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Spicy and rich. Butter chicken is an almost universally beloved Indian dish born of necessity and opportunity. It was supposedly invented when a restauranteur noticed that the tandoori (grilled) chicken that street vendors sold tended to get dry and stale. The enterprising individual came up with a rich, spicy tomato sauce to keep the chicken pieces moist and tender. Many recipe origin stories are...suspect, but frankly, this one seems entirely plausible. We decided to take a crack at our own version and use our Bravado Spice Ancho Masala Scorpion-Reaper Hot Sauce to punch it up a bit. Also, if you're the type of maniac that's into exploring the nexus of sacrilege, genius, and insanity, check out our Butter Chicken Crunchwrap.
I heard someone refer to the chicken breast as chicken brisket and I can't un-hear it. And really, it makes sense: the cuts are, relatively speaking, similar. Chicken breast is really best suited to low and slow treatment or if you're trying to eat super lean. Otherwise, chicken thighs are BY FAR the better cut of meat. You can easily find boneless thighs if you don't feel like prepping them yourself. You want 1-1 1/2 in. cubes.
You can throw the chicken in as soon as the butter is melted. We're not really trying to get a browned butter effect here. The remaining butter will be sufficiently browned by the time you're done cooking the chicken. Be sure to season with sufficient salt & pepper, though you'll season the sauce again later.
After you've cooked the onion & garlic, be sure to toast your spices. You can do that by making a small well in the middle of the pan and mixing them there with a drop of oil. It won't take long, maybe thirty seconds, but it will help you extract even more flavor from your spices.
Again, be sure to season the sauce with more salt & pepper after adding the tomato puree. You can blanch and peel tomatoes yourself but, there are some excellent options already out there. If you can't find pureed tomatoes, you can also use crushed tomatoes. You're going to end up blending it anyway. Bravado Spice Ancho Masala Scorpion-Reaper Hot Sauce was a natural choice for adding some heat and spice to this dish. We used a teaspoon to about 1 1/2 lbs of meat and honestly it was perfect for us, but we also recognize that we have a higher tolerance than most. If you don't enjoy super spicy food, you may want to cut it down to 1/2 teaspoon dof the hot sauce.
And there you have it. A DELICIOUS and easy recipe for butter chicken that you can make at home. At this point you can serve it with some basmati rice (I highly recommend cooking your rice with either a stick of cinnamon or a cardamom pod as aromatics) and some naan bread.
....Oooor you can join us in Abominationville as we turn butter chicken into a butter chicken Crunchwrap. See ya there ;)
1 - 1 1/2 - Boneless chicken, cubed
4 Tbsp - Butter
1 c - Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp - Minced garlic
1 c - Pureed tomato
1 c - Heavy cream
1 tsp - Salt (about half if using salted butter)
1 tsp - Pepper
1/4 tsp - Garam masala
1/4 tsp - Chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric
4-6 - Árbol or japones chilis
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium to large sauce pan over medium heat. Add cubed (approx. 1 - 1 1/2 in. cubes) chicken and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper. Cook the chicken until lightly browned and then remove from the pan. Leave any remaining butter, drippings, etc.
In the same pan, over medium heat, add the chopped onions, another tablespoon of butter, and another 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper. Cook until translucent and then add the minced garlic and cook another 30-45 seconds or until the garlic has just started to lightly brown.
Add the garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, and árbol chilis. Toast the spices for about 30 seconds and then add the tomato purée and the Bravado Spice Ancho Masala Scorpion-Reaper Hot Sauce. Mix well pour into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
Add the tomato sauce back to the sauce pan along with another tablespoon of butter and the heavy cream. Mix until completely incorporated and then add the chicken back into the pan. Cook until warm and serve immediately with warm naan bread and cooked basmati rice.
Calories 450, Fat 28 grams, Carbs 14 grams, Protein 30 grams