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Rach and John's favorite Indian restaurant in New York City is SONA, and one of their favorite dishes there is the butter chicken. They miss it so much when they are at their home upstate, that they started making their own butter chicken. "This is our version of as close as we can get to that!" Rach explains. No surprise, it's absolutely delicious. Rach likes to serve it with basmati rice cooked in chicken stock and flavored with garlic and butter. Another great accompaniment is grilled naan with yogurt and Boondi masala on top. 

Pro Tip from Rach: You can use either evaporated milk or heavy cream in this recipe. The former has fewer calories, but they are both good. 

For more Indian inspiration, check out SONA's signature dish, Gruyere Cheese Dosas with Edamame & Potato Mash


For the Chicken and Marinade:
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts or tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons EACH pasted garlic and ginger or minced/grated
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (aka 1 ½ palmfuls) EACH: ground turmeric, ground cumin and Kashmiri chili powder, deggi mirch chili powder or red chili powder of choice
For the Preparation:
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or 1 tablespoon OO (olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons EACH pasted garlic and ginger or minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons EACH garam masala, ground turmeric, ground cumin and deggi mirch chili powder, Kashmiri chili powder or red chili powder of choice
  • One 14-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (8-ounce can) or 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (Rach likes La Boite)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A handful of curry leaves, optional
Garnish Choices:
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Ginger matchsticks
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Cilantro leaves


Serves: 4


For the chicken and marinade, season chicken and place in plastic food storage bag. Add the marinade ingredients and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 30 minutes if making the same day. 

Rachael Ray 14-Inch Frying Pan with Helper Handle

Rachael Ray 14-Inch Frying Pan with Helper Handle

Rachael Ray

For the preparation, brown chicken in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat in melted ghee or oil and butter. Brown in stages to prevent crowding pan, 3 minutes on each side. Remove to sizzle platter or baking sheet. Add more fat, if necessary, and onion, season with salt and soften a few minutes, then add garlic and ginger and spices. Stir 1 to 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes more. Puree in high-powered blender or food processor, add back to pan, add milk or cream, sugar or honey, fenugreek, chicken, juice of 1 lime and curry leaves (if using) and simmer at low heat for 8 to 10 minutes more.  

Serve chicken on rice and top with garnishes of choice.