Butter Chicken

This is a recipe that Nathan and I actually thought we had posted before because it’s a classic dish that is so delicious. Butter chicken is the Indian dish that I would argue is the most well known worldwide..and for good reason. Essentially, it is yogurt-and-spice-marinated chicken simmered in a flavorful mixture comprised of butter, onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with garam masala, cumin and turmeric, with a touch of cinnamon. The flavors are so complex and well integrated and yet the dish doesn’t take long to make. After the chicken is done marinating the meal is done in under an hour. I do recommend having a sous chef (aka Nathan) to chop things like I do! If you’ve never tried butter chicken or think that you don’t like Indian food in general you need to give this recipe a try!

Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Murphy Goode 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Rating: 5.5 out of 10.0

This is one of the few wines that we’ve chosen for a pairing that was just not good. It wasn’t the pairing with the chicken..it was the wine itself. I chose a Sauvignon Blanc so the acidity would cut through the buttery, creamy sauce and cleanse the palate without drowning out the taste of the curry. However, there wasn’t much acidity and was lacking in flavor…I think another Sauvignon Blanc would have worked perfectly…just not this one!

Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Coney Island Brewing Company, Mermaid Pilsner
Rating: 7.5 out of 10.0

Unlike Katryn’s wine pairing, my beer was actually pretty tasty! Mermaid Pilsner is a nice, refreshing, and lite. While the beer itself doesn’t have much flavor it doesn’t need to when you are drinking it with butter chicken. It is perfect for washing down a rich dish full of spices.

Butter Chicken

Adapted from this recipe


1 ½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone, skin removed
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable or canola oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
Kosher salt to taste
¾ cups cream
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
½ bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed


  1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chiles and salt, and cook until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan.Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add the almonds, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

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