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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

While I was writing this post, I noticed there are many, many different spellings for this dish - Murg, Murgh, Merg, Makhani, Makhni, and others...I'll just go with Murgh Makhani, but sorry if I'm wrong. And, if you think the number of spellings is problematic, think about the number of recipes for this...they're all different. I'm going with simplistic, because if you find something that's good and can be made with fewer ingredients, why not? If it's false, don't do it, but if you can be real, try it once in a while.

Murgh Makhani:

2 pounds boneless chicken (I used frozen chicken breast tenders from Costco or Trader Joes)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tsp garam masala (you can buy this at many International supermarkets or find it online)
2 Tsp fresh cut ginger
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 Serrano chili, diced
1 stick butter
3 cloves garlic, sliced

Prepare a marinade a few hours before: salt and pepper the chicken, then add 2 Tsp garam masala and 1 cup yogurt. Mix well, and let marinade in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.

Get your sauce going: Fry up the onion in some vegetable oil for about 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and Serrano the last minute or so. Remove to a bowl. Fry up garlic for 30 seconds, then add broth and bring to boil. Add tomato paste. Lower heat to simmer, add cream and spices and 1/2 stick butter. Stir frequently on low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Use a hand blender or remove to blender, blend and pour back in the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Get your chicken going the last 7 minutes.

When you're ready, thread the chicken onto skewers and BBQ it 7-9 minutes, turning frequently.

Add chicken to sauce and simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat and add 1/2 stick butter or slightly less if you don't like that much butter. Stir to melt, then serve with Basmati rice, some chutney and other sides if you're inclined.

For my side, I experimented with yams, masala and chicken broth. I baked the yams, then skinned and put them in a small pot - mashed them and added hot chicken broth and masala spices to taste and texture.


~ Brock

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