Indian Butter Chicken Recipe
Indian food is a major weakness of mine. The flavors of Indian food are OUT OF THIS WORLD! While yes, some foods can be quite spicy, this Indian Butter Chicken recipe strikes the perfect balance between flavor and spice. LOTS of flavor with a small hint of heat.
Back in my hometown, there’s an authentic Indian restaurant called Tandoori. When I’d visit home it was one of my favorite places to go and eat. Their Indian food is incredible! My favorite entree on their menu is the butter chicken. Gah! It’s so so good. One bite of it and you’ll want to swim in the sauce. I mean, their recipe is 100% perfection.
I’m pleased to report that this Indian butter chicken recipe is a copycat recipe of my favorite Indian restaurants signature dish!
Let me show you how to make it.
How to make Indian Butter Chicken
- Make the chicken marinade.
- Par bake the chicken. You’ll par bake the chicken in a butter sauce along with some thinly sliced red onions.
- Bake the butter chicken.
Step 1: Make the chicken marinade
In a medium sized bowl combine the following ingredients:
- Garlic cloves
- Freshly grated ginger
- cayenne pepper – I add 1/4 tsp and it gives the recipe a small “kick.” If we didn’t have young kids we were feeding I’d probably bump it to 1/2 tsp for more heat. You can do as you wish!
- Canned petite diced tomatoes – Note: make sure you drain some of the tomato juice from the can. It’s ok if some of the juice seeps through, but you won’t need all of the tomato juice. I haven’t made this recipe using fresh tomatoes, but you definitely can!
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Garam Masala
Stir in the cut up chicken. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Pro tip: you can marinade the chicken for much longer! I like to make this in the morning so that the chicken can marinate throughout the day. So my chicken sits in the marinade for about 6 hours or so.
Step 2: Par bake the chicken
In a large skillet, melt some butter. We use a decent amount of butter for this recipe 6 tablespoons.
Add the thinly sliced red onions to the butter and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the chicken and the marinade to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and chopped cilantro.
Step 3: Bake the butter chicken
Transfer the par baked chicken to an 8″x8″ inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
What to serve with Indian Butter Chicken
Serve Indian butter chicken atop a bed of rice. It can be white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice… whatever you have on hand.
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Indian Butter Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1" inch chunks
- 4 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 inch ginger root - grated
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper - add more if you want more heat
- 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes - juice drained (see notes)
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 3 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 red onion - thinly sliced, in half moons
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons cilantro - chopped
- cooked rice - for serving
- In a medium sized bowl combine the garlic loves, ginger, cayenne, diced tomatoes, yogurt, garam masala, salt, cardamom, and cumin. Stir to combine. Stir in the cut up chicken. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet melt the butter. Add the sliced onions and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chicken and the marinade to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the heavy cream and chopped cilantro.
- Transfer the par baked chicken to an 8x8 inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve hot over a bed of rice and a side of naan bread.
- After making this recipe tons of times since posting this, my family prefers the tomatoes pureed! So I'll just place the tomatoes in a blender and mix until smooth, then add to the sauce.
- You don't have to FULLY drain the juice from the tomatoes. If some falls into the marinade that's totally fine. We just don't want ALL of the juice from the can going in. 🙂
- Serve with a side of naan bread... it's so so good!