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Long Distance Kitchen is great for many things.  It’s a good way to force myself to get around to making things that I like the sound of, but might put off otherwise.  It also forces me outside of my cooking comfort zone when Bronwen picks things I wouldn’t otherwise try, expanding my tastes and skills.  And sometimes it introduces me to recipes that I just end up loving, regardless of who chose it.

Butter Chicken falls into the last category.  It also fits into that fabulous category of foods that are delicious, relatively simple but still exciting, and have a fairly universal appeal.  The kind of thing you can serve to dinner guests when you want a sure hit that you don’t have to stress over.  Which makes it sound like I entertain all the time – I don’t.  But I want to, and this recipe is definitely going in my mental dinner party file.

First, you get the chicken marinating in spices, garlic, and lime juice.  This involves a little prep the day before (or a few hours before dinner) for the full flavor effect, but I’m sure you could do a shorter marinating time and just end up with a slightly less flavorful result.  When you’re ready to start cooking, you cook onions in butter, then add the chicken and let it cook a while on each side.  Then you add tomato sauce and diced tomato, and let the whole thing cook for a while before adding the cream.  I’m sure there’s a reason this is called Butter Chicken, but it’s really Creamy Tomato Chicken in my mind, with a mild kick of Indian spices.  Add some cilantro at the end if you want, scoop it over some rice, and dig in.

Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself standing over the leftover sauce with a spoon in your hand.  As Bronwen mentioned, of course it’s delicious – it’s full of cream!

The recipe is also here, without all the photos.  PW appears to use whole chicken breasts, while the original recipe in this link has you cut it up bite size.  I think I made it once each way, and I think the bite size version is easier to serve up and might give you more of a marinade coating on each piece.

November 2010

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