Butter Chicken, aka Flavour City.
There are days that you step into the kitchen, open your fridge, and decide that on a scale of 1-10, you’re at a BLT level of cooking energy. You want to be in & out in 10 minutes flat. Back to the couch. And back to your marathon style “Suits” watch-a-thon. There are other times where you enter the kitchen floor like Rocky entering the ring. You’re there for the long haul, with a counter full of ingredients, and you’re going to come out singing like a champ. This is a butter chicken moment…
Butter chicken is one of my all time, top 10, desert island favourite dishes. I love it with a forever love. It has my heart. Yes, the flashy Rogan Josh & Korma’s of the world may come along, and they’re no doubt delicious, but my first curry love belongs to this dish.
I was on the road a few years ago and had a lay-over in Montreal. Feeling adventurous, my bandmate Marc & I hit the streets in search of something life-changing for dinner. Having been to Montreal several times before, the city had hit a culinary expectation level with me that was second only to Paris (and possibly New York) for complete deliciousness everywhere you look.
**Please visit and eat in Montreal**
We happened across this small 10 seat Indian restaurant. I chose my dish Eine Mine Mo style, and was served the most amazing thing. Over the next 2 or 3 years, every single time we ordered Indian food, it was Butter Chicken. Possibly my all time comfort food dish. Delicious for days.
Serves 4 to 6
For the Chicken;
2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Butter, for basting
3/4 cup yoghurt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ground nut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
For the sauce;
2 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green chilli peppers, split
4 tablespoons of butter
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pod
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 cups tomato puree
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon fried fenugreek leaves, crushed
1/2 tablespoon honey
2/3 cup heavy cream
Fresh cilantro, diced chillies, lime, and more cream
Rub the your red chili powder and lemon juice over the chicken. Season with salt, and set aside for 20 -25 minutes.
Combine all of your marinade ingredients in a bowl, and rub it all over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Skewer the chicken, and place them on a rack set overtop a baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes, turning half way through. Baste the cooked chicken with butter and set aside.
Melt your butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When the butter has melted, through in your cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook until the become nice and fragrant (2-3 minutes), and add your fenugreek seeds, garlic, ginger, and chillies. Saute for about 5 minutes.
Add your tomatoes, chilli powder, and a pinch of salt, and reduce the gravy for 20 minutes, stirring often.
With a hand blender, puree the sauce until nice and smooth.
Pour in 2 1/2 cups of water, bring the sauce back to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add your honey, fenugreek leaves, and chicken, and stir to combine. Cover, and continue simmering for 8 minutes. Lower your heat to medium low, and pour in your cream and stir in your garam masala. Continue simmering one last time for 5 minutes.
Top your cooked curry for fresh cilantro, some diced chillies (if you like it hot), and a drizzle of heavy cream.
Enter flavour heaven. Eat Delicious.