Butter Chicken Recipe

butter chicken recipe ~ overhead photo of yellow tumeric indian style rice topped with creamy butter chicken. serve with any rice or naan bread

Dinner | June 16, 2018 | By

This Butter Chicken Recipe is creamy, loaded with flavor and simple to make all in one pan. Serve it up with a side of rice, a simple Chickpea Tomato Salad or just some warm naan bread.

What a surprise it was to hear about Anthony Bourdain’s death ~ famed chef, world traveler, TV celebrity and master storyteller who told it like it was with phrases like “ass-burning Szechuan”. A man who seemed to have the world by the tail took his own life leaving much behind, beginning with why.

Like many, I enjoyed watching him explore food and places in the world I may never experience on his show Parts Unknown. He inspired a generation of foodies to travel and step out of their comfort zone in the kitchen, create dishes that bring joy and speak love to their families and sometimes even transport them to places around the world. 

butter chicken recipe ~ overhead photo of yellow tumeric indian style rice topped with creamy butter chicken. serve with any rice or naan bread

That brings me to this Butter Chicken Recipe (you knew I’d get there; I always do) that I had for the first time time recently with some friends at a yoga and dinner event. The menu consisted of Butter Chicken, Indian style rice, Beef Curry, sliced cucumbers in Greek yogurt sauce, Curried Chickpeas with Potatoes and warm, lightly toasted Naan bread. Such a fun evening and my first delve into Indian food!

I had never even tasted curry, never cooked with spices like garam masala or tumeric and yes, it felt a little foreign using my newly opened spices for this Butter Chicken Recipe, but I’m so glad I did. I hope this recipe inspires you to grab a glass of your favorite beverage, step out of your comfort zone and try something new in your own kitchen.

Whenever I create a recipe, I like to simply it and use everyday ingredients. Everything in this Butter Chicken Recipe was bought at my local grocery store. I’m also working on a Chicken Shawarma recipe I’ll share soon that you’ll be able to use the tumeric and some of the other spices in this dish.  

butter chicken recipe ~ overhead photo served with yellow jasmine rice and a side of chickpeas

Butter Chicken Recipe:

Marinade:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt   
  • Juice and zest from half of one lemon       
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala  
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric   
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin       
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts cut in 1” cubes

NOTE: boneless thighs may also be used

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper       
  • 1 cinnamon stick OR ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated               
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely grated OR ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley

Instructions:

overhead butter chicken recipe served with yellow jasmine rice

Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, garam masala, turmeric and cumin then add the chicken coating it well and marinate 2-4 hours up to overnight.

In a deep pan or pot, add the oil over medium high heat then once the oil is hot, add a few pieces of the chicken without overcrowding, searing on both sides. Remove the pieces as they’re seared and continue cooking the chicken in batches. NOTE: the chicken won’t be fully cooked through at this point.

Reduce the heat to medium/medium-low then add the onion, cayenne, cinnamon stick and cumin cooking until the onions are tender, stirring frequently.

Grate in the garlic and ginger then fold in the remaining 1 teaspoon of garam masala and tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes over low heat until you begin to smell the tomato paste.

Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and once it’s blended, return the the chicken to the sauce, turning to coat it and cook for 5 minutes.

Fold in the heavy cream, butter and parsley, simmering for 8-10 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve hot over rice or with naan or pita bread.

The bold, authentic-flavored sauce and tender, juicy chicken come together in well under 30 minutes in just one pan.

White, brown or even cauliflower rice is a great side, but I was still remembering the rice from the yoga event, so I substituted chicken stock for the water normally used for cooking rice, grated in a glove of garlic and added ½ teaspoon each of tumeric and garam masala. 

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, leave me a comment~ I’d love to hear from you because silence isn’t always golden ~ especially if there’s a toddler around ~ then silence can be suspicious.

While you’re at it LIKE ME on FACEBOOK, FOLLOW along on TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST and SUBSCRIBE ⇓ for all the latest. 

Butter Chicken Recipe ~ creamy, flavor loaded sauce and tender juicy bites of chicken. Simple to make all in one pan. Serve with rice or naan bread.

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butter chicken recipe ~ overhead photo of yellow tumeric indian style rice topped with creamy butter chicken. serve with any rice or naan bread
Butter Chicken Recipe
Total Time
30 mins
 

Creamy, flavor-loaded curry sauce and tender, juicy bites of chicken. Serve with rice or  naan bread

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: easy indian butter chicken
Servings: 4
Ingredients
Marinade:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice and zest from half of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts cut in 1” cubes
  • NOTE: boneless thighs may also be used
Curry Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick OR ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely grated OR ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, garam masala, turmeric and cumin then add the cubed chicken. Marinate 2-4 hours up to overnight.

  2. In a deep pan or pot, add the oil over medium high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot add a few pieces of the chicken without overcrowding the pan searing on both sides then remove, continuing to sear the chicken in batches. NOTE: the chicken won’t be fully cooked through at this point.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and add onion, cayenne, cinnamon stick and cumin cooking until the onions are tender, stirring frequently.

  5. Grate in the garlic and ginger then fold in the remaining 1 teaspoon of garam masala and tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes over low heat until you begin to smell the tomato paste.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and once it’s combined, return the the chicken to the sauce, turning to coat it and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Fold in the heavy cream, butter and parsley, simmering for 8-10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot over rice or with naan or pita bread.

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