Hey everyone, and welcome to our fourth edition of Thyme Flies. Apologies for the delay, the lockdown here in Segovia has messed up scheduling, but we’re back now! For this week’s column, I’ve chosen a dish from India but popular worldwide: butter chicken. However, I know that you all have much more free time than before on your hands, so I’m going to start this article by giving a shoutout to my favorite online cooks, so hopefully you can pass your time a little quicker!
Youtuber #1 – Adam Ragusea
Author of the famed (or infamous, depending on your stance) YouTube video “Why I Season My Cutting Board, NOT My Steak”, Adam Ragusea dives into both recipes and food science topics. He often interviews professional food scientists for their expert takes and includes their interviews in his videos. Not affiliated with a company like Bon Appetit or Tasty, Adam Ragusea uses his kitchen in Macon, GA, USA (an hour away from my hometown – biased? Maybe) to explore these topics in an entertaining and straightforwards way. I’d highly recommend it.
Youtuber #2 – Chef John with FoodWishes.com
Chef John with FoodWishes.com uploads a recipe video twice a week with a different dish from around the world. His latest dishes include lamb dumplings, Norwegian flatbread, chili & cornbread, and fried chicken. He are straightforward, jumping directly into the recipe without any sponsorship ads, pre-recipe rambles, or filler content. His awkward but witty sense of humor makes his videos both notable and enjoyable.
Youtuber #3 – Grandpa Kitchen
While the grandpa of Grandpa Kitchen passed away a few months ago, he still has over 2 years of content online for our enjoyment. This channel, run by a grandfather and two of his grandsons from a town in India, prepared meals en masse then donated them to a local orphanage. Recipes include butter chicken, biryani, lasagna, goat curry, and more. This channel inspired me to take on butter chicken as our meal today, a jump into the world of Indian cuisine.
Hopefully these channels can keep you entertained during your time in quarantine and maybe inspire you to take on some new recipes! In the meantime, let’s get started on our dish for today – butter chicken!
Butter chicken originated in 1950 in the Mohi Matal restaurant chain based in Delhi. From there, it spread globally, and now serves as a staple in the menus of Indian restaurants worldwide. It consists of a rich cream, butter, and tomato sauce with chicken thighs cooked in the sauce with masala and cumin spices. Because we live in Spain, I could only find curry powder and paprika as a seasoning, but the base of the sauce remains the same. So, let’s get cooking!
- 1kg chicken thighs (contramuslo)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 480ml tomato puree (tomate frito)
- 110ml cooking cream (crema ligera)
- 45g butter
- Lemon juice
- Curry powder
- Debone the chicken thighs and cut them into 4cm cubes. Place them in a bowl with olive oil, 30ml of lemon juice, and 30ml of curry powder, and let it marinate for 30 minutes
- Finely slice the onion and finely mince the garlic. The goal is to not feel them in the final product.
- Set a medium pot with olive oil on medium high over a stove. Once heated, brown the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side (this is to add flavor to the sauce, NOT to cook the chicken through). Remove the chicken after slight browning.
- Add the onion, garlic, and 15g of butter. Cook them for about 3-4 minutes. Add 15ml of curry powder, 7.5ml of paprika, and 7.5ml of pepper. Let the seasonings cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomato puree and remaining butter.
- Bring this mixture to a boil and add the chicken thighs. Let this mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, and curry powder.
And with that, you’re done! Usually, I like to eat this dish with both basmati rice and flatbread. We have a recipe for flatbread here, and you can find basmati rice at Dia for about 1.30 euros per box. For the next edition, I am still deciding on a recipe (I currently have no kitchen access so I may have to get creative). Anyways I hope you enjoy your homemade butter chicken, and as always, keep on cooking!