Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian restaurant dishes, at least in North America. If you have not had butter chicken before, you should expect beautifully tender pieces of chicken in a creamy sauce that is not hot and spicy, but rather luscious and almost sweet.

Now Let’s Get Cooking
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If you were to ask me what my favorite cuisine is, if I had to narrow it down, I would say Indian food. I love to go out for Indian food and try to do so as often as possible. The flavors are delicious, subtle and bold at the same time and soul-satisfying.  The flavor of Butter Chicken is full and spiced with ginger, coriander and tomato. Frankly, it’s hard to resist.

Butter chicken on rice in a yellow bowl on a wooden table, with naan on the table and a colorful napkin.

For many, cooking Indian meals at home might seem impossible, but it’s really not that difficult if you have a selection of Indian spices. Many recipes marinate the chicken ahead of time in a spiced yogurt marinade, but here we just simmer the chicken in heavy cream, making it especially indulgent. So indulgent, in fact, that you won’t want to leave any of the sauce in your bowl or on  your plate when you’re finished, so soak it up with some store-bought naan bread (warmed in your oven or air fryer).

Butter Chicken

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 50 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Sauté for a few more minutes, stirring often to toast the spices.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and sauté for a few minutes, until they are no longer pink. Pour in the tomato purée and heavy cream and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the remaining butter and swirl the pan to melt the butter into the sauce. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Serve the butter chicken over basmati rice and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Some naan bread would be really nice with this so that you can scoop up any left over sauce.
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