July 6, 2013

rainy day & a recipe: hearty butter chicken

Upon moving to Mississauga, one of the things I found most surprising was its high South Asian population. Hundreds of thousands of Indians, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis call Mississauga home. This is not the case in any city in Florida, so it was both unexpected and exciting to experience such a vibrant new culture (and more specifically, to enjoy their cuisine).

Just like you can't miss Orlando's omnipresent Latino influence due to the incredible amount of Hispanic restaurants and food trucks (arepas, empanadas and tripletas, oh my!), Mississauga is inundated by South Asian eateries.

Over the past few months I've grown to particularly appreciate the flavors of Indian food. Although we like to try new dishes, it's inevitable that Bobby and I always end up sharing an order of butter chicken when we order Indian take-out. It's become a sort of comfort food in our home, so much so that we've created our own version that we make on cold or rainy days.

Nothing beats butter chicken with steamed rice and warm naan... mmm...
Traditional butter chicken is comprised of a butter & tomato-based sauce poured over yogurt-marinated chicken breast. It's full of fragrant, smoky spices such as paprika, turmeric and cardamom. Our at-home recipe is heartier because we add sauteed onions and mushrooms to the mix so - although it's not traditional - we find it to be a little more filling. 

We also use a jarred sauce, which some people might turn their noses up at, but it really tastes pretty darn close to what you'd get at a restaurant. We've sampled all different sauces and we find Patak's to be the most authentic tasting so far.

Yesterday we were geared up and ready to make this recipe. Bobby was in the courtyard prepping the grill to cook the chicken on.

Then a rainstorm came out of nowhere.

So we had to move things indoors and cook the chicken in a cast iron skillet. It didn't have that barbecue flavor we were hoping for but the dish still turned out delicious.

We watched the George Zimmerman trial on TV with Maple at our feet and shared one of our favorite dishes together as the rain came down. It made for the perfect family Friday.

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