Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Butter chicken and whole wheat naan

When a craving for Indian food hits, it hits me HARD.  Generally, I'd hold out until we can make it to an Indian restaurant, or I'd give in a buy a pouch of the ready-made stuff.  Last night I learned just how easy it is to make it myself!  And I can't even begin to explain just how satisfying it is to know that I can make such delicious, authentic tasting food *myself*!

There *is* a chicken thigh under all of that sauce!
I promise!


Butter Chicken
printable version of this recipe (with images)
printable version of this recipe (without images)

8 chicken thighs

3-4 Tbsp.  chana masala spice blend, plus some for sprinkling on the chicken (other recipes I found called for garam masala, but I couldn't find it -or the ingredients to make it- at the store I happened to be shopping at so I got a pre-mixed spice blend that you're supposed to make with chick peas that I ignored the directions on since I was only looking for a flavor that would work for butter chicken)

2 sticks of unsalted butter
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
large onion, diced
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of heavy cream
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400*.  Place chicken thighs in roasting pan skin side up and *lightly* sprinkle with spice blend.  Bake for one hour or until things are cooked through and skin is starting to peel and bubble.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, deep frying pan (or a smaller stockpot if you're unprepared like I was).  Simmer onions and garlic in butter over low heat until the onion begins to caramelize; about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle spice blend over the melted butter mixture and let them toast a bit; 2-3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and heavy cream and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Taste and salt to your preference.  Simmer over low heat until chicken thighs are cooked, stirring regularly.

When thighs are finished, add them to the butter sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Enjoy over rice with a side of naan.


Whole Wheat Naan

printable version of this recipe (with images)
printable version of this recipe (without images)

2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 c. warm water (110* F/45* C)
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (optional)
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour

olive oil for cooking

In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

Stir the olive oil, salt and garlic into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough is doubled, pinch and roll into golf ball-sized peices, formed into tight balls. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.

Cooking option 1: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or griddle.  Stretch dough, one piece at a time into a long, thin oval and place on the hot skillet.  Lightly fry until it turns golden brown, with a few darker spots where it hit the heat directly.

Cooking option 2:  Preheat oven to 400*.  Place stretched dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet or baking stone and brush with olive oil or melted butter.  Bake for 8 minutes or until browned.

Serve immediately or store in a zipper bag in the pantry or freezer.


This dish was a little spicy for my fiance and O, but Rye, Moo and I all *loved* it!  Rye, my formerly "picky" eater, was even the first to finish!

I'm looking forward to my leftovers!  

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