Pan-Fried Butter Chicken
PAN-FRIED BUTTER CHICKEN
YIELD: Serves 4-6
TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Traditional Indian butter chicken and classic Italian chicken parmesan were the inspiration that went into making this variation/combination. We combined the crispy, crunchy pan-fried exterior of chicken parmesan, and blanketed it with silky and flavorful butter chicken sauce…and voilà! Something familiar yet new. Although parmesan cheese does not actually come into play to create the breading, we’re suggesting a crumble of goat cheese at the end, because why the heck not?
2 each boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, pounded about ½” thin (roughly 1.5-2 lbs)
1 ½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground cumin
BUTTER CHICKEN SAUCE:
¼ pound unsalted butter
4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable or canola oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
Kosher salt to taste
⅔ cup chicken stock
1 ½ cups cream
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
4 tablespoons canola oil
1.5 cups Panko breadcrumbs
½ bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed
Goat cheese, for crumbling
Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Pour the marinade into a large Ziplock bag, add the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Close, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to one day.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire roasting rack on top. Set aside.
In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.
Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chilis and salt, and cook until the chilis are soft, about 10 minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Lastly, add cream, tomato paste, and almonds, and stir to combine. Let simmer until chicken is ready.
Pour panko into a shallow bowl or rimmed baking dish. Working one at a time, firmly press both sides of each piece of marinated chicken into the panko until every piece is evenly and well coated. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; it should evenly coat the bottom of the skillet, so add more if it doesn’t. Working in rounds of two so as to not overcrowd the pan, place the chicken breasts and thighs in the skillet and cook until deeply golden brown on one side, about 6 – 8 minutes. Flip chicken and brown other side. Once both sides are golden and crispy, remove from pan and transfer to wire rack set atop the baking sheet.
Once all chicken pieces have been browned and made it to the wire rack, transfer chicken to oven to bake for another 4 – 5 minutes until done.
Divide chicken pieces among plates and ladle butter sauce over the top, allowing generous portions for each plate. Sprinkle cilantro over the top and dot with crumbled goat cheese.