When I was thinking about writing this post I remembered the last time I made butter chicken for friends. It was Oscar night so the theme was Indian obviously (Jai Ho!) and when I presented my lovely dish of butter chicken along with the dal, sag aloo and naan bread, it illicited many aahs of pleasure, and even a marriage proposal, so I thought I should share.
Who doesn't want the recipe for marriage chicken, right?
Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from a recipe by Nancie McDermott, author of The Curry Book
Indian cooks created this recipe to make good use of leftover tandoori chicken, it reheats poorly because it is marinated in yoghurt and it is cooked at high temperature, both of which dry it out. In this recipe, it is enveloped in a lovely tomato and cream sauce with sweet spices. Served with basmati rice, it is a worthwhile indulgence.
2 1/2 pounds of cooked tandoori chicken (about 4 large breasts)
4 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 can 14-18 oz. peeled and diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 cup cream
Note: I like to buy pre-marinated tandoori chicken from my local specialty store, but you can also make a marinade yourself, using 2 1/2 teaspoons tandoori spice and a cup and a half of plain yoghurt. Marinate for 6 hours - overnight in the fridge.
The night before, take your marinated chicken and pop it in a 300ºF (150ºC) oven for 30-45 mins. in a large glass dish. Remove from oven and cool, then refrigerate.
Prepare the cooled tandoori chicken by cutting it into bite-size pieces. You will have about 4 cups.
In a large fryer or saucepan, bring the tomatoes and their juice to a gentle boil. add the spices, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken and cream and stir well. Cook for 10 minutes, until the chicken is heated through.
Stir in butter and remove from heat quickly. Stir gently until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Serve with basmati rice.