Butter Chicken with Cilantro

01/22/2015

butter.chicken

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Alas, yet another dish with chicken that I thought was going to be easy, but didn’t turn out like I had hoped. Such as with my Coq au Vin, the chicken in this Indian-spiced dish ended up being overcooked. It could have been because of my tweaks to the recipe I got from the NYTimes: I omitted lots of the butter (ironically, since it’s the name of the dish; I like to save my calories for dessert), and swapped the cream and yogurt for coconut milk since my dinner guest was dairy-intolerant. I did use all the Indian spices here, since I have them all on hand, but I’m sure you can cheat and just add a bunch of curry powder if you’re in a hurry. It probably wouldn’t be as complex, but it would do the job.

I’m writing the instructions below for how I WISH I would have cooked this, not how I actually did.

Ingredients:

1 c coconut milk
2 T lemon juice
1 ½ T ground turmeric
2 T garam masala
2 T ground cumin
3 lbs chicken thighs, on the bone
1 T butter
4 t coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 T cumin seeds
2 red chiles, diced
c chicken stock
3 T chopped almonds
½ bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

Instructions: 

First, whisk together the coconut milk, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter in the oil. Dry off the chicken, and salt and pepper the thighs. Add them to the hot oil, and sear on both sides (approximately 3-4 minutes each side) until they start to brown. Remove from skillet. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown. Add the chicken and milk marinade to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes. Garnish with the almonds and cilantro leaves. Serve with naan or rice.

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