Take Out Fake Out: Easiest Butter Chicken

So, I have a slight obsession.

Curries have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. I love Thai curries (as you can see here when I made you guys Green Curry Chicken) but Indian curries are what really have my heart. The only problem is that I can never seem to make them taste as good as real Indian take out. Not to mention if you tried to make the dish completely from scratch, you would have to buy about 15 ingredients (over half of which are impossible to find at a regular grocery store.)

If you choose to go with one of the pre-made curry sauces (the ones where you brown some chicken and pour in the sauce and ta-da) most times, they are fairly lackluster and will leave you still craving the real thing.

This is where pre-made curry paste comes in! The curry paste has all the flavor and difficult to find ingredients, in a convenient little packet. You can find these at most grocery stores these days. Make sure the package says “Butter Chicken Curry PASTE” and not “SAUCE.”  The one I bought was a flat little box and inside was the foil packet of curry paste.

Then once you have the coveted curry paste packet, you just need some onion, chicken, water, cream and then some yogurt and cilantro for garnish. All of these things help to jazz up a simple store bought curry paste and turn into a take out dupe!

The simple secret to this dish, which is something I learned from my landlord when I was renting my first place. He was Indian and he was actually a chef for Indian weddings and events, so he really knew his stuff. He told me that many curries, including Butter Chicken, started off with VERY well sauteed onions. I’m talking onion that has been sauteed for so long that it doesn’t even look like onion anymore, they’re just mush. When you add this onion secret to any store bought curry paste, you end up with something that tastes like it’s been simmering all day.

When really you watched “Real Housewives of New Jersey” with your cat all day. NO ONE WILL KNOW.

If you want to learn how to make this tasty dish, just keep on readin.’ I also have a fab homemade Naan recipe for next weeks post, so stay tuned! As always if you have an idea for something you want to see on Take Out Fake Out, please leave it in the comments below!

Easiest Butter Chicken:

Serves 6

Total time: 60 minutes

Total time where you actually have to be doing things: 15 minutes

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • One large sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 packet Butter Chicken Curry Paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Plain yogurt & chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Steamed basmati rice and naan bread for serving

In a large and deep pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5-6 minutes, until softened, stirring often. Lower the heat to low, and cover. Continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The result should be golden brown mush! Don’t worry this is what you want. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the same pan, and return the heat to medium high. When the pan is very hot, add the cubed chicken breast, and saute until golden, about 6-7 minutes. Add the curry paste, cooked onion and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue simmering for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is tender. Do not allow the curry to boil, if it starts to boil, lower the heat until it is simmering. Now add the cream and give it a good stir to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and then serve over basmati rice. Drizzle with the yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro once plated.