As hard as it may be to believe, that is actually not the title of an album from American, female rapper, Missy Elliott. Believe me, I thought it was and I checked Wikipedia so quick!
So... butter chicken ey....
Did you know that Westfield food courts save 5% of electricity automatically if an Indian takeaway joint has a stall there, since their butter chicken is so neon-bright-orange that it actually doubles as a light source? If you ask me, the whole "solar panel" thing (that was a thing, right?) was a waste of time: they should have just put butter chicken in people's houses to generate energy. And it's not like it would get used up, since the only people that like butter chicken hate Indian food.
Hunt for Red October (also not a Missy Elliot album)
Okay, so that was a bit harsh (ed: a lot harsh). Butter chicken is an alright dish when you're getting into Indian food and don't want to be blown away by spice. But after a while.... a man wants more. A man wants... an authentic butter chicken.
Stage One: Marinate
- Wrap a bulb of garlic in foil and roast in an oven until soft. Set aside to cool.
- While the garlic is roasting, make a garam masala from scratch. Be sure to include 1/2 T of fenugreek seeds, 1 T of coriander seeds and 1.5T of cumin seeds. Don't shy away from dried chillis: a butter chicken doesn't have to be mild. You'll need around 5 T of garam masala all up.
- Take 1kg of chicken thigh fillets and trim off any excess skin of unwanted bits (hey, chicken butchers, stop leaving fucken bone shards in the fillets). Quarter them and add them in a large bowl/dish (ideally not metallic).
- Peel and roughly chop ginger so you have around 4 thumbs worth.
- Peel and roughly chop fresh turmeric so you have around 3 thumbs worth.
- Put the ginger, turmeric and the insides of the garlic bulb (cut the bottom off, squeeze out the goodness) into a food processor and blend.
- Add 3T of the masala, the ginger/garlic/turmeric mix, 500g of yoghurt (Greek is fine), 2 T of chilli powder, the juice of a lime and a good pinch of salt to the bowl of chicken. Mix well so the chicken is well coated in the mix. Cover in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
Step Two: Chicken
- There are a few options here to try and replicate the tandoor char on the chicken (hint: you won't get close). Either you can bbq, grill or bake the pieces of chicken chicken (in order of how good the results will be) (save the leftover marinade). Whatever method you choose, you need to get your fire as screaming hot as possible and you need to cook the chicken until it starts to get some char. If the chicken releases some moisture during cooking, pour it into a pot/bowl and we'll use it later. Set aside the cooked chicken.
Step Three: The Actual Cooking
- In a large pot, melt a tablespoon of ghee or butter and add the leftover marinade and any juices you saved from cooking. Over a low heat, cool this for around 15 mins until it goes darker, stirring occasionally.
- Add 3 tins of pureed tomato, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar and cook for a further 20 mins.
- Add 150g of unsalted butter (or ghee) straight from the fridge and stir until melted.
- Add your remaining garam masala (around 2T), 1 T of chilli powder and 2 T of dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi in an Indian supermarket).
- Add the chicken, stir and cook for a further 30 mins.
- Serve it with naan and rice.
(Yes, I'm aware I served the below with flatbread and no rice. IF YOU COOK YOU CAN DO STUFF LIKE THAT)