Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken

The Indian Restaurant Classic Made Simple

Butter Chicken Plate1

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani is a North Indian dish that can be found in most Indian restaurants, and I have even seen frozen versions in my local market. But why buy mediocre frozen versions when you can make it fresh?

My goal with this recipe was to strip it to the basics to make a fast and easy version that is perfect for a weeknight meal.

The chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay tandoor oven, but wouldn’t you know it, mine was in the shop. So, I just browned the chicken in the pressure cooker pan.

Butter Chicken Ingredients

Some may scoff at the fact that I eliminated the yogurt marinade, but that can add anywhere from another couple hours to an entire day. So if you are one of the scoffers, I will allow you a minute or so to finish your scoffing.

Onions

Ok, we are back. As you may have noticed, this is not a super authentic recipe, but it is super tasty.

As I have mentioned, boneless, skinless chicken is not really my favorite but it works well for this recipe (and it was cheap at the store). I brown it with the breasts intact to make things easier, then cut it into 2-inch chunks before adding into the sauce.

Chicken Browning

Let’s start by heating a little coconut oil and butter on medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pan. Mixing the coconut oil and butter helps keep the butter from burning.

Add the chicken breasts to the pan and brown them until they are a nice golden color, then remove them to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium and add in the rest of the butter.

Veggie Sauté

When the butter has melted, add some diced onions, along with some finely chopped ginger and Serrano chiles. If you have read many of my recipes you have probably noticed that Serrano chiles are my favorite chile to cook with. I have no idea if they are readily available everywhere, but we have them up the ying-yang here in SoCal. If your local ying-yang is not full of Serrano chiles, jalapeños will work fine. Sauté the onions, chiles and ginger until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes).

Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so.

Dump in some garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and sauté for 30 seconds or so. I usually put all the spices together in a small bowl so I can just add them in one swell foop, which makes things a lot easier.

Chicken In Sauce

Add a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of brown sugar, one cup of coconut milk and some salt.

Stir everything together.

Now cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the sauce mixture.

Lock the top on the cooker and turn heat to high to reach high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 7 minutes.

When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for about 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release.

If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often.

Chicken Finished

Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread. You can top with a little yogurt, which I had planned on doing but totally forgot until my dinner was totally digested. I did remember for the leftovers the next day, though.

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
The Indian Restaurant favorite, made quicker and easier in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Yogurt (optional, for serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter on medium high heat in the pressure cooker
  2. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides and remove them to a plate
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the rest of the butter
  4. Add the onions, ginger and chiles and sauté until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  6. Dump in the spices (garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne) and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  7. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, coconut milk and salt
  8. Stir everything together
  9. Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the mixture
  10. Lock the top on the cooker turn heat to high to reach high pressure
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain pressure and set time for 7 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release
  13. If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often
  14. Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread

 

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken

And It’s Paleo, Too!

Paprika_Chicken_Plate3

I don’t like to tout any particular diet on this blog, but with the S.O. trying to stick to the Paleo diet (with no help from yours truly), I have been adding a few Paleo-friendly dishes to my pressure-cooker repertoire.

Paprika_Chicken_Ingredients5

This isn’t quite chicken paprikash, but I was definitely inspired by it, so I just called it Paprika Chicken, which I assume is what Chicken Paprikash means, so I guess I still called it Chicken Paprikash, but in English. Oh well, so much for being creative. It’s like a chef I used to know who made a special dish called Chicken Poulet, and Poulet being french for chicken, the dish was basically called Chicken Chicken… Sorry, I’m back now.

Chicken_Cut_Pieces3

For frugality’s sake, I have been buying whole chickens lately and cutting them up myself, which I highly recommend. I admit that it can seem a bit daunting at first, but once you work up the courage to try it, it only takes around five minutes and depending on what pieces you normally buy, it can be as much as five bucks a pound cheaper. And (I’m sorry, I’ve gotta say it) that ain’t chicken scratch. There are many YouTube videos around the interwebs demonstrating how to cut a chicken. Oh look, here’s one now!

I used a 4-pound chicken cut in ten pieces, so if you still aren’t ready to cut your own, buy an equivalent amount of pieces, but I would reccommend thighs and legs, they are so much more flavorful than breasts. If you do cut it yourself, it is very important to check the cavity first for any giblets, liver, neck etc. before you start (don’t ask).

Chopped_Vegetables

I also used a combination of almond and coconut flour as well as coconut oil, but if you’re not concerned about it being Paleo, all-purpose flour and any cooking oil will work.

Coconut_Milk_Pouring

However, I don’t reccommend substituting anything for the coconut milk. I have been using it a lot lately. It adds the creaminess of dairy cream, but plays better with the pressure cooker than dairy products tend to. And although I didn’t used to be a big coconut fan, I have since warmed to the flavor it adds to dishes (I still don’t like sweetened coconut flakes, I feel like I’m eating suntan lotion).

Chicken_Browning1
But the real star of this dish is the paprika, so get the good stuff! I used a mixture of smoked and hot Hungarian paprika, and that turned out to be just the right combination to give a little heat and an almost bbq taste to the bird.

Paprika_Sauce_Simmering2

I served it with colcannon (just because I had potatoes and kale on hand). It went really well with the chicken, though.

Paprika_Chicken_PC

So, whether you’re on a paleo diet or not, give it a try. Come on, don’t be poulet…

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hungarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A Paleo version of Chicken Paprikash, substituting coconut milk for the sour cream
Ingredients
  • 1 broiler-fryer chicken (or an equivalent amount of pieces)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika plus 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix the two flours and 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and hot paprika in a bowl
  2. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat
  3. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then brown in coconut oil. You will probably need to do two or three batches.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate
  5. Sauté onion and bell pepper until it starts to soften
  6. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so
  7. Stir in the white wine, chicken broth and coconut milk
  8. When it comes up to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste and then the paprika
  9. Add some salt and pepper
  10. Add the chicken back into the pan
  11. Turn heat to high, put the cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
  12. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for twelve minutes.
  13. When time is up, remove from heat and release pressure naturally.
  14. Remove chicken to plate, put pan with sauce over medium-high heat and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens.
  15. Add chicken back in, simmer for a couple minutes longer, and serve.