Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken

I write this post to you from the Albuquerque airport. I have a 5 hour layover since my flight out of Phoenix to Salt Lake City got canceled. Did I mention I have to sit here for 5 hours??? Yeah not fun. But at least I can post about food while I am here. :)

Now I know what you are thinking, butter chicken? Its not what you think. This recipe only calls for 3 tablespoons of the good stuff to give it a rich silky texture. You have noticed by now I love to be adventurous in my cooking and eating habits. Now I must say this recipe I found from Mel's Kitchen Cafe isn't true ethnic authenticity. With that being said, it is full of flavor and absolutely delicious none the less! David and I gobbled up our plates in no time. I think little kids would even like this dish. It could be considered a quick dinner as well, it was fairly simple to make. The only problem I had was finding garam masala, and cardamom. I found both in a bottle at Sun Harvest which is like a Whole Foods, but there were both expensive. Luckily they had the spices in bulk so I could buy a tablespoon of both.

Indian Butter Chicken

Note: Mel lightened up the recipe using fat free half-and-half in place of the heavy cream. If you don't want to buy a special ingredient and have heavy cream (or regular half-and-half) on hand, they will both work just fine. I used heavy cream, cause I'm not counting calories. :)
*Serves 6
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeño, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
1 1/2 pounds (about 2-3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Hot cooked rice for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro for extra garnish
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno. Stir often while cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook stirring, constantly for another minute.
Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the half and half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and add the chicken pieces and the salt and pepper. Stir. Keep the sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened.
Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Serve the chicken and sauce over hot rice. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired.

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