This super flavorful Butter Chicken that is better than any takeout and couldn’t be easier to make! It’s especially delicious served with a warm piece of naan!
At it’s core, it’s cut up chicken thighs marinated in a lemon juice, yogurt and spice mixture and then simmers in a savory sauce made of butter, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and some cream. It’s slowly cooked until the chicken is almost falling apart, majorly tender, and packed full of flavor.
Butter chicken is reminiscent to chicken tikka masala but the difference is that while Tikka Masala is a bit more complex and this tastes more buttery with a delicious tomato based Indian gravy.
There’s all sorts of delicious juices that come with this recipe so you absolutely MUST eat it with a few pieces of homemade naan!
Some frequently asked questions coming your way:
What does Butter Chicken taste like?
It’s a little reminiscent to a chicken tikka masala but the difference is that while Tikka Masala is a bit more complex and this tastes more buttery with a delicious Indian gravy. It originated in back in the 1950’s in India when some leftover chicken was tossed into a tomato based gravy sauce and it’s been popular ever since!
Why is it called Butter Chicken?
Because of the butter in the gravy of course!! If you’re hesitant about the butter, don’t be! It’s honestly so delicious in this recipe. You could also use Ghee if you have it on hand – will be just as delish!
What do you serve with Butter Chicken?
I like to serve a warmed piece of homemade naan with it. It’s also great over rice, quinoa, farro or any other grain.
What spices go in Butter Chicken?
Turmeric, garam masala, cumin, and cayenne are the traditional spices you’ll want to have on hand!
Can you freeze Butter Chicken?
You sure can! I freeze smaller portions of this all the time, once it’s fully cooked. In order to reheat it, I just remove it from the freezer, let it come to temp in the fridge and then transfer the mixture to a non-stick skillet and re-heat over medium heat. It’s a great dish to freeze because it re-heats so nicely!
Ok… away we go!
- 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup butter
- 1 onion small dice
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Lemon juice to taste
- Cilantro to garnish
- Naan bread to serve
- Combine the chicken, greek yogurt, lemon juice, and spices in a bowl. Marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in onion and cook slowly until the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and its marinade to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil - then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and tomato paste and continue to simmer until the chicken has cooked through, about 15 minutes, and the sauce is thick.
- Taste, adjust seasoning as needed, add lemon juice for a bit of acid. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve alongside warmed naan.