The rajah ‘n me, we tight

February 27, 2010

Which would be my highly politically incorrect way of noting that I have successfully made Chicken Markhani, aka Butter Chicken.

M'mm h'mm. There 'tis. Chicken Markhani. I will tweak next time, but it ain't bad at all.

Found the recipe on a blog a while back, and had pegged it for the package of chicken breast tenders I had in the freezer. So today I laid those babies out to thaw and determined this would be the day.

Only to discover at 4:30 p.m. that you’re supposed to marinate the chicken in spices and lime juice for several hours, or overnight.

H’mm. This presents a problem, as I do not want to eat this either at midnight, or tomorrow for breakfast (when I’m thinking it’ll be champorado again).  What to do, what to do?

Necessity being the mother of invention, I upped the spices and marinated the chicken for an hour on the cabinet. It seemed to work just fine.

The principle behind Chicken Markhani (butter chicken) is to use an Indian spice combo (cumin, coriander, cardamon, ginger, cayenne, garlic), brown the chicken with onions in butter, add tomatos and simmer, and finish with yogurt or cream.

In practice, it works pretty well. I used lemon juice because my limes had been in the produce drawer of the fridge too long; lime would’ve been better, I’m quite sure.

But what would have really elevated this dish out of the realm of ain’t-bad to absolutely superb would’ve been to use coconut milk ‘sted of the yogurt I did use. And I will SO do that next time.

The recipe:

  • 1 pound of chicken breast tenders (or breasts, or thighs, or whatever piece of chicken anatomy you have at hand)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (to your taste) of cumin, cayenne, coriander, cardamon, ginger, salt and pepper
  • juice of one lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 14 1/2 oz. can petite diced tomatos
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup yogurt, or heavy cream, or coconut milk

Marinate the chicken in the spices and lime juice in the fridge overnight (or on the counter for an hour). Saute the onion in the butter; throw the chicken in and brown it. Add the tomatos and tomato sauce and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or an hour or however long you forget and leave it on the stove. Add the cream or yogurt or coconut milk, stir and let it get almost to boiling again.

Serve over jasmine or basmati rice.

And with that, folks, I’m going to finish this glass of wine, read for a while, and call it a night. You and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy the Olympics. Or the basketball game, which is what I’m watching, having reached ice-and-snow-saturation levels.

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One Response to “The rajah ‘n me, we tight”

  1. Martha Miller Boltz Says:

    Love the chicken recipe — am not real strong on Indian food, but that one has all the spices I like and sounds super!!


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