Cook

My “Butter Chicken” Recipe

My "Butter Chicken" Recipe

Who doesn’t love great tasting food?

Honestly, I think it is really strange when people profess to be a foodie. We all love food don’t we? We all need it to survive. But there is a big difference between loving food and exercising self-control in the process to not cross that fine line that leads to gluttony. Please don’t tell me you are a foodie. Remember that the pleasure we derive from eating is not the primary goal – nourishment is. Nourishment and pleasure must go together; they feed each other (excuse the pun).  🙂

My eight year old daughter discovered Butter Chicken this past year and though she only eats a small amount (she only ever eats a small amount of anything), but is a discerning eater who eats slowly and savours her food. But because dairy doesn’t work well for her I decided that I would experiment in the kitchen and come up with a “Butter Chicken” that she could eat with confidence!

I have been experimenting with Eat Right 4 Your Type for the last few years and so have made modifications to this fantastic Butter Chicken recipe, to suit my needs. It works well for the rest of my family too (give or take some ingredients); each of us, a representative of the four blood types!

My version is for those who are dairy-free. I know it sounds strange to even call this dish Butter Chicken when there is no butter or decadent cream and by the way there is no chicken either; I have replaced the chicken with Turkey cutlets. My son is blood type B and my husband is blood type AB, both should avoid chicken. Generally, chicken is so over consumed by everyone that I have cut back on the amount of chicken I prepare and serve to them at home. So turkey it is!

I have made this dish only three or four times, but it has turned out great each time, so I feel ready to share it with you. If you try it please let me know how it turns out. My son thinks it could use a little more garlic and ginger for his taste, so I will experiment with those quantities next time.

Also, I find that it tastes even better the following days; I always make enough for leftovers.

Make this ginger / garlic paste ahead of time. Here’s how: chop up at least 2 inches of fresh ginger and 3 to 4 cloves of garlic to make a generous 1-2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger and garlic each; equal parts. But often when using a food processor it helps to have a larger quantity being processed for the machine to run smoothly. This is why I generally make more and keep it in the freezer. Place into a small food processor and add water in small amounts to create a paste. Set aside in the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you will be making the recipe.

Fresh Ginger/Garlic pasteFrozen Ginger/Garlic paste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg boneless Turkey Cutlets
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 4 pods of cardomom
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup or more of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions
  • 2 – 3 tsp (or more) of garlic/ ginger paste (see above)
  • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 2 Cups homemade Turkey stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)

Instructions:

  • cubed turkey cutlets1 kg boneless Turkey cutlets cubed (a cutlet is a breast cut in half or more slices) I use kitchen food scissors for cutting the cutlets into cubes.
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately from 1 lime depending on juiciness)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous tsp red chili flakes

Juice from 1 Lime

Sea Salt

1 tsp red chili flakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Combine the above ingredients. Place into a non-reactive (choose glass) food safe container and cover with a lid. (I like Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Marinating Stage 1 of 2

2) Just before your hour is up, in a flat pan on medium heat, gently roast:

  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 10 raw almonds

Roasting almonds & bay leaves

3) Gently roast until they darken slightly, turning over occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove seeds from 4 pods of cardomom (there are 12 seeds in each pod).

seeds from cardamom pods

4) In a clean coffee grinder, place cooled roasted bay leaves, almonds and 48 cardamom seeds and grind into a coarse powder.

cardomom seeds and gently roasted almonds & bay leaves half-way ground in coffee grinder final coarse powder

 

 

 

 

5) In a small bowl combine the following spices:

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

6) Mix the coarse powder mixture with the above spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric)

Spices

7) Add this combined spice mixture to the marinating Turkey cubes. Mix well.

marinating stage 2 of 2

8) Continue to marinate Turkey for an additional hour, covered in the refrigerator.

AFTER the second 1 Hour (two hours total), remove marinating Turkey from the refrigerator. It’s cooking time.

9) Heat 3 TBSP Olive Oil, on medium heat in a large high-sided frying pan or pot.

*NOT Virgin or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, because these oils are not meant for cooking with.

Olive Oil

10) When the Olive Oil is hot add approximately 1 Cup of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions. Fry until golden brown. About 10 minutes.

11) Add 2 generous teaspoons of previously prepared garlic/ ginger paste. Fry for one minute.

