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Butter Your Chicken!

August 26, 2011

Comfort food exists in all cultures, and while the ingredients may differ greatly from one place to another, the concept is the same: familiar flavors, food that reminds you of home, and most of all, a satisfying meal. Today’s recipe – another great offering from the Bowl Food cookbook – is an example of Indian comfort food. Butter chicken is as homey as it gets for this type of cuisine, harmonizing wonderful spices with yogurt, cream and tomatoes, and of course, butter. We don’t cook a lot of Indian food here at the MHK – many dishes require ingredients that are either hard to find, or just aren’t worth buying due to the lack of frequency with which they’d be used; plus our Tandoori oven is always on the fritz, so when the flavors of India come calling, we tend to go out to greet them. But this dish is very easy to make and is full of flavor and, well – comfort. Garam masala is a spice that can be found in supermarkets, and it is a key ingredient – worth buying if you plan on making more than one Indian dish in the next 5 years or so. Serve it with rice for a tasty meal. Enjoy!

Indian Butter Chicken

(serves 4)

2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered

¼ cup butter

1 tbsp. ginger, minced

2 tsp. sweet paprika

2 tsp. garam masala

½ tsp. chili powder

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp. cilantro, chopped

½ tsp. salt

12 oz. tomato puree

1 tbsp. sugar

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ cup whipping cream

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat a wok or large skillet on medium-high. When hot, add 1 tbsp. oil and cook half the chicken until browned. Transfer chicken pieces to a plate, add the other tbsp. oil and brown the rest of the chicken; transfer to plate. Melt the butter in wok or skillet; add ginger, paprika, garam masala, chili powder, cinnamon stick, and cilantro. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken to wok and toss to coat. Add tomato puree and sugar; reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add yogurt, cream and lemon juice; stir and simmer for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Serve over rice. Eat!

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