01 March 2009

Butter Chicken on Basmati Rice

One of the things I most like to eat but hate most to make is butter chicken. I've got this really gorgeous recipe for it - or I think it's gorgeous anyway, but I've had as many different butter chickens as places I've eaten it at, so I suppose it wouldn't work for everyone - but it takes such a long time to make that I haven't done it in longer than I can remember. (Probably it was when I last lived with an old roommate, Faye. And she'd make the chicken while I made yellow rice and aloo gobi.) Typically I use something from a jar or a packet, though I've never found anything I like quite so much as this.

Actually, it's not so much that it takes a long time as that it seems to take a lot of effort, and I seem to be all about low effort cooking. Anyway, here is the recipe:

Butter Chicken Serves: 6

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp garam masala
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 lb boned skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
cilantro, chopped fine (optional garnish)
plain yogurt (optional garnish)

In a 5 to 6 quart pan, combine onion, ginger, chili and oil. Stir often over high heat until onion is slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala. Scrape mixture into a blender; add tomato paste and chicken broth. Whirl until very smooth.

Pour mixture back into pan, add cream, and bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl. Rinse and dry pan.

Mix chicken with pepper and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set pan over high heat; add 1 tbsp butter and the chicken. 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 on the inside (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Cut remaining butter into chunks and stir until melted.

Probably I found this online some time ago, but I've had the file on my various computers for at least 4 or 5 years, so I'm not really sure where it came from originally. It's really terribly bad for you - so much cream and butter - but so so good.

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