Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Maven's R-Rated Buttah Chicken (TM) Patent Pending, Copywrong 2011

Hey. I'm not reinventing the wheel here. There are plenty of variations out there, utilizing marinated chicken (either bone in, or boneless), with the chicken marinating (several hours to overnight) in yogurt with some spice mixture. I'm lazy. I also work outside the home. I am lazy. I don't cook more than 1-2X a week. So I try to save time if I can. I save time by using two different pre-blended spice mixtures that anyone who cooks Indian food regularly should have on hand: 1. Tandoori spice; and 2. Garam Masala.

In the variations of Butter Chicken that I have eaten, they have involved either: 1. Leftover tandoori (grilled) chicken; or 2. Chicken cooked from its raw state in the curry.

Yes. Hard to break the news to you. But butter chicken is curry. Butter chicken is what I view as "Indian food with training wheels on." Folks who claim they "don't like curry," just haven't had butter chicken. Furthermore, they haven't had MY butter chicken. *Ahem.* "Buttah Chicken."

In future batches, I might end up doing a light 20 minute smoke (in my Cameron's smoke box, using perhaps, I don't know! Alder chips? Hickory might be too smokey) on the marinated chicken to render up that slight smokey aspect you'd enjoy eating this at an Indian restaurant, where they no doubt use leftover tandoori chicken.

This recipe can be doubled, tripled, whatever. I don't recommend halving it. No good ever comes from halving recipes, imho.

Okay. Enough commentary. (Or not.) You're not reading this for the commentary (or ARE you?). The prologue. The tease. The pre-prandial foreplay. You want the money shot. Show me the Mahkani. And I hate hate hate writing recipes (almost as much as I hate hate hate writing crochet patterns). However, much like crochet or knit patterns, this recipe? YMMV. Delicious? YES. But still. Humans are prone to err. YMMV.

PS: Uh. There is no way on this fucking planet that this recipe is low cal. Get over it.

The Nuts:

Marinate a minimum of 1 hour (however, my boneless, skinless chicken thighs have been marinating for 2 nights--see my original statement, "I am fucking lazy.")

  • 1 ½ lb chicken parts (I prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs, they're tastier)
  • 1 c plain yogurt (I've been known to use less than 1 cup of yogurt, but YMMV)
  • 2 Tbspns prepared Tandoori seasoning (tho to be honest? I used Market Spice I got from Pike's Market, as it's pretty much the same components. Also worth noting, Penzeys has an exceptional tandoori spice.)
  • 1 Tbspn lemon juice

    Get a big gallon size zip lock bag, and mix the spice, lemon juice and yogurt together thoroughly, then add in chicken. Coat everything well. Zip it and forget it. Preferrably forgetting it for a full overnight.

The Bolts:

  • 1+ tbsp butter (maybe 2 Tbspn. Hey, see the proviso: it's not low fat or low cal. Get over it).
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I'm going to grind up a whole mess of fresh garlic and ginger and wing it, but most recipes use 2 cloves of garlic minimum)
  • 3 in piece of ginger, grated
  • Optional: 6 Fresh curry leaves
  • Asafatoeida (Protip: compounded; powder form); aka Hing (see what I did there? I'm so lazy, I can't be bothered saying, asa-fa-toe-i-don'tknowwhatthefuckthisis? I love the simplicity of HING.)

    [Pausing recipe writing for a sugar free Jello pudding break... ahh... chocolatey... ommmm nommm nommmm Don't judge me or my process. Hey, you're the one who wants this recipe! How the fuck did that happen? How the fuck is my pudding cup now empty? ::seethes::]

  • (Minimum 16 oz) 1 can of crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
  • Using empty tomato puree can, use 1 can's worth of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Optional: 5 whole cardamom pods, seeds crushed, pod husks discarded
  • ½ tsp coriander powder (see what I did there? I'm lazy. Use powdered spices, especially if you replace them frequently. Subtext: if you use your spices up regularly, you replace them regularly, ipso facto, you have fresh-ish ground spices on hand)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried fenugreek leaves (aka Methi, aka Methi kasoori) Note: ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds if you don't want to be lazy, but then you'd have to dry toast them, then grind these fuckers up, and really? why go to that bother. Note: Can also use fresh methi leaves if available, just mince them fine and use I don't know... a minimum of 3 Tbspns fresh, maybe more? See? I hate writing recipes. It interferes with the creative process. I just normally throw shit in a pot, stir it and VOILA! Magically, food appears. But sadly not everyone enjoys this magic. :( Where was I? Oh yes... I think I remember where I was going with this recipe...)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbspn. Cashew butter
  • 1 Tbspn. Jaggery (or honey)
  • ½ c cream (I'm going to use non-dairy creamer)
  • cilantro to garnish

How to Screw Those Nuts and Bolts Together:

  • Heat butter in a skillet and add the curry leaves. Cook until the leaves turn fragrant. You'll know what this is the moment you smell it. Add the onions and cook 2 minutes stirring regularly.
  • Sprinkle some Hing. A light dusting. Maybe 1/8th of a teaspoon?
  • Add garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes
  • Add chicken and fry for about 5 minutes
  • Add spices (YES. All that pre-fabbed, pre-ground shit, the dried methi, plus those THREE, count them, THREE whole cloves and that solitary bay leaf). Toss to coat chicken.
  • Add crushed tomatoes and ½ c of water
  • Add the heaping 1 Tbspn. cashew butter and jaggery (or honey). Stir well.
  • Bring to a boil, then transfer everything to a pressure cooker of adequate size to accommodate this bucket of butter chicken. The pressure cooker should be preheated to same temp as the skillet contents. Bring pressure cooker contents to a boil, then reduce heat (for my glass top electric range, I put it about at a 3-4, for simmering). Put the gasket in the pressure cooker lid, put the lid on the cooker, lock it in place, and put your whistle/weight on top.
  • Pressure cook for TWO whistles. Not one. Not three. TWO FUCKING WHISTLES. Turn off heat and remove pressure cooker from the burner onto a cool burner. Let it sit and do its thang. Do not force the pressure cooker to open. It continues to cook even while the stove is not on.
  • Protip: A pressure cooker is pretty much a pressurized bomb. Treat with respect, and it will promise you a bountiful, never ending stream of delicious meals.
  • Before serving, add ½ c of cream and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with plain basmati rice, or hey, perhaps you can make up a batch of homemade naan, while you are waiting for the fucking whistle to whistle.
  • Protip: You should think about what you want to serve this shit with the night before as you are prepping the chicken to go into the marinade, so the dough, should you choose to serve with naans, will be ready to go when you're ready to commence crafting this bucket of Buttah Chicken.
  • Note: It's even more fabulous served the next day.

Going to serve up w/a mix of white and brown basmati steamed with toasted cumin, salt, butter, and saffron.

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