Silky butter chicken



15 min


12 servings

* PLUS Ttoal time: 45 minutes

This creamy dish is spiced with a trio of Indian flavours. Make it at least a day before serving, because its taste and texture will improve as it sits. We love it over rice to soak up the sauce, but mashed potatoes or egg noodles also do the trick just fine.


  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 to 4 hot peppers , such as jalapeno or serrano
  • 1/4 cup finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups 35% cream
  • 2 398 mL cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups frozen peas


  • Place cumin, coriander and salt in a small bowl. Stir to evenly mix. Then slice each chicken breast into 3 or 4 long pieces. Melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter in the largest, widest saucepan you have, over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken. Sprinkle with half of cumin mixture. Turn often until chicken is lightly golden-coloured, about 5 to 6 min. Remove to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining butter, chicken and cumin mixture.
  • Meanwhile, coarsely chop onion. Prepare garlic. Finely chop peppers, including seeds. (If you shy away from fiery-hot dishes, remove and discard seeds before chopping.) After chopping, the peppers should measure about 1/2 cup (125 mL). Finely grate ginger and coarsely chop cilantro. Set aside.
  • When chicken is removed from pan, reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until slightly softened, from 3 to 4 min. Pour in cream. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Stir in tomato sauce, peppers and ginger. Simmer 10 min so flavours can develop.
  • Return chicken and juices to pan. If you don’t think this will all fit in your pan, pour half the sauce into another large pan and add half the chicken to each. When mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring chicken occasionally, until cooked through, from 10 to 15 min. Stir in cilantro and peas. Cook until peas are hot, about 3 min. Remove from heat. Taste and add more cilantro, if needed.

Make ahead

Prepare butter chicken but don’t stir in cilantro and peas. Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days, or freeze up to 2 months. After reheating on medium heat, about 15 min, stir in cilantro and peas.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 354,
  • Protein
  • 29 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 13 g,
  • Fat
  • 21 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 689 mg.