My uncle bought me a cookbook for Christmas a few years ago entitled Fat. Right on the cover it proclaimed itself as “an appreciation of a misunderstood ingredient, with recipes”.I couldn’t have asked for more. The book is broken up into 4 parts: butter, pork fat, poultry fat and lamb/beef fats. There are a number of recipes that I am anxious to try, especially since I rarely find anything that calls for the fat to stay in the recipe. 

Photo Credit: AGlugofOil.com

For this meal, I chose from the chapter on butter. I took some liberties with the actual cooking process since I was hungry and wanted to eat sooner. The book’s version takes a smidge longer and is slightly more authentic to the traditional dish. Either way, this delightful dish is simple and accessible for any weeknight meal. This recipe calls for both ghee and butter, so we get to really experience the full range of flavors. Matt isn’t a fan of the smell of ghee  when it is heated, but I love it. One whiff and I am standing in the streets of Calcutta again. 

Murgh Makhani (butter chicken)
– 2 onions, chopped
– 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
– 1/4 cup peeled and coarsely chopped ginger
– 8 cardamom pods
– 2 fresh bay leaves
– 2 tsp. toasted cumin seeds
– 1 tsp black peppercorns
– 2 green chiles
– 1 dried red chile
– 3/4 cup water
– 1 lb of chicken pieces
– salt
– 2-3 Tbsp. Ghee
– 14 oz. canned tomatoes
– 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
– 1/4 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced
– 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley
– 1 lime

Place the first 10 ingredients in a food processor and whirl until a smooth, soupy sauce. Heat the ghee in a skillet and brown each of the pieces of chicken. (Add more ghee if necessary.) When the chicken is sufficiently browned, remove it from the pan and salt. Pour the chili sauce into the skillet and heat to a quick bubble. Stir in the tomatoes and paste. Add in the cream a little bit at a time, stirring to incorporate. Put the chicken in a casserole dish and dot the tops with butter. Pour the sauce over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for half an hour. Serve over rice or orzo and squeeze some lime juice over each plate. Finally, sprinkle the chopped herbs and enjoy!

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