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
5 min
30 min

4 servings

  • 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

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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4.4 115
This is the first time I have ever tried to make butter chicken, and I was sorely disappointed. This does not taste like any butter chicken I have ever had! I suspected this wasn't going to go well when I looked at the ingredients. I was suspicious of the 3 different forms of tomato and the short list of spices, but it seemed like an easy recipe to follow for a first attempt by someone who has never tried Indian cooking before, so I tried it. First of all, the sauce came out red. Red! Who's ever heard of a red butter chicken? No one, that's who. It was runny, of course, probably because the cooking time is too short to deal with all the water in the diced tomatoes, and the flavour was weak. And what is with the peas? Never seen peas in butter chicken either. It does, technically, taste good, if you can get your mind past the fact that it isn't butter chicken. This is basically chicken and rice with mildly spicy tomato sauce. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this recipe is wimpy to say the most for it. Jarred garlic? and little dabs of ingredients except for ginger. not enough butter, cream, coconut milk, blah item not reviewed by moderator and published
Pretty good, but because I like my curry stronger, I made the following changes: doubled all the spices, except for the garlic (3x) and curry powder (2.5x), used fresh ginger, added the chicken in with the garlic and another few tablespoons of butter to give it a chance to soak some of the flavors. I never took the chicken out of the sauce, and I skipped the peas because I didn't have them. I also eyeballed the cream. With those changes it wasn't bland and was a pretty acceptable way to use the roast chicken i had from the night before. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I doubled the spice blend (this addresses the blandness) and used 3-4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of precooked rotisserie chicken and did not use any cream. It was fantastic served over fennel basmati rice! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I baked two Corning hens and then pulled them apart for the chicken pieces, and I used 8 oz of sour cream instead of the boring heavy cream. It came out absolutely delicious, and I will be using this recipe for years to come. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I almost made this until I showed the recipe to two Indian guys I work with, one laughed at it and said that's NOT Butter Chicken, the other shook his head in disgust. That's enough for me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Bland...not worth the effort item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not restaurant quality. There are not enough spices. The rotisserie chicken ruins it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not as buttery as my local Indian restaurant. I agree with a previous rater regarding the fresh ginger which I used in my version. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Pita bread is Arabic, naan bread is Indian. You would serve naan bread with butter chicken, not pita. Giving this recipe a rating of 1 star because the chef should know the difference. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sorry, CORNISH hens. Brain got too far ahead of fingers, LOL! item not reviewed by moderator and published
People like you are why you can't count on looking at how many stars a recipe has - you have to read to see if there are reviewers like this and take that into account. Frustrating. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You don't have to read through the reviews to figure out this recipe is bad. Just look at the ingredient list. This is the worst butter chicken recipe I've seen, I don't need to try it to know it's not going to taste good. Rotisserie chicken? no ginger? jarred garlic? and served with Arabic pita bread? The latter alone should indicate this recipe is a pathetic attempt, and showcases the chef's inexperience at cooking ethnic foods. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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