Butter Chicken

Total Preparation Time – About 10 – 15 Minutes
Time Spent Waiting – 3 – 24 Hours
Cook Time – About 30 Minutes
Makes – About 4 – 5 Servings

A few years ago, a buddy of mine, from Pakistan, introduced me to Pakistani cuisine at this restaurant that he vouched for. We did a sampling of different dishes, from kebabs to biryani to korma. I’ve never been one to shy away from trying new foods, and there wasn’t one thing that I didn’t like. My buddy ranted about how most restaurants don’t take the time to marinate meats for a full day and how the flavor just wasn’t as good as back home. One of the dishes, he introduced me to, was Butter Chicken with Naan. I vaguely recall him describing the dish as comfort food. I’d have to agree that it’s a very tasty dish where you savor every mouthful. In looking for things to cook for dinner, I thought Butter Chicken was something different and totally worth cooking.

If you want homemade Naan with your Butter Chicken, prepare Naan an hour or two before cooking the chicken. I have posted a recipe to Naan on my Blog.

To start, cube 1 ½ – 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken. This means cutting up the chicken into ½ inch pieces. This size makes for some nice sized bites of food.

After cubing the chicken, make the marinade. Mix together ½ cup of plain yogurt (not Greek or Low Fat Yogurt), 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 2 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves of minced garlic. Mix until ingredients are evenly mixed. Once mixed, add the cubed chicken and coat the chicken thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 – 24 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the more the spices penetrate the chicken. I don’t recommend letting the chicken marinate for too much more than 24 hours.

Once the chicken has finished marinating, it’s time to cook. Start with a large frying pan on medium high heat. Melt two tablespoons of butter in the pan. Once the butter starts to bubble, add a couple of pieces of chicken. If there isn’t a sizzling sound, let the pan heat up more. Once the pan is hot enough add all of the chicken. Do not blot, dry, or remove the marinade from the chicken. I use a pair of tongs to move the chicken to the pan. Any additional marinade left in the bowl is discarded.

Cook the chicken until it appears white on all sides. This takes between 5 – 10 minutes. Let the chicken cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes and stir thoroughly. Repeat cooking and stirring until the chicken is white. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through at this step.

Cooked Chicken Ready for Cream and Tomato Puree

Now, stir in about 8 ounces of Tomato Puree and 8 ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream. I have a tough time finding 8 ounces of Tomato Puree, so if you go over by a couple of ounces, it’s ok. Also, you can alternatively use Half and Half instead of Heavy Cream. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (to taste) and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together until thoroughly mixed.

Reduce heat to low (a simmer). Cook for 20 – 25 minutes. Stir every 3 – 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the pan. As the chicken simmers, it will become a slightly deeper color. After 20 – 25 minutes, remove from heat and serve over rice.

Butter Chicken Ready to Serve

I serve Butter Chicken with either Basmati or Jasmine rice. I have used the Success brand boil in bag rice with good results. The boil in bag rice comes out fairly consistent if you follow the instructions. 2 bags of rice are about right amount for this recipe. You should start the rice around the time that you reduce the heat on the chicken. The rice will be finished around the same time as the chicken.

Butter Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Homemade Naan. YUM!

And, that is Butter Chicken. Hope you enjoy!



Equipment Needed

Large Bowl
Large Frying Pan
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Mixing Spoon
Cooking Spatula
Plastic Wrap
Large Chef’s Knife


½ Cup Plain Yogurt (Not Low Fat)
1 Tbsp Ground Ginger
2 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Tumeric Powder
½ Tsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 ½ to 2 Lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 Tbsp Butter
8-10 oz Tomato Puree
8 oz Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
2 Bags of Boil in Bag Basmati Rice

Abbreviated Directions

1. Mix Yogurt, Ginger, Garam Masala, Cumin, Tumeric, Chili, Garlic, and Lemon Juice in Large Bowl.
2. Cut chicken thighs into ½ inch pieces.
3. Evenly coat chicken pieces with spice mixture, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 3 – 24 hours.
4. Heat large frying pan at medium high heat with 2 tbsp butter.
5. Move chicken to frying pan without shaking of marinade, or adding remaining marinade.
6. Cook chicken until the exterior is white.
7. Add Heavy Cream, Tomato Puree, Sugar and thoroughly mix.
8. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.
9. Prepare Basmati or Jasmine Rice.
10. Serve Butter Chicken over Rice.
11. See Naan Recipe for Optional Bread for serving.

Published by Beersnob225

One of many that has an affinity for Craft Brews and other Beverages

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