Butter Chicken (Indian Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce)

A rotisserie chicken stands in quite well for the original tandoori chicken in this version of the simple north Indian dish. In just a few[ simple steps with a handful of spices, an ordinary chicken become an exotic, family-pleasing meal with a richly spiced sauce that melds right into the chicken. The dish is done when the meat is ? as Indian cookbook author Julie Sahni describes it ? "meltingly tender." Serve with spinach, quickly cooked in oil and garlic to complete the meal.]

Total Time:
35 min
Prep:
5 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Spice Blend:
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 skinless rotisserie chicken, boned out and pulled into 1 1/2 by 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, placed in a colander and run under hot water to thaw
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Hot basmati rice, for serving
  • Pita bread, warmed according to package directions, for serving
Directions

To make the spice blend: Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The spices will be fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir will. Add the chicken pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Shake any excess water from the peas. Add the peas and cream to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice and warmed pita bread.

Variation: If you prefer shreds of chicken to whole pieces, remove the skin from the chicken and pull the meat into large chunks by hand. Add to the pan along with the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the tomato sauce and continue with the recipe. Serve over basmati rice.


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