I have to start out by saying the Mister is an excellent cook! For the first eight years of our relationship he cooked everything (except lasagna, that was my dish). I loved his food and hated cooking so it worked out well. I have never been bad at cooking, it was just never my thing. I baked, the Mister cooked. Recently, I have become more interested in cooking. Our crazy schedules and the fact that we now have every kitchen utensil, ever, has made cooking more necessary and enjoyable for me. On Wednesdays and Thursdays our schedules line up and we get to prepare dinner together. It is one of the best parts of my week!
This week we decided to try something new and adventurous since we had the time. Thanks to our quarterly magazine from the local grocery store (Wegmans, for those of you in the North East. If you aren't familiar with Weggies, I do apologize, they are the best!) we decided on Butter Chicken.
The name is kind of misleading since there is a grand total of 1 tbsp of butter in the whole dish. So, if you are a geek like me you can head over to Wikipedia to discover the origins of the name.
The recipe calls for a pre-made "simmer sauce", but after reading the ingredient list and because we actually enjoy the process of cooking, we decided to make our own. The detour to Wikipedia would have been best before we had finished eating the dinner, as it has a list of common spices to be included in the tomato sauce portion of the dish...but it was absolutely delicious anyway.
For our first attempt attempt at Butter Chicken, we started with a simple Tandoori paste marinade.
There are two almost identical versions of this marinade, one with added color and one without. We went with the one without. Easy decision in my book. When we walked away the Mister said "Oh God, we *are* granolas". It's hard to deny when all we eat is fresh or frozen vegetables, lean chicken, and rice, and we go out of our way to make a sauce not containing extra chemicals. But I'll wear the name with pride. Just today, I was thinking to myself how grateful I am for the way we eat. So many people eat what is quick or easy and they miss out on so much wonderful, healthy food that way.
The chicken should marinate in the refrigerator for anywhere from 2-24 hours with 3-4 tbsp Tandoori paste. Ours was in for about 6 hours. There was some discussion about the chicken. I cut it into cubes before marinating, the Mister thought that it should have marinated and cooked before being cut up. Its your choice, really.
For the tomato sauce we used:
1 lg can tomato sauce (contadina is our top choice)
3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
3 cloves garlic
You may also want to include:
In a small saucepan, sweat the garlic with olive oil until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and the rest of the spices. Stir well. Add yogurt one tbsp at a time and stir until combined.
Transfer 2 cups of this mixture to large saucepan. Save the rest for another time (we froze ours). Add 1 cup heavy cream, stir well and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and continue simmering for 5-10 minutes.
This meal was amazing! It rates right up there with coconut curry chicken. Definitely a keeper!