Easy Butter Chicken (With Less Fat!)

When I decided I wanted to try making an Indian Butter Chicken recipe, I started looking around for a recipe that was tasty but not too rich.  The recipe that sounded the best to me ended up having ridiculous amounts of fat, with a cup of butter and three whole cups of heavy whipping cream. That was just crazy to me and I knew there had to be a way to cut down on the fat and still have a really tasty dish.

I scrolled through the comments and found some alternatives, which I tried, with much success! This dish is wonderfully creamy and warming. With those changes and a couple of my own, here is my version of butter chicken!


1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 large onion, very finely minced
1 TB minced garlic

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups evaporated milk (a little less than two 12 oz cans, can use 2%)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala*
1 tsp cayenne pepper (Or to taste. I found this amount to be a mild heat that my toddler enjoys. Feel free to add more if you like things spicier!)
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 TB vegetable oil
2 TB tandoori masala*

1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice, cooked
chopped cilantro (for garnish, if desired)
Naan bread (can be found in the bakery section of most grocery stores)

* Spice mixtures can be found in the ethnic or spice aisle of the grocery store


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook slowly until the onion caramelizes to a golden brown. This takes about 15 minutes of standing in front of the stove, almost constantly stirring, so turn up some music and dance around a little while you cook. :)

This was the onion and garlic when I first added it to the butter:

Here it is after a few minutes... and a few more...

You may have to add a little more butter as the onion cooks down to keep it from sticking. Once the desired color is reached, add the remaining butter.

Once it is melted, add the tomato sauce, evaporated milk, cream, salt, garam masala and cayenne pepper.

 Bring to a simmer and add peas, then reduce heat medium low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

If you haven't cooked your rice yet, now is a good time to get it going! I love our rice cooker and use it all the time. If you eat a lot of rice definitely consider buying one. We got ours for our wedding but they are fairly cheap!

While the sauce is simmering, trim and cube your chicken breast into smallish, bite-sized pieces. Toss with the vegetable oil and tandoori masala and spread onto a rimmed cookie sheet.

The chicken will release juices while it cooks so you don't want it all over the oven! Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 13 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken and accumulated juices to the sauce, and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Use warm naan (the garlic kind is our favorite) to soak up the extra yummy sauce!



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