Sunday, April 7, 2013

Indian Butter Chicken

Paul goes back to work tomorrow and I am saddened and slightly terrified to be left managing the two munchkins all by my lonesome. It has been amazing having Paul around to entertain Matthew while I care for sweet little Emma. There have been a couple rough moments with Matthew where I was trying to feed the baby and he kept throwing fits/threatening to stick his fingers in electrical outlets/raiding the refrigerator. He knows when I am preoccupied and feels the need to take full advantage of the opportunity to make some mischief! I know we will adjust eventually but I have a feeling that this coming week might prove to be a bit difficult.

Remember how I teased Paul about his inability to plan and prepare meals that do not involve hard-boiled eggs? Well, he was determined to prove me wrong during his paternity leave. He even prepared our entire Easter feast all by himself. Granted, we did not sit down to eat until 9:00 pm (by which time Paul had thoroughly exhausted himself!)...but I was so proud of him nonetheless (and extremely grateful because I was willing to just order a pizza). He even made buttermilk biscuits - and they were fantastic!

One of the other meals he prepared was this delicious Indian Butter Chicken. We have enjoyed this dish a couple times from Indian restaurants and Paul had been drooling over this recipe ever since he spied it on Mel's Blog. I woke up from a nap to the smells of cardamom, jalapeno and garam masala wafting from our kitchen. Paul had the sauce for this dish all prepared and simmering over low heat as he finished the naan dough. And again, everything was absolutely delicious! We were able to enjoy the leftovers from this dish for three days. This dish was even better the next day because the refrigeration period gave the flavors a chance to meld together and upped the intensity level of the heat from the jalapeno seeds.

I guess I owe my hubby a huge apology. His cooking has been fantastic these last couple weeks. I might have to employ his skills more often now that he has proven his kitchen prowess.

Indian Butter Chicken
adapted slightly from Mels Kitchen Cafe

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeƱo, with seeds intact, finely chopped (omit seeds for less heat!)
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Hot cooked Basmati rice for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Naan for serving

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno. Stir often while cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.

Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the half-and-half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and stir in the chicken pieces, salt, and pepper. Keep the sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Cut three tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve the chicken and sauce over hot rice.

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