Butter Chicken (Guest Post)

Alon and I made some butter chicken and naan. It would have been heavenly, if only heaven smelled of fenugreek…

Alon was mostly responsible of the chicken and photography (which obviously tops any other post on this blog), I made the naans. Here’s Alon’s recipe:

Murgh Makhani
Delicious butter chicken

Step 1: A firm but tender breast

Break up chicken into large 2-bite pieces, while keeping them on the bone. Marinate in salt, lemon juice, chili powder or paprika and some water for about an hour. The lemon and brine help tenderize the chicken, and the paprika gives it a little color.

Step 2: He who controls the spice…

Make your own Garam-Masala. Or don’t. Up to you.
Toast some spices on a dry pan. Cardamom pods, cumin seeds, cloves, white peppercorns, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, mace, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg (in nut form). Let cool and remove cardamom seeds from pods. Discard pods. Chuck it all into a coffee grinder and grind into a fine, aromatic powder.

Step 3: Chicken and spoiled cow-juice

Yogurt (aka spoiled cow-juice) is a wonderful thing. It’s tangy and yummy, and it works great in marinades. Mix some yogurt with your homemade spice melange and some turmeric, dried coriander leaves and mashed garlic and ginger. Add chicken to spiced, spoiled cow-juice and marinate for as long as possible, at least overnight.

Step 4: THE ROAST

After a day or two of anxious waiting, remove chicken pieces from marinade. Do not pat dry or wash off marinade. Broil them in your oven, very close to the heat source, or simply grill them. Do this until they’re nicely charred.

Step 5: It’s better with butter

Alon

Blend a large handful of cashew nuts and a cup of cream. This helps give the sauce a nice texture. Heat up pureed tomatoes (sometimes known as “passata”) and/or canned chopped/whole tomatoes. Add the cashew cream and cook a little, and then season
with some of your Garam Masala, fenugreek and cayenne pepper (for a little heat). Salt to taste. Add chicken and cook until sauce has reduced a bit and chicken is tender. Add a large chunk’o'butter and remove from heat.

Step 6: The inevitable

Devour chicken with basmati rice and naan. Immediately regret the caloric intake.
Go cry in the bathroom.

Me, in Alon's fantastic kitchen

For the naans, I used this recipe which made for great fluffy dough. We topped the naans with garlic and dried mint, and baked them in the oven on a pizza stone. They turned out a bit more like focaccias, but still tasty (can’t go wrong with so much clarified butter..)

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