Butter Chicken

Andrew Zimmern's delightful butter chicken gets its rich and delicious flavor from a combination of yogurt, butter, tomatoes, onions, spices and cream.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): plus overnight marinating

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  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vindaloo spice (see Note)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Basmati rice, cilantro sprigs and chopped salted roasted cashews, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the vindaloo spice and lemon juice. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken and its marinade along with the crushed tomatoes and stock to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce is flavorful and the chicken is cooked through, 
10 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve with basmati rice, cilantro sprigs and chopped cashews.

Make Ahead

The butter chicken can be refrigerated for 2 days.


Vindaloo spice blends over 10 spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric and Indian chiles. You can find it at penzeys.com and kalustyans.com.

Suggested Pairing

Light, floral-inflected California red.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published May 2016

1069561 recipes/butter-chicken 2016-03-30T14:21:20+00:00 Andrew Zimmern weeknight-dinner|indian|4| may-2016 recipes,butter-chicken 1069561

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