Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani)

Sweet, succulent and unbelievable with this homemade Naan bread!

Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani)

  • Servings: Six
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Chicken Marinade
4 large boneless and skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1-1/2 T minced garlic (there’s more needed for the sauce too)
1 T minced ginger (there’s more needed for the sauce too)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp of salt

2T olive oil
2 T ghee (or 1 T butter + 1 T oil)
1 large onion, sliced or chopped
1-1/2 T garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced or finely grated
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
14 oz (400 g) can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp red chili powder (adjust to your taste preference)
1-1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 cup of heavy or thickened cream (or evaporated milk to save calories)
1/2 tsp kasoori methi (or dried fenugreek leaves)

In a medium bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade; let it marinate covered in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour (overnight is okay too).

In a Dutch oven, add oil over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, add the chicken pieces in two or three batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for 3 minutes on each side. (The chicken will finish cooking in the sauce.) When done, set the chicken on a platter and keep in a warming oven.

Add some ghee or oil to the same pan. Fry the onions until they start to sweat (6-7 minutes), scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. 

Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one minute until fragrant, then add the ground coriander, cumin and garam masala. Cook for one minute, stirring gently.

Add crushed tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown red color.

If you would like a smooth sauce, remove it from heat at this point, scoop the mixture into a blender and blend it until smooth. Add a couple T of water if needed to help it blend (up to 1/4 cup). Work in batches depending on the size of your blender.

Pour the puréed sauce back into the pan. Stir in the cream, and crushed kasoori methi (or fenugreek leaves) through the sauce. Add the chicken with juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh, hot rice and fresh homemade naan bread.

Note: If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a dollop of ghee or butter at the end of cooking, and gently simmer it through. A small amount of water works as well.

Adapted from a recipe over at Cafedelites.com

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