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Chinese Butter Chicken Recipe: A Tasty Addition to Your Menu

If you're looking to add some flavour to your dinner menu, why not try making Chinese butter chicken? This dish is a delicious fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine, and it's sure to be a hit with your family and friends. With the right ingredients and preparation techniques, you can make a mouth-watering Chinese butter chicken dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

A wok sizzles with marinated chicken, ginger, and garlic in a creamy sauce of butter, tomato, and spices. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro adds color

To make Chinese butter chicken, you'll need a few essential ingredients, such as chicken, corn flour, garlic, and dry chilies. You'll also need butter, which gives the dish its signature flavour and creaminess. With these ingredients, you can create a delicious marinade that will infuse the chicken with flavour and moisture.

Once you've prepared your ingredients and marinated the chicken, it's time to start cooking. Chinese butter chicken is typically fried, but you can also bake or grill it if you prefer. When serving the dish, you can garnish it with fresh herbs or spices to add even more flavour. With a little bit of practice, you can perfect your Chinese butter chicken recipe and impress your guests with your culinary skills.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese butter chicken is a fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine that is both delicious and easy to make.
  • The essential ingredients for the dish include chicken, corn flour, garlic, dry chilies, and butter.
  • You can fry, bake, or grill the chicken and garnish it with fresh herbs or spices to add even more flavour.

Essential Ingredients

A wok sizzles with marinated chicken, ginger, and garlic in a fragrant sauce of soy, hoisin, and sesame oil. Green onions and sesame seeds garnish the dish

When it comes to making Chinese butter chicken, there are a few essential ingredients that you will need to have on hand. These include proteins, dairy, and herbs and spices. Let's take a closer look at each of these categories.

Proteins

The protein in this dish typically comes from chicken, either breast or thighs. You can use boneless chicken fillets or bone-in chicken pieces, depending on your preference. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try using seafood such as shrimp or scallops in place of the chicken.

Dairy

Dairy is an important component of the creamy sauce that makes this dish so delicious. Butter is the main dairy ingredient, and you will need plenty of it to achieve the desired richness and flavour. You can also use cream or milk to help balance out the flavours and add a touch of sweetness.

Herbs and Spices

A variety of herbs and spices are used to give this dish its distinct flavour. Garlic, ginger, and cumin are all commonly used, as are turmeric and garam masala. Salt and pepper are also important for seasoning the chicken and balancing out the flavours of the dish. Tomato passata and yoghurt can also be used to add depth to the flavour.

When making Chinese butter chicken, it is important to use high-quality ingredients to ensure that the dish turns out as delicious as possible. By following these guidelines and experimenting with different ingredients, you can create a dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Preparation Techniques

Chinese butter chicken ingredients laid out on a clean kitchen counter. Spices, chicken, and sauces neatly organized for preparation

Marinating the Chicken

Before starting to cook, you need to marinate the chicken to ensure that it is juicy and tender. Start by mixing salt, pepper, and cornflour in a bowl. Then, add the chicken pieces and coat them thoroughly with the mixture. Cover the bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. For best results, marinate the chicken in the fridge overnight.

Creating the Sauce

The sauce is what gives the Chinese butter chicken its unique flavour. To make the sauce, start by melting butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic, chilli, and curry leaves and sauté until the leaves turn crispy and aromatic. Then, add evaporated milk and bring it to a simmer. Add condensed milk, chicken powder, salt, and sugar and let it cook until the sauce reduces slightly.

Combining Elements

After marinating the chicken and preparing the sauce, it's time to combine the elements to make the Chinese butter chicken. Start by dusting the chicken pieces with cornflour and frying them in hot oil until they turn golden brown. Flip the chicken pieces regularly to ensure that they are cooked evenly. Drain the oil and set the chicken aside.

Next, add the sauce to the same pan and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir until the chicken is coated with the sauce. Finally, let the chicken simmer in the sauce for a few minutes until it is fully cooked.

To make the dish even more delicious, you can add some seafood such as prawns or scallops to the recipe. Simply sear the seafood in a separate pan and add it to the dish at the same time as the chicken. You can use prawns, scallops, or a combination of both for an extra burst of flavour.

In order to achieve the perfect consistency, you can use tapioca starch, rice flour, or cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Add a little bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

With these simple preparation techniques, you can create a delicious Chinese butter chicken dish that will impress your family and friends.

Cooking and Serving

A chef cooks and serves Chinese butter chicken in a sizzling pan with aromatic spices and creamy sauce. A platter of steamed rice and garnishes awaits on the side

Cooking Methods

When it comes to cooking Chinese butter chicken, there are many methods you can use. The most common methods include frying, simmering, baking, and steaming. If you prefer a crispy texture, you can opt for frying the chicken. On the other hand, if you prefer a healthier option, you can opt for baking or steaming the chicken.

