looks yum. Different from what my mom taught me but I will have to try this one and see how it matches up! Beautiful photos!
    A Little Yumminess recently posted..Good Old Fashioned Casserole- Penne with Chicken Sausage and Cheese

  8. Casey says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing! You have a beautiful site!

  9. Kelly says:

    Mmmmm…will definitely be making this! Looks delish.

  10. Jun says:

    Mmmmm… gotta try making this soon.
    Jun recently posted..Seafood Noodle Stir Fry

  11. Cherine says:

    This chicken dish looks really tempting!!

  12. Antoinette says:

    Another winner! Thank you, it also was pretty easy to make. My husband couldn’t stop eating!!!!

  13. [...] found this recipe the other day. This is such an easy dish to make. Flavorful and [...]

  14. Tali says:

    I’m a newcomer to your site and SO happy to have come across this goldmine! I made this recipe last night and it has gone into the permanent collection and has been noted my by husband that this is in the top 5 dishes I’ve ever made :) I love how even though there are a ton of ingredients it was super easy to make. I also found it really forgiving – I skipped ahead a couple of steps by mistake (forgot to add the heavy cream and ginger, but was able to backtrack really easily without ruining the dish. It was really Amazing and also delicious as leftovers today for lunch!

  15. [...] like this. When I first saw the long list of recipe, I was like petrified but reassured by Baked Bree‘s post, I decided to try it. Oh my god it’s amazing. Absolutely delicious and tasted [...]

  16. Food Goddess says:

    I have been using another recipe for years and always thought it could not be beat. But this recipe beats it hands down – even better than my local Indian restaurant. And the best part is that the leftovers reheated perfect. Dear Mother, who swears she does not like Indian food couldn’t get enough!

  17. Jennifer says:

    I made this for my family last night and it was a huge hit!! I was a little turned off by the number of ingredients, but it is super easy and only took about 30 minutes to prepare. It took longer for my rice to cook! Thanks Bree!!!

  18. Leslie says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent! Thank you for a great recipe. I can now stop looking for a butter chicken recipe that works for me because this one is great.

  19. BD says:

    I made this two weeks and it was so good!!!Yesterday I made again with two below changes and it turned out good too. Let me know about your opinion on below changes.
    1- I marinated chicken for two hours with salt, Chilli powder and coriander and cook chicken. Once it is done I removed chicken and on same pan without cleaning I made gravy because I wanted to use rest of spices for better color and texture.
    2 – I add 1/4 spoon of sugar and little bit fenugreek seed.
    Optional – add ketchup for red color. Let me know your opinion on this.
    Keep posting recepie like this. Thanks.

    • bakedbree says:

      I would keep the ketchup out, I think that it is a little less than authentic. :) The rest of the changes sound great though.

  20. Emese says:

    I really loved it, but just wonder what made it smell and taste like cinnamon?

    • bakedbree says:

      there is cinnamon in garam masala. Depending on the brand, it might have a lot of cinnamon in it.

  21. Kim Farrar says:

    This is even better than the butter chicken my Indian neighbor makes. Absolutely delicious!!

  22. Genevieve says:

    This was just devine. I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I substituted a red chilli for the jalapeno and homemade vegetable stock for the chicken broth and didn’t salt the chicken before frying it but it still tasted awesome!

  23. Butter chicken recipe is amazing & easy instructions

  24. [...] to see how easy or painful they would be to try in my own kitchen. I stumbled upon a recipe for Indian Butter Chicken from a fellow Betty Crocker blogger, Baked Bree. (she is super awesome by the way..great recipes [...]

  25. Colleen Jobe says:

    This is on my menu for this week. Can’t.wait.
    Colleen Jobe recently posted..so far

  26. Simon Jensen says:

    This recipe is more like a onion less chicken tikka masala. The traditional way of making this dish uses fewer spices, and fresh tomatoes.

    Authentic murgh makhani contain chicken tikka pieces. And the gravy uses tomato, cardamom pods, methi (fengureek leaves), kashmiri red chili powder, sugar/honey and cinnamon.

    At times they also use cashew nut paste for thickening the gravy.
    Simon Jensen recently posted..Easy chinese BBQ pork

  27. Praj says:

    Hi Bree,

    Authentic butter chicken actually doesn’t use onions at all. Its a tomato based sauce. Here’s a version from one of India’s most famous chefs, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/butter-chicken.aspx

    Cheers!

    Praj

    • Some chefs use onions as well. But this dish is seasoned more like a Tikka Masala. People sometimes think that Tikka Masala and Butter chicken is the same dish, which it’s not.

      Harpal Singh Sokhi also got a excellent version and so do chef Thumma at Vahrehvah. He also stated once that sometimes chefs use onions for the purpose of increasing quantity of the gravy.

      A chef in Maharashtra made a version pretty similar to Sanjeev Kapoors. He confirmed that this is the Authentic way of doing it.

  28. Tammy F. says:

    Wow…I don’t know if this tastes like “authentic” Indian Butter Chicken or not…all I know is that it’s absolutely heavenly! I made some yesterday and because some of my spices were a bit old, I added some extra heat by putting in a small amout of an african hot pepper spice blend…no need, lol! It was almost too much. :) Next time I will leave it out as your recipe is just perfect! Thank you…will be making this often!

    • bakedbree says:

      I am so glad! Definitely not the most authentic, but every time I eat it in an Indian restaurant it is always different. It’s a version. :)

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