Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Butter Chicken


Piping hot Butter Chicken is like a hug on a plate. I feel the same way about Chicken Tikka Masala. Both dishes require a marinade of chicken in fragrant spices and tangy yogurt and then simmered in a bath of flavorful tomatoes. But Butter Chicken, in my opinion would definitely be classified as a more "luxurious" hug...can hugs be considered luxurious?  There is butter in this dish, but not enough to call Paula Deen over for dinner. I eliminated the yogurt and replaced it with full-fat coconut milk and some apple cider vinegar (lemon juice would work too), for an almost dairy-free dish. You can't call it "Butter Chicken" if there's no butter in it, right?!


What to do:

Butter Chicken Marinade
  • ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken thigh, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 3-4 gloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp FlavorGod Garlic Herb Salt (use sea salt if you don't have this)
  • 2 tsp harissa spicy sauce (Moroccan red pepper sauce); optional



Sauce
  • ½ cup, mix of red and yellow onion, halved then sliced
  • 1/3 tsp garam masala
  • 2/3 tsp FlavorGod Garlic Lovers (replace with garlic powder)
  • 1 cup canned fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • scant 1 tsp honey (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp full fat canned coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-3 tbsp cilantro, chopped for garnish
What to do: 
  1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk with apple cider vinegar/lemon juice. Stir and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining marinade ingredients and mix until the chicken is evenly coated. Stir in the coconut milk mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. In an oven proof pot, heat 1-2 tbsp of butter over medium high heat. Saute the onions until soft and fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add the FlavorGod/garlic powder and garam masala. Stir to combine. Add the canned tomatoes and let cook for additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, with all its marinade to the onion/tomato mixture along with the honey, coconut milk, and remaining tablespoon of butter. Bring the mixture to a soft simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with foil/parchment paper or oven safe lid and bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  4. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and a side of rice/cauliflower rice.   
Note: This dish can also be made in a slow cooker. Prepare all the way to Step 3, bringing the mixture to a soft simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the butter chicken into the pot of a slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours. 

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