If you choose to fry the chicken, it is recommended to use boneless chicken pieces. You can also marinate the chicken beforehand to add more flavour. For simmering, you can use a saucepan and cook the chicken in the butter sauce until it is cooked through. Baking and steaming are also great options, especially if you want a healthier version of the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Chinese butter chicken is best served with rice or flatbread. Basmati rice is a great option as it has a subtle flavour that complements the butter chicken well. You can also serve it with steamed rice or naan bread. To add more flavour, you can sprinkle some cilantro on top and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to the dish. Shrimp or prawns are great options that pair well with the butter chicken. You can add them to the dish during the cooking process or serve them on top as a garnish. Just make sure to cook them thoroughly before adding them to the dish.

Chinese butter chicken is a versatile dish that can be cooked in many ways. Whether you prefer it fried, baked, or steamed, it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Serve it with your favourite rice or flatbread and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

A table with ingredients (chicken, butter, spices) and their nutritional values displayed on a label. A pot simmering with the finished Chinese butter chicken dish

If you are watching your calorie intake, then you may want to be mindful of the nutritional information of the Chinese butter chicken recipe. The dish is a good source of protein, thanks to the chicken, and also contains some essential vitamins and minerals.

Here is a table showing the approximate nutritional value of a serving of Chinese butter chicken:

Nutrient Amount per serving
Calories 550
Protein 31g
Fat 39g
Carbohydrates 15g
Fibre 2g
Sodium 930mg

As you can see, the dish is high in fat and sodium, so it may not be the best option for those who are looking to reduce their intake of these nutrients. However, if you are trying to gain weight or looking for a high-protein meal, then this recipe could be a good choice.

If you are looking to add some variety to the recipe, you could try adding seafood. Shrimp or prawns would be a good option, and would add some additional protein to the dish. Alternatively, you could try using a white fish, such as cod or haddock, which would add a different texture and flavour to the dish.

The Chinese butter chicken recipe is a tasty and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. Just be mindful of the nutritional information and consider adding some seafood to the recipe to mix things up.

Storage and Reheating

A hand pours leftover Chinese butter chicken into a microwave-safe container for reheating. The container sits on a kitchen counter next to a stack of storage containers

Short-Term Storage

Once you have made the Creamy Chinese Butter Chicken, it is best to consume it immediately while the chicken is still crispy. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To ensure that the chicken remains fresh, store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator, which is usually the back.

Freezing and Long-Term

If you have a large batch of Creamy Chinese Butter Chicken and you don't plan on consuming it within two days, you can freeze it for later use. To freeze, transfer the chicken to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. Label the container with the date and store it in the freezer for up to three months.

When you are ready to reheat the frozen chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Once the chicken is completely thawed, you can reheat it using the stovetop method. Place a pan on the stovetop at low-medium heat. Add a small amount of butter or oil to the pan. After the butter/oil has warmed up a bit, you can add the butter chicken. Continuously stir the chicken for around 3-5 minutes (depending on how much chicken) until it gets steaming hot or reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (70°C).

If you want to experiment with the recipe, you can add seafood such as prawns or squid to the Creamy Chinese Butter Chicken. Make sure to cook the seafood thoroughly before adding it to the chicken. Prawns and squid are great options as they absorb the flavors of the sauce and add a unique texture to the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of Chinese butter chicken simmers on a stovetop, surrounded by aromatic spices and herbs. A wooden spoon stirs the rich, creamy sauce as it thickens, filling the kitchen with mouthwatering aromas

What's the secret to making a creamy butter chicken sauce?

The secret to making a creamy butter chicken sauce is to use a combination of heavy cream, butter, and tomato puree. The cream and butter give the sauce its creamy texture, while the tomato puree adds a tangy flavour. You can also add a pinch of sugar to balance the flavours.

How do I get that perfect crispy texture for butter chicken?

To get that perfect crispy texture for butter chicken, you need to marinate the chicken in a mixture of yoghurt, lemon juice, and spices. The yoghurt helps to tenderize the chicken, while the lemon juice adds a tangy flavour. You can also coat the chicken in a mixture of breadcrumbs and cornflour before frying to get an extra crispy texture.

Can you suggest a simple way to prepare butter chicken with rice?

A simple way to prepare butter chicken with rice is to cook basmati rice separately and serve it with the butter chicken. You can also add some peas and carrots to the rice for extra flavour and nutrition.

What are the essential ingredients for an authentic butter chicken dish?

The essential ingredients for an authentic butter chicken dish are boneless chicken, heavy cream, butter, tomato puree, yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. You can also add some chilli powder or cayenne pepper for extra heat.

Why does butter chicken have such a vibrant red colour?

Butter chicken has a vibrant red colour because of the use of red chilli powder or cayenne pepper in the recipe. The tomato puree also adds a reddish hue to the dish.

Is there a difference between Indian and Chinese butter chicken recipes?

Yes, there is a difference between Indian and Chinese butter chicken recipes. Indian butter chicken is made with a blend of Indian spices and tomato puree, while Chinese butter chicken has a Chinese twist with the addition of oyster sauce and other Chinese seasonings. However, both dishes are equally delicious and can be enjoyed with rice or naan bread.

As a suggestion, you can also use prawns or scallops instead of chicken to make seafood butter chicken. The seafood adds a unique flavour and texture to the dish.