Friday, January 15, 2016

Coriander, Ginger, and Chile Butter Chicken

I followed the recipe almost entirely to point. I try to do that the first time I make any dish. However, when it was getting time to make the sauce part for the chicken I was finding that it wasn't going to have enough sauce (always very important in our home). So I upped the amount of butter and eventually added about 1 cup of water and then some heavy cream to smooth out the sauce and make it just a little richer.  Because my husband LOVES heat and I am a complete wimp I switched plain yogurt for Honey Greek yogurt to try and tame some of the anticipate heat. It was fantastic!

I served with Basmati Rice, Naan and then Chana Masala.
Coriander, Ginger, and Chile Butter Chicken
(Serves 4)
For the Marinade
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used honey greek yogurt in anticipation of some heat) 
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground black pepper
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
Olive oil or ghee
1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
Sea salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch of chili powder, or to taste (optional)
2 tbsp tomato puree (note I used a small can of tomato paste which is more than the 2 tbsp but I found that the 2 tbsp wasn't enough) 2 tbsp butter (I used 4 tbsp of butter for a richer sauce) 
1/4 cup heavy cream (I added for a creamier sauce)
Small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, to garnish

  1. Put the garlic, ginger, while, and lemon juice from the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Toss the chicken in the mixture, then cover and set aside.
  2. Continue preparing the marinade. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan for about 1 minute until aromatic and the coriander seeds are popping. Grind to a powder, then mix with the turmeric, yogurt, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  (Note: instead of mixing the spices into the yogurt then adding to the chicken - I poured the spices over the chicken and rubbed it down well first, then put the yogurt on - I did this primarily because I knew I wasn't going to have lots of time to marinate the chicken.)
  3. Pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken. Mix well, cover, and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours (or, ideally, overnight if there is time. 
  4. When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil or ghee. When the pan is hot, sauce the onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until lightly golden before adding the ginger and cooking for an additional minute. 
  5. Add he ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chill powder, and stir into the onions over medium heat until aromatic. Add the tomato puree and stir for 30 seconds. Add the butter and allow to melt before storing it through. 
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and while off any excess. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning now and again, until cooked through. Lower the heat, add the remaining marinade to the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes until piping hot (be careful not to let the sauce boil as this will cause it to split). Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. 

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