March 2018 | The Honest Spoon

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By now you've likely figured out I am a fan of Whole 30 and Paleo. It has become a way of life in our house & has made me more aware of what does and does not work for my body.  That said, I am NOT a fan of suffering through anything when it comes to food. I enjoy cooking and I don't want that joy taken away simply because I've made a lifestyle choice.  I really strive to make simple, delicious food. I don't really focus too much on substituting existing foods- like pasta for zucchini noodles. Basically, I don't usually make foods that substitute the originals.  I tend to stick with making things that stand alone and are awesome in their own right.

Soooooo, I was craving India food with a VENGEANCE. I mean, I was dreaming about it for goodness sake!!  That may be a little dysfunctional but we'll just go ahead and file that away for another day (read: never).  I straight up love Indian food. In my previous job, I traveled to both Northern and Southern India quite a bit. I made great friends there. Since they knew how much I loved the food and culture, they always ensured I had great experiences.  More than anything, I love almost all types of dahl, gobi, and of course Butter Chicken.  Once I figure out a Naan recipe that is Paleo you will be the first to know. TRUST ME on that! It is a crime that I haven't given this enough attention.

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Since I am not a fan of substitutes, I was weary when I started scouring the internet. I was hoping to find something that used coconut milk. I have had a ton of success using it as a cream substitute in my mushroom and cauliflower soups. So when I found this blog post by My Heart Beets, it looked like a winner. Guess what? It is AMAZING. I pretty much stuck to her methods and only modified a couple things- like more garlic and longer marinating & cooking time. My life is saved now that I have Butter Chicken back in my life.  I want to tell you that  I kept it super classy and didn't devour it- but I ate every spec of my portion and maybe took a little of my kid's plates. But then I had a GENIUS moment...I saved the extra sauce (because WHY WHY WHY throw it away???), reheated it and poured it over my roasted cauliflower later tha\ t week. SERIOUSLY. Do it! You're welcome. Moving on!

A couple things to note before we start with the actual recipe. The chicken needs to marinate first. I prepped the chicken the day before and left it to marinate overnight. It doesn't take much time to prep and it's worth the effort! If you don't have overnight, shoot for a couple hours of marinating. You can do this in a few methods but all require browning and sauteing first: skillet/ stove top, crock pot, or pressure cooker. It's up to you! I went with the stove top method because I wasn't in a hurry that day. 



| Serves 4 |


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I use Thai Coconut Milk brand- full fat. Use the cream on top of the can)
  • 4 cloves mined garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ¼ teaspoon Corriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Tumeric Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-inch knob ginger, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon corriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of fenugreek 
  • Cilantro, garnish


1. Place chicken and marinade ingredients into a bowl Mix well. Cover &  place in the refrigerator. Marinate over night or up to two days.

2. Melt the ghee in a  large nonstick skillet. on medium heat. Add onion and cook until browned. 

3. Add the ginger, garlic, and spices to the onions and mix well. Heat for about one minute being careful not to burn the garlic. 

4. Push aside onion mixture and add the chicken to the skillet, Make sure the skillet isn't overcrowded. Brown the chicken. If you need space, move the brown chicken to a separate bowl while you finish browning the chicken.

5. Add the tomato sauce and salt. Stir, cover, and bring heat down to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes.


Crock Pot: Once you've browned all the chicken, now is the time to transfer it to a crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. 

Pressure Cooker: If you've browned everything in the pressure cooker, cook on manual for 30 minutes.

6. After simmering, add the whole can of coconut milk and simmer for an addition 15 minutes.  (if cooking in the crock pot or pressure cooker add the coconut milk now and cook for an additional 10 minutes)

7.  Serve immediately and garnish with Cilantro.

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