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butter chicken

We know chicken as that old reliable, often the go-to main ingredient for many cooks. It is easy to prepare, doesn’t take long to cook, and popular with the kids. Too often the default method for this bird is to smother it in batter and turn it into fried chicken. While a good crispy fried chicken is hard to resist, sometimes my palate seeks out other tastes.

Cooking chicken in butter lends it a creamy consistency, the butter imparting a delicate, nutty flavor. Lemongrass makes for a surprisingly nice contrast to the richness of this buttered dish.

I remember my mom cooking this chicken at home when we were kids. She would saute it in butter and then simmer it with potatoes and lemongrass. It filled the house with such an appetizing smell. Native chicken is really good prepared this way. I modified the recipe using only chicken thighs and included chorizo bilbao, to add a little festive touch.

Butter Chicken With Chorizo Bilbao

6 medium size chicken thighs
1/4 tsp. Maggie Magic Sarap granules
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. fish sauce (nam pla)
1/4 of a stick of butter
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
sprigs of lemongrass, tied in a bundle
two medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into wedges
salt to taste
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
chorizo Bilbao, sliced diagonally

Wash the chicken thighs thoroughly, then pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and rub evenly with the Maggie granules and black pepper. Place some of the seasonings under the skin. Sprinkle with the fish sauce, making sure to coat chicken evenly. Set aside.

Place a large saucepan over medium heat, put in the butter to melt. Once butter is almost melted (take care not to brown it), add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Put in the chicken, skin side down. Let the skin side brown slightly and then turn over to brown the flesh side. Keep heat on medium so as not to burn the butter. Once the chicken is browned, add in the lemon grass and let simmer in the chicken juices for 2-3 minutes.

Add in 1/2 cup water and cover the pan. If the chicken is too dry, add more water, a little at a time. Let the chicken simmer for about 5 minutes.

Check that the chicken thighs are thoroughly cooked (when pierced with a fork, the juices should run clear). Add in the potato wedges. Cover and let simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes.

Once potatoes are cooked, put in the chorizo Bilbao and stir to mix. Add in the onions. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt to taste.

Turn off heat and transfer to a serving platter, remove lemongrass. Drizzle the butter sauce over the chicken.