Butter chicken is a good dish for Logan to learn because it is simple to make, quick, flavorful and nutritious. Since we are in a pandemic lock down it was a little difficult to get all the ingredients we needed to make the sauce. So, we had to improvise. I bought a bottle of butter chicken sauce and added to to it to enhance the flavor and to thicken it as we found to be a little too liquid. So before we get into Logan’s cooking, here is the recipe I usually use for the sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups diced tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
Chopped cilantro to garnish
Method: Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes (canned is fine) and simmer in a covered skillet for about 8 minutes. Once cooled, pour into blender and blend for a few seconds and return to skillet. Add in the cream and the seasonings and simmer for another 8 minutes. Add the seasoned cooked chicken and let it all simmer in a covered skillet for 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
Here now is Logan’s preparation:
Wash chicken breasts with water or lime (Washing chicken before we cook it is something we do as Trinidadians. If you don’t want to wash your chicken then so be it). Cut chicken into smaller pieces and put into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves and set aside.
Next he measured out 2 cups of Basmati rice, washed it and put in a pot with 2 1/2 cups of water and brought it to a boil. He added a couple smidgens of vegan butter to the water to help the rice stay light and fluffy as the water evaporated.
Next he put a table spoon of oil in a skillet and heated it and cooked the chicken pieces, onion and garlic. Once the chicken began to turn white, he added the bottled sauce, a pinch of salt, cumin and black pepper. He stirred in a tsp of tomato paste, a pinch of paprika, cayenne pepper and a pinch of cinnamon, just to boost the ready made sauce.
Stir in a tablespoon of cream, cover the skillet and let it simmer for about 20 minutes on Medium – low heat.
Once the chicken was thoroughly cooked and tender, Logan garnished with chopped green onion as we didn’t have cilantro. Pandemic lock downs force us to be creative and improvise but that’s okay because the most important things are that the chicken is properly cooked and the meal is tasty. The butter chicken smelled like Heaven making us all very hungry indeed and when we tried it, it tasted even better than it smelled.
Serve Indian Butter Chicken over rice or with naan bread and enjoy. Stay home. Teach your teen to cook. Stay safe and bon appetit. ~Daniella and family.