Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Butter Chicken a la Brigitte

Talk about a misnomer!  Butter chicken, though velvety and creamy, is in fact quite a low fat dish and has very little, if any butter.  I do use about a tablespoon in this recipe but you don’t have to.  I also use 2 tablespoons of oil which you can reduce to one if you’re really concerned about fat content.  You can keep adding water to your ingredients during the cooking process to make sure nothing burns.  Really though, this recipe is for 4 people so the fat content is not that great when you spread it over 4 portions.

Don’t be daunted by the spice list.  As you measure it out, dump it all into one small dish.  I just did them separately for photo op purposes.  Do this the night before so come dinner time, this step is all ready for you.  If you’re ambitious, you can chop your onion and/or chicken the night before and store in your fridge until you’re ready to cook.

Now I’m thinking that this could even have been a brain dead recipe!  It’s really easy.  If you’ve never found a good butter chicken recipe or are wary to try it as a new dish, try this one.  The flavour is mild and complex and most importantly, delicious.

To make this a fast fix, buy green beans in a bag as an accompaniment.  You can microwave them just before you’re ready to serve.  If it’s just the two of us, I like to use a quick basmati by Uncle Ben’s in pouch which is ready in 2 minutes.  When we’re ravenous, we want dinner NOW!

As I said, this serves 4.  You can certainly halve the recipe for 2 or, make the whole thing and save for a lunch the next day or freeze for an “I’m too darn lazy to cook tonight” night!  

So no more pre-amble already.  Let’s get ambling!

Here's what you'll need:
                             1.5 lb chicken  cut into medium sized chunks
                             (white or dark or a combo - I used the combo)
                             1 onion, chopped 
                             1 t each ground cardamom, ground coriander,
                             turmeric, cinnamon, garam masala, sweet paprika
                                  ½ T chopped fresh ginger
                                  ½ T sugar
                                  3 T tomato paste
                                  2 C plain yogurt
                                  Fresh coriander
Add 2 T oil and 1 T butter or margarine to a fry pan.
Melt/heat over medium high heat.
Add onion and ginger.  Stir while cooking.
Cook until almost soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes
Add chicken chunks.
Cook and stir until fairly browned on the outside.
Add tomato paste.
Mine look funny because I freeze them 1 T at a time 
and keep in my freezer for just such a use.
Usually recipes call for 1 T of tomato paste so this is 
what I do with the leftovers.
Place all the dry spices and sugar in a little bowl 
and stir to blend together completely.
Sprinkle spice blend over the chicken.
Give it a good stir so everything is well coated. 
Add yogurt.
You can use non-fat, low fat or full fat.  
It doesn't matter. 
Stir really well so everything is blended.
It should be a uniform colour like this.
Now reduce heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.  
Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes so your chicken 
can cook through and the flavours can meld together. 
Here it is after it's done its time. 
Garnish with cilantro. 
In addition to  basmati rice, 
I like to serve this with steamed green beans.

Buy some ready make samosas and pakoras.
Make my biryani (recipe here) and you have 
a pretty good Indian meal to enjoy with your family.