Not Butter Chicken
Um ya. Butter chicken, or as I fondly call it, Buerre Poulet. (I know. Not proper French but it makes me smile)
While I adore so many other (possibly more authentic) Indian dishes, this one is the top of the list. It's comforting, creamy, a little spicy, and all that sauce allows you mop it up with naan bread over and over. Winning! However, all that cream doesn't really sit well with me, or my stomach. Internally or love-handley. Sure, that's a word.
This version is healthier in my option, and also easier to digest for those avoiding lactose. I think coconut milk is so dreamy - and use it in lots of soups, curries & smoothies. Yes, it has a high fat content but we NEED fat - good fat that is, and of course in moderation. It's also loaded with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Want more science deets on the coconut milk? Here you go! And if you're into it's Ayurvedic properties - read up!
This is an easy to pull together & only requires 1 dish, which makes it a great option for weeknight dinners. I also enjoy it after a day of skiing at the cabin - so feel free to use a crockpot to cook this crowd pleaser too. If you're looking for a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with chickpeas.
6-8 chicken thighs, sliced (use breasts if you prefer, but I think thighs are tastier)
1 onion, in half moons or diced
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped spinach
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 can tomato paste
1 tbs ghee, or coconut oil, or butter
1 1" knob of ginger, minced or chopped
2-3 tbs curry powder (I start with 2, and then often add little more after it's simmered for a bit if the flavour profile isn't strong enough)
1.5 tbs garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
In a heavy pan or dutch oven, melt the ghee and add the onions. Cook for a few minutes. Then add spices, garlic & ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, add tomato paste & salt and cook another 2 minutes. Add broth and coconut milk and bring to a low simmer. As soon as it's simmering, add chicken and allow to cook for about 30 minutes on low, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Stir in spinach 5 mins before done. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
* you can add the chicken in at the same time as the tomato paste if you prefer. It doesn't much matter as you are simmering for half hour to get the flavours going!