Clay's Kitchen : Chicken Recipes

Chicken Recipes

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Recipe from: Joanne Lee

This is the Camellia Panjabi recipe that, coincidentally, I cooked today.

900g chicken, skinned quarters, smaller pieces on the bone, or boneless pieces (tikkas)
4 to 5 tablespoons oil

For the marinade:
2 cups plain yoghurt
6 garlic cloves
½ inch square of fresh ginger, peeled
⅔ teaspoon red chilli powder or paprika
¼ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
tiny pinch of tandoori colouring, optional
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime juice

For the makhani sauce:
700g tomatoes
½ teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
75g chilled butter
½ teaspoon paprika
few drops of vinegar
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
40g double/heavy cream

First prepare the marinade. Place the yoghurt in a piece of cheesecloth and leave to hang to allow the whey to drip away. Purée the garlic and ginger in a blender. Add this and the marinade spices, salt and lime juice to the yoghurt and mix well. Scald the tomatoes for the makhani sauce and peel off the skin. Reduce to a semi-pulp with a fork or a potato masher. Put the kasurimethi into a grinder and reduce to a powder. Make gashes in the chicken if using pieces on the bone. Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for at least 1 hour, preferably 2; for best results leave overnight. When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed skillet and put in the chicken with the marinade. Cover and cook over a low heat until done. Turn the chicken over during cooking.

Put the tomato pulp into a frying pan and cook for 5 minutes or so until the liquid has evaporated slightly. Add the chilled butter and paprika; after the butter has melted, let it cook for just 1 minute. Taste. If it has no sourness, add a few drops of vinegar. Add the kasuri methi and garam masala powder and salt to taste. After 30 seconds, add the cream and stir. The sauce is now ready. Pour it into the skillet and mix well with the chicken. Serve immediately.

If butter is cooked for as long as 3 minutes it will turn into ghee and become a grainy emulsion. So start with chilled butter and cook for less than 2 minutes after the butter has melted. You can cook the chicken ahead of time. But makhani sauce takes only 5 to 6 minutes to prepare and should be made when the dish is to beaten. You can cook the tomato ahead, but add the butter just before serving. In India, restaurateurs mix a little raw papaya purée into the marinade as a tenderizer. Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves are available in Indian grocery shops.

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