Butter Chicken Recipe

butter chicken and roti with cookbook

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I was sent a copy of What’s Gaby Cooking, Eat What You want by Gaby Dalkin as part of the Abrams Dinner Party at no charge. Please enjoy this butter chicken recipe from the book.

I watch a lot of cooking shows and have heard about butter chicken many times but have never tried it in a restaurant nor have I made a butter chicken recipe at home. But there is a first time for everything, right? I figured in for a dime, in for a dollar so I also made the traditional accompaniment – roti, the buttery Indian flatbread used to get every last bit of sauce out of the bowl. If you want to know the truth I put my butter chicken in the roti and rolled it up like a burrito. I hope that’s allowed…

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The recipe below is how it appears in the cookbook. I could not make it that way due to pantry limitations and not shopping normally due to the times. I will note my substitutions at the end of the recipe.

butter chicken recipe

Butter Chicken

Serves 4 – 6

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  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 TBS ground turmeric
  • 2 TBS garam masala
  • 2 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 onion cut into small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 TBS grated fresh ginger
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • roti or store bought pita
  • Put the chicken, greek yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin and cayenne and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

make the butter chicken

  • Stir in the onion and cook slowly until it turns translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and its marinade to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

finish the butter chicken

  • Stir in the heavy cream and tomato paste and continue to simmer until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce is thick about 15 minutes.
  • Taste, adjust the seasoning if needed and add more lemon juice for more acid if wanted.

butter chicken

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  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti

Here are the changes I made due to pantry limitations:

  • I used chicken breast (received from Perdue Farms in my Organic Chicken order I just received) instead of chicken thighs
  • No Greek yogurt so I substitued sour cream
  • I had used all of the tomatoes I had canned last summer so I reconstituted dehydrated tomatoes and used them.
  • No heavy cream in the house so I used a combination of goat’s milk and evaporated milk.
  • As with the tomatoes all of my canned tomato paste had been used as well so I used my homemade ketchup.
  • Neither one of us likes cilantro (we both fall in the “tastes like soap” group) so I used fresh parsley

butter chicken and roti with cookbook

How Was the Butter Chicken Recipe?

It is packed with flavor. All of those wonderful spices plus the onion, garlic and ginger make for a taste explosion in your mouth. I can’t say for sure never having had the dish before, but I don’t think my substitutions made a big difference. If anything, the dried tomatoes were stronger in flavor than regular canned tomatoes. The one thing that surprised me with this dish was that it did not improve on the second night; I thought it would like most Italian meals do. But if anything, the flavor was muted compared to the first night. We still enjoyed it, but it was definitely not as powerful.

This will definitely become another favorite chicken recipe to add to my list with Oregano Chicken and Chicken Fricassee.


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