Butter chicken is definitely a favourite at HC and has been requested by many of you. This recipe is relatively simple, but the most important ingredient is time. We marinate our chicken for three days and we make our sauce the day before we’re going to serve it. This allows for all the flavours to come together. If you cut these corners, your butter chicken will still be tasty, just not as rich in flavour as the one you enjoy at HC. In terms of our ingredients and how this gives our butter chicken its flavour:
- We use chicken thighs as opposed to breast.
- Confit garlic instead of minced and sautéed.
- Lots of onion and fresh ginger.
– Chef Anna
3 lb chicken thighs, boneless skinless
200 g yogurt
2-3 yellow onions, depending on size sliced
1 796 mL can diced or peeled tomatoes
5 tsp garam masala divided
½ tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp cream
½ head of garlic
2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 chili, sliced (optional depending on your spice preference)
salt and pepper to taste
- Slice your chicken thighs into strips to the thickness you desire, making sure that the slices are consistent in size. Thoroughly mix the sliced chicken with half of the yogurt.
- Peel your garlic and place it into a small sauce pan. Cover with canola oil and set on low heat. Check every once in a while to make sure your oil isn’t simmering, that’s too hot. After 1-2 hours, the garlic will be soft and tender. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes and then pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer. Store the oil and confit garlic in the fridge. I suggest you make this ahead of time and that you make more than you need. At the end of this you are going to have confit garlic, which is rich and creamy. You can add this to just about any dish. The oil will also be flavoured with garlic and can be stored in the fridge to use for just about any savoury cooking.
- In a medium sauce pan heat 1 tbsp of garlic oil for a minute. Add in your onions and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly. Once the onions start to develop some colour, add in the ginger (and chili if you want it spicy) and cook for another 2 minutes. Add 4 tsp garam masala and cook for another minute.
- Turn the heat to medium low and mix in the canned tomatoes, 2 tbsp of confit garlic, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Fill the tomato can with water and pour that into your pot. Let your sauce cook for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is catching on the bottom of the pan, reduce the heat. If it is getting too thick, add a little bit of water.
- Using an immersion blender, buzz your sauce until smooth. Taste and add salt if you want. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
- Mix 1 ½ tsp salt into the marinated chicken. In a pot with a lid, heat your sauce on medium. Add the chicken into the sauce and allow to cook on medium low for about 25 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the butter and cream. Taste add salt if you want. Cook for 15 minutes on low.
- Serve immediately with sides like basmati rice and raita. Leftovers will hold well in the fridge for a few days. We like to make the sauce in large batches and freeze it, so consider making twice as much sauce as you need and the next time you want butter chicken it’s going to be a quick and easy process.