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Amber India’s Butter Chicken


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • Chicken:
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs), skinned (TFD NOTE: I would use all breast meat, myself)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic paste (see Note)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ginger paste (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (see Note)
  • Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
  • Pinch of garam rnasala
  • Pinch of ground mace
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups (or more) water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons ground fenugreek (see Note)
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. To make the chicken: Make three parallel cuts on top of each piece of chicken. In a resealable heavy-duty plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken, coating well with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the yogurt and cream. Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Blend thoroughly. When the chicken has marinated 30 minutes, add the yogurt mixture to the plastic bag. Reseal the bag. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. To make the sauce: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the ground ginger, chile powder, garam masala, mace, nutmeg, white pepper, and brown sugar.
  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes with juices, tomato paste, water, and spice mixture. Let simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened, adding more water if needed. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade; discard the marinade. Place chicken in a baking pan large enough to hold all the pieces in a single layer. Bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Discard the bones.
  6. Add the chicken, cream, and fenugreek to the sauce. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Season to taste with salt.
  7. Note: Jars of garlic paste and ginger paste are available at Asian stores or some large supermarkets. Garam masala and ground fenugreek are available at specialty food stores or Indian markets.
  8. SECRETS OF SUCCESS:
  9. * Marinating: A two-step marinating process adds complex flavor to the chicken. First, the chicken is marinated in seasoned lemon juice for 30 minutes to add fresh notes to the meat. Then the yogurt mixture is added and the chicken marinates overnight.
  10. * Roasting: The chicken is roasted on the bone, which also adds flavor. The meat is then cooled, boned, and added to the sauce.
  11. * The sauce: The combination of ingredients, smoothed with just a touch of cream, creates a very buttery-silken sauce.
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