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butter chicken (murgh makhani)


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Servings: 4

Cost: $24.27 /serving


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Step 1

For the chicken:

Step 2

Make a paste with ginger and garlic by pounding them in a mortar and pestle, or grating them with a fine zester. Add to the chicken along with all remaining marinade ingredients. Toss well and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Step 3

Preheat the broiler to high and set the rack so that the chicken will be about 4-5 inches away from the element. Place a rack inside a roasting pan, and add a little bit of water to the roasting pan just until the water is a couple of mm deep; this is to prevent the chicken juices from burning and and sticking to the pan (you want the juices in your sauce!).

Step 4

Place the chicken on the rack and cook under the broiler until charred spots have appeared, about 4-5 minutes per side. Flip and broil the other side until charred. Keep an eye on the water in the roasting pan, if it dries up, add a little bit more. Once the chicken is charred on both sides, let cool completely and KEEP the juices! Don’t worry at this point whether the chicken is done because we will cook it again in the gravy. And oh, the chicken is already quite tasty as is, so try not to eat it all before you're done!

Step 5

Combine garlic, ginger, onion, cashews (if using), and canned tomato in a blender and blend until smooth.

Step 6

In a large pot, over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. Once melted, add paprika, cayenne, garam masala, cloves and cardamom, stir into the butter for 10 seconds and add the pureed tomato mixture. Let the mixture cook over low heat, uncovered so it reduces until thick, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Note: Tomato sauce splatters a lot when it simmers, so use a mesh splatter guard to reduce the mess.

Step 7

Once the tomato sauce is very thick, stir in the whipping cream (hold back a tablespoon or so for a final drizzle if you like), ½ tsp of salt and the sugar. Add the chicken along with all the collected juices, ¼ tsp of the fenugreek leaves. Add a splash of whipping cream or water if you need to adjust the consistency/richness of the sauce. Let the chicken simmer gently in the sauce for 7-10 minutes or until hot, and if the chicken wasn't cooked through before, make sure it's fully cooked at this point.

Step 8

Once done, do a final taste of the sauce and add more salt, sugar or lemon juice as needed. (I find adding a squeeze of lemon juice at the end gives a nice zing, but how much you need depends on how tart your tomato is.) Stir in some green chilies if you want to give people the option to make it extra spicy, or you can just leave the chilies on the side.

Step 9

Remove from heat, and if possible, let the chicken sit in the gravy for a couple of hours before serving to let all the flavours mingle.

Step 10

Garnish with the remaining fenugreek leaves, green chilies, and a drizzle of whipping cream. Serve with rice and/or naan. Enjoy!

Step 11

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