12) Add marinated Turkey cubes and any juices that may have collected in the marinating container. Cook on medium until Turkey cubes have sealed; they will take on an opaque appearance.

Cook until sealed

Simultaneously…

    • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
    • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)

13) With a food processor or in a container using a hand held blender, ground the tomatoes and fenugreek leaves into a smooth paste. Add to pot and combine with Turkey.

Dried Methi

Tomatoes & Fenugreek Leaves

14) Add 2 Cups Turkey stock to pot and combine. Add 2 Cups Turkey stock

15) Cook until Turkey is cooked and sauce is reduced by half. (approximately 45 minutes total cooking time.)

OPTIONAL: I don’t do this but as an optional Butter addition, melt 3 TBSP Butter or Ghee in another pot, then pour over top of cooked Turkey and mix in to finish.

Serve with homemade steamed Cumin Basmati Rice (easy recipe to follow – one of these days) and fresh steamed or roasted vegetables.

ENJOY!

Here are the instructions without photos for easy reading:

1) Combine the above ingredients. Place into a non-reactive (choose glass) food safe container and cover with a lid. (I like Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2) Just before your hour is up, in a flat pan on medium heat, gently roast: 2 dried Bay Leaves and 10 raw almonds

3) Gently roast until they darken slightly, turning over occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove seeds from 4 pods of cardomom (there are 12 seeds in each pod).

4) In a clean coffee grinder, place cooled roasted bay leaves, almonds and 48 cardamom seeds and grind into a coarse powder.

5) In a small bowl combine the following spices:

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

6) Mix the coarse powder mixture with the above spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric)

7) Add this combined spice mixture to the marinating Turkey cubes. Mix well.

8) Continue to marinate Turkey for an additional hour, covered in the refrigerator.

AFTER the second 1 Hour (two hours total), remove marinating Turkey from the refrigerator. It’s cooking time.

9) Heat 3 TBSP Olive Oil, on medium heat in a large high-sided frying pan or pot.

*NOT Virgin or Extra Olive Oil, because these oils are not meant for cooking with.

10) When the Olive Oil is hot add approximately 1 Cup of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions. Fry until golden brown. About 10 minutes.

11) Add 2 generous teaspoons of previously prepared garlic/ ginger paste. Fry for one minute.

12) Add marinated Turkey cubes and any juices that may have collected in the marinating container. Cook on medium until Turkey cubes have sealed; they will take on an opaque appearance.

Simultaneously…

  • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)

13) With a food processor or in a container using a hand held blender, ground the tomatoes and fenugreek leaves into a smooth paste. Add to pot and combine with Turkey.

14) Add 2 Cups Turkey stock to pot and combine.

15) Cook until Turkey is cooked and sauce is reduced by half. (see feature photo above).

OPTIONAL: I don’t do this but as an optional Butter addition, melt 3 TBSP Butter or Ghee in another pot, then pour over top of cooked Turkey and mix in to finish.

Serve with homemade steamed Cumin Basmati Rice (easy recipe to follow – one of these days) and fresh steamed or roasted vegetables.

Roast Turkey

This post is for anyone who has never roasted a Turkey.

It is really easy once you do it a few times and gain some experience – much like learning a new exercise! Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

I used to think I was a lousy cook, but I just never gave myself a chance. I’d try something once or twice and if it didn’t work out I figured that I just wasn’t cut out for cooking. But, I’ve learned that finding the right recipe is more than half the battle. I often chose recipes that looked amazing – some complicated, others simple but if the flavours didn’t appeal to me, then in the end it would feel like quite the disappointment, a waste of time and waste of ingredients. Now, from reading a recipe I know if it’s worth the attempt. And I’m figuring out how to use a recipe as a template and work with the ingredients that are compatible for me.

But really, the entire point of roasting the turkey is to be able to make homemade turkey stock – to make the best turkey soup you’ve ever tasted! Really, before Winter comes to an end you will want to learn this and be ready for next Fall.

First make sure you have all the necessary kitchen supplies at hand. Lay everything out ahead of time – like a cooking show – it really does make everything run that much more smoothly.

