Chicken is one of the more inexpensive meats, and it can be prepared in a seemingly infinite number of ways. Chefs in North and South America, Australia, Europe, Asia and Africa have all found unique methods to incorporate chicken into their unique cultures. Butter chicken is just one of many examples.
If you’re not familiar with this delicious recipe, it might be because the preparation has only been on the culinary seen since the 1950s. It was invented by two restaurateurs in India, some say by accident. In any case, it is made by first marinating chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, yogurt and spices such as garam masala, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and chili. Although a clay oven is often used in India, butter chicken can also be fried, roasted or grilled. After cooking, the dish is topped with a mild, curry-based, creamy sauce. Although there are many variations, the sauce often contains cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and fenugreek. If the sauce becomes too thin, cooks sometimes choose to thicken it with cashew paste. The entrée can be garnished with green chilies, coriander, fenugreek, or cream and is traditionally served on a bed of basmati rice.
As with many meals inspired by the Asian subcontinent, this chicken preparation can be tailored to the cook’s tastes. By adding a few extra chili peppers or using a hotter curry, you can elevate the heat. On the other hand, you might prefer to make a milder form if you are serving children or even adults who prefer gentler flavors. Although it has only been in existence for six decades, this buttery chicken is sure to become one of the standards in Indian cuisine for generations to come.