Last week I showed you how to make your own ghee. This week I thought I’d post a recipe for one of my family’s favourite meals using that ghee: butter chicken!
Of course, butter chicken is traditionally made with heavy cream, but hubs can’t eat cow dairy. So I flipped through my Everyday Paleo cookbook and found a basic recipe for paleo-friendly butter chicken using coconut milk instead. My kids enjoy spicy food so I upped the heat, and I adjusted the flavour profile to make it taste a little closer to the take out butter chicken we used to enjoy before going paleo.
Dice up an onion and saute it in half of your ghee until translucent. Add in 4 cloves of minced garlic and 2 teaspoons each of garam masala and chili powder. Add 1 teaspoon each of ground cardamom, ground coriander, ground ginger, and cumin. For some heat, add one quarter to one half teaspoon (or more!) cayenne powder, depending on how spicy you want your butter chicken. The key here is to saute the spices in your pan over low heat for a couple of minutes. Cooking the spices helps release their flavours, and butter chicken is all about the spices!
Once your spices are nicely toasted and fragrant, add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 cup tomato paste, 1 and 1/4 cups coconut milk, and the rest of your ghee. Mix well, and here’s your yummy yummy sauce!
Now turn the heat up a bit to medium low and bring the sauce to a simmer. Throw the chicken in and stir well so all the meat is well-covered in the sauce. Cover the pot and cook until done, stirring occasionally. Serve over basmati rice or cauliflower rice if you’re paleo.
One note about the amounts in this recipe: I don’t ever cook just enough for one meal. I’d better get at least the next day’s lunch out of all that work! That’s why I cook 4 pounds of chicken at once, but feel free to halve the amounts in this recipe to make just enough for one meal for a family of 4.
Paleo Butter Chicken
- 4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 tablespoons ghee divided
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
- In a large 8 quart soup pot, heat 4 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and saute until translucent.
- Turn heat down to low and add minced garlic and spices. Mix well and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add sea salt, lemon juice, tomato paste, coconut milk, and the remainder of the ghee. Mix well.
- Turn heat up to medium low and bring sauce to a simmer. Add chicken and stir until well covered.
- Cover pot and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally.
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