The kitchen supplies and preparation:

  • Washed sink and surrounding work surface clean and clutter free
  • Cutting board
  • Pre-cut paper towels
  • Roasting Pan
  • Roasting Tray (which fits inside roasting pan)
  • Turkey baster (optional)
  • Aluminum Foil (oiled)

After Roasting:

  • Large Platter or Carving Block with grooves for catching cooked turkey juices
  • Tea Towels

Ingredients:

  • Turkey! (in this example I used a 13.26 lb. Turkey)
  • Remove Turkey from refrigerator approximately 1 hour prior to the time you want it in the oven to ensure that it won’t be too cold going into the oven
  • 1 tsp. Salt + 1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper set aside in bowl (more or less depending on preference)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (I used Ghee)
  • 1 onion, washed, cut into quarters keep skins on – cut & discard ends – Place into the Roasting Pan (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, washed, cut in half lengthwise – keep skins on – Place into the Roasting Pan (optional)

How To:

Preheat Oven to 425 F.

With a garbage can by your side, place Turkey (which is still in it’s sealed bag) into the clean sink. Remove the Turkey from the bag. Turkey is now sitting in the clean sink. Discard the bag to the garbage.

If your Turkey has the neck in it’s cavity, remove, rinse and dry it. Place the neck into the Roasting pan to the side of the roasting tray – along with the carrot and onion. You  won’t be eating the neck, carrot or onion – rather they will provide nice flavour for the gravy – later.

Inside the Turkey’s cavity you may also find a plastic bag holding the giblets (the heart, liver and kidneys)…I discard these along with the outer bag.

With cold water, rinse the Turkey well, inside and out. Be sure to drain all the water from the cavity before placing it on the paper towels which are covering your clean counter or cutting board.

Dry the Turkey well, inside and out with paper towels. You won’t see any pictures of this…sorry, you’re on your own. Try not to splash your entire kitchen in the process. And make sure to not leave any paper towels inside the cavity! Double check.

Once dry, I find it easier to just place the bird on the tray.

Rub the melted butter all over the outside of the Turkey. Try not to let it all run into the pan! Your Turkey will still be cold from the refrigerator, so the butter will harden slightly as you rub it on – that’s ok. Then, rub some of the salt and pepper all over the outside of the Turkey and into the cavity. You can experiment with different herbs – this time I forgot to add any – but you can add fresh sage or a few rosemary sprigs into the cavity.

That’s it. Now it’s ready to go into the oven.

I lightly sprayed the shiny side of a long sheet of aluminum foil with Canola Pam.

Then I tented the foil over top of the Turkey (oiled side on bird), trying not to let the foil sit on the Turkey – hence ‘tent’. The oil is to help prevent the foil from sticking on the skin should the two come in contact.

Oven Instructions:

 

  • First 45 Minutes at 425 F.

  • Then lower the temperature to 325 F for the remaining time.

  • For this Turkey, it was 2.75 hours @325F.

General rule is 15 Minutes per pound unstuffed and 20 minutes per pound stuffed. But everyone you talk to will have a pattern that works for them. So far this has worked wonderfully. The skin gets nicely browned and crispy (though I don’t eat the skin – looks pretty though). You may want to pull the roasting pan from the oven periodically to check on the turkey and baste it if necessary. This size of Turkey roasted perfectly on its own. I didn’t have to baste it.

Take the foil ‘tent’ off the Turkey one hour prior to the end of cooking, depending on how the skin is browning. Reserve the foil for later. If it’s looking like it is getting too dark then you may decide to leave the tent on. Experiment.

Place a platter or carving block with grooves for catching the juices onto the counter beside the stove top. Once the Turkey has finished roasting, place the roasting pan onto the stove top elements. Transfer the roasting tray on to the platter or carving block. Cover the Turkey with the foil used for tenting, plus another piece if necessary then cover the foiled turkey with a few clean tea towels to keep the heat inside the bird. Let the Turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. The resting time allows for the juices to settle back into the meat, which is what you want. Make sure the tea towels don’t fall into the platter or carving board – the towels will absorb any juices that can be poured into the gravy.

Juices from the Turkey should have dripped into the roasting pan. Remember to discard the onion, neck and carrot from the roasting pan. You will have a nice collection of fat and juices for gravy. I’ll have to show you that another time. It’s pretty easy to make the gravy.

Below, is the amount of Turkey I was able to cut away. Each of these glass dishes holds seven cups! We ate some for dinner that night, and most of the leftovers was reserved for Turkey Soup.

Now you’re ready to make the turkey stock. But wait till I post those instructions before you run out and order your turkey! Coming soon!