Weekly Winner – Belated Again, but worth the wait

So another holiday weekend came and went and with it, my deadline for posting my Weekly Winner.  I actually made this dish a week ago yesterday, but it lingers in my memory as a phenomenal Indian chicken dish.

I got the recipe from Saveur (one of my favorite food magazines), and the only alteration I did was to use all boneless chicken thighs because I had them on hand.  The other thing that really made this dish amazing was my hubby’s homemade naan.  Without further ado, the recipe for Butter Chicken, or what is more colorfully known as Murgh Makhanwala.

Murgh Makhanwala

(Butter Chicken)

Serves 4

FOR THE CHICKEN:
1 3–4-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 3″ piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Kosher salt, to taste

FOR THE RAITA:
1/2 English cucumber (about 6 oz.), seeded and grated
1/2 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 green cardamom pods, cracked
3 whole cloves, crushed
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 3″ piece ginger, washed and grated (skin on)
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 tsp. garam masala
4 fresh or frozen curry leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Mango chutney, for serving

1. Marinate the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients except for chicken in a food processor; purée. Transfer marinade to a large bowl and add chicken, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Heat oven to 500°. Transfer chicken to an aluminum foil—lined baking sheet and spoon any marinade from bowl over chicken. Bake chicken until light brown but not cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack; set aside.

Meanwhile, make raita: Toss cucumbers, tomatoes, and salt in a colander and let sit for 10 minutes. Press cucumbers and tomatoes to drain well and then transfer to a medium bowl along with yogurt, mint, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, and carrots; toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

3. Make the sauce: In a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat, combine chile flakes, garlic, cardamom, cloves, tomatoes, ginger, bay leaf, and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring often and crushing tomatoes with a spoon, for 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf and transfer sauce to a food processor; purée. Return sauce to pot and continue cooking over medium-low heat until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Add reserved chicken pieces and any marinade from pan, along with 1/3 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream, butter, garam masala, and curry leaves. Reduce heat to low and cook until flavors meld, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.

4. To serve, transfer chicken and sauce to a serving platter and serve with the raita and mango chutney.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Weekly Winner:  This Dish is Like “Buttah” — Indian Butter Chicken that is. | Donna's Quick Qi

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