Butter chicken

Butter chicken
  • 25

    min prep time
  • 30

    min cook time
  • 4-6



  • 2–2½ lbs. chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed (divided)
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (divided)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (divided)
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ cup plain whole fat yogurt
  • 3 ½ tbsp garam masala (divided)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (divided)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (divided)
  • 1–2 tbsp vegetable oil, for brushing chicken
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter or ghee
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds lightly crushed
  • ½tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ¾ cups Stefano Marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Place chicken in a bowl with half of the garlic and ginger, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add half the cayenne pepper, half the turmeric, half the garam masala, the cumin, the lemon juice and the yogurt.
  2. Mix well, making sure that each piece is well coated with the mixture, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  4. Put the marinated chicken pieces on a parchment or foil-lined baking tray, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Brush chicken pieces with a little oil and turn them over. Bake for another 5 to 6 minutes, allowing them to get some colour, even though they will not be fully cooked inside. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
  5. For the sauce, in a deep saucepan heat butter or ghee until it starts to bubble.
  6. Add the remaining garlic and ginger. Fry for 2 minutes, stirring often, then add the remaining garam masala, cardamom pod seeds, remaining ground coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper (or more, if desired). Stir well, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
  7. Stir in Stefano Marinara sauce and combine well, then cook for another couple of minutes.
  8. Add fenugreek leaves (if using) and ½ cup of water, then stir and cover, and let it simmer for 10 minutes so that sauce reduces and thickens.
  9. Transfer sauce to a blender (or use a hand blender), and blend until smooth. Season sauce with 1 tsp of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Return sauce to saucepan, and add chicken pieces and any pan juices, then stir well to coat. Cover and allow to cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and add cream and continuously stir until cream is fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  11. Transfer to a warm bowl, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice and naan.


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