My Indian friends tell me that Butter Chicken is not really an Indian food... in the same way that Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls are not really Chinese Food. It's a dish created to appease our 'gringo palettes.'
Nevertheless, our family loves it. It's one of those rare Winner Dinners that everyone enjoys. President's Choice used to make a great Tandoori Marinade, but it was sadly discontinued. The recipe is pretty straight-forward, and in a time-pinch could be made with a rotisserie chicken shredded up and sauced with Tandoori.
(recipe from Greta and Janet Podleksi)
10 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 21/4 lbs / 1.1 kg)
½ cup bottled Tandoori marinade
Butter Chicken Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons grated gingerroot
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (28 oz/798 mL) diced tomatoes, drained
1 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup light sour cream (not fat-free)
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon cashew/almond butter
Hot cooked basmati rice (optional)
1. Poke raw chicken thighs in several places with a fork. Place chicken in a large, heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Add Tandoori marinade to bag. Turn bag several times to coat chicken with marinade. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place chicken thighs in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Do not overbake the chicken, or it will be dry. When cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces and add to the butter chicken sauce as directed in recipe.
Butter Chicken Sauce
1. While chicken is baking, make sauce. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring often, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add gingerroot, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin. Cook 1 more minute. Add drained tomatoes, broth, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
2. Transfer half the sauce to a blender and purée until smooth. Return puréed sauce to pot with remaining sauce. Mix well and return to heat. Stir in sour cream, cilantro and cashew/almond butter. Add cut-up Tandoori chicken and mix well. Cook just until chicken is hot. Serve over hot basmati rice, if desired.