Butter chicken is so de rigueur. So overdone, so… good! I’m not going to split hairs here and have a debate about whether or not Butter Chicken is a true Indian dish or not because the fact is, almost everyone loves a good Butter Chicken. Despite the name, there really is no butter in Butter Chicken but the creamy texture does come from cream. And lots of it. I think that is probably why it is not a staple here in our house.
Tonight I had a specific goal in mind. A fellow foodie friend and blogger has asked me to ‘test drive’ her new Butter Chicken spice blend. I’m not sure what’s in it, but when you give it a good sniff the aromas hit you like a ton of bricks! A slip of paper with easy handwritten instructions accompanied the spice mix:
1 cup whipping cream
4 tbsp ketchup
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp spice mix
2 green chilies (finely chopped)
1 lb boneless chicken (cubed)
Combine all ingredients, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Right away I am uncomfortable with the first two ingredients. I NEVER cook with whipping cream (35%MF), let alone a whole cup of it, so I used the same amount of half and half (10%). I still had a mild heart attack doing it. I also rarely cook with ketchup but since this was a small amount I decided to let it slide. The high sugar content and acidic kick of the vinegar are needed in the sauce for sure.
I’m really sorry Ginni, I didn’t follow your recipe ‘to the letter’ but if the aim was to test out the spice blend then that mission was accomplished. I used a bit more of the spice blend, two birds’ eye chilis (could have made that three) and used up the ground turkey I had in the fridge instead of the cubed chicken. I caramelized some onions in the pan, then added the spice mixture and fried it for a couple of minutes before I added the liquids to the pan. Then I mixed up the ground turkey with some breadcrumbs and Ginni’s other spice mixture (roasted ground coriander and cumin), salt and pepper. I made the tiniest meatballs (quarter sized diameter) and then dropped those into the pot. A quick 20 minutes to simmer and the Butter Turkey Meatballs were done and my house smelled divine!
Thank you Ginni for the delicious spice mixture. It had the perfect blend of spices you would expect in a Butter Chicken sauce. The only thing I would add is that the whipping cream is not necessary. We definitely found the sauce to be creamy enough with just the half and half.
If you want to find out more about Ginni’s Butter Chicken mixture or other ground spices, check out mindfullyspiced.com. Ginni also teaches cooking courses at various locations in Calgary and has published her first cook book, Mindfully Spiced Chicken.