I judge restaurants by a couple of key dishes and Murgh Makhani, or butter chicken as we better know it, is one of those benchmarks I judge an Indian restaurant by. Butter chicken as its name suggests, incorporates an obscene amount of butter into the recipe. Scrimp on the butter and you loose the taste, the whole effect and you’ll just be disappointed.
Marinate some boneless chicken thighs in garlic, ginger, salt, lemon juice and a little mustard oil. The longer the better, but at least 4 hours. On a hot BBQ, grill the chicken thigh fillets on a high heat to get some colour and singe the surface. Don’t worry about cooking it too hard, as the burnt edges and surface will add to the flavour. At the same time the chicken will be quite raw on the inside, again don’t worry, as we’ll finish off the dish simmering in the sauce. Once off the BBQ, cut into portion size and set aside ready for the sauce.
Now the sauce is key to this dish.
Melt a cup of butter or ghee into a heavy base sauce pan. Add 1 whole medium cut onion and cook gently till the onions start to ggo a golden colour.
Add 1 teaspoon of grated garlic and another of grated ginger. Stir constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1 cinnamon quill, some clove powder and coriander powder to suit your taste.
Continue to fry and then add 1/4 cup of tomato puree.
When all combined, add 1 pint of good chicken stock and simmer the sauce until all the flavours are combined.
I added some green peppers to the dish and a little chopped coriander but basically add what you want without totally bastardising the dish !
Don’t forget the cream, about 1 cup of full fat thick cream goes into the sauce. Stir to combine and lastly add your chicken pieces to finish cooking in the sauce.
When ready to serve, add a good knob of butter and a table spoon of honey and stir in gently. Serve with steaming rice and flat bread.
As a final note- it really is important not to use weight watcher cream or low fat butter. It just wont taste the same.