When you can't decide between Indian cuisine and Canadian comfort food, why settle for just one? Butter Chicken Poutine—a mouthwatering fusion that pairs the deep, aromatic flavors of butter chicken with the simple joy of crispy fries and melted cheese curds. Imagine biting into a fry generously coated with creamy, spiced butter chicken sauce, then getting that delightful chew from the cheese curd. It's a culinary journey that takes you from the streets of Montreal straight to the heart of Mumbai.
But don't just take my word for it—try making it yourself! In this recipe, I walk you through each step, ensuring you end up with a plate of golden fries. That are layered with cheese curds and smothered in a butter chicken sauce so rich and flavorful, it'll be love at first bite. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or just looking to spice up your weekend meal, this Butter Chicken Poutine is a game-changer. Trust me, it's as amazing as it sounds!
Substitutions for Butter Chicken Poutine
Whether you're facing dietary restrictions, ingredient shortages, or just personal preferences, there are a variety of substitutions you can make without sacrificing too much flavor or texture. Here are some alternatives:
- Potatoes: If russet potatoes are not available, you can use Yukon Gold or sweet potatoes for a different flavor profile.
- Olive Oil: Canola or vegetable oil can also be used for baking the fries.
Chicken and Marinade:
- Chicken: Turkey or even firm tofu can be used as a substitute for chicken. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
- Plain Yogurt: Coconut yogurt or any unsweetened plant-based yogurt can be used for a dairy-free option.
- Lemon Juice: Lime juice or even a dash of white vinegar can be used as a substitute for lemon juice.
For the Sauce:
- Heavy Cream: Coconut cream or a plant-based milk can be used for a vegan version. For a lighter version, you can use half-and-half.
- Butter: For a dairy-free or vegan version, use a plant-based butter substitute.
- Tomato Sauce: Fresh tomatoes (pureed) or even tomato paste diluted with water can be used if canned tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes are not available.
- Cumin Seeds: Mustard seeds or even a dash of ground cumin can be used as a substitute.
- Red Chili Powder: Paprika or cayenne pepper can be used for different heat levels.
- Garam Masala: A blend of ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves can serve as a makeshift garam masala in a pinch.
- Cheese Curds: If cheese curds are not accessible, small chunks of mild cheddar or mozzarella cheese can be used. However, the texture will differ slightly.
Tips and Tricks for Making Butter Chicken Poutine
Marination Time: The secret to a flavorful butter chicken is a good marination process. Use plain yogurt and spices, and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 15 minutes. However, if you can let it marinate for up to 2 hours in the fridge, the flavors will intensify even more.
Fry Texture: If you're after the crispiest fries, consider using russet potatoes as they hold up well during baking. You can also soak the cut fries in cold water for about 30 minutes before baking to remove excess starch, which helps in achieving a crispier texture.
Sauce Thickness: If you love a sauce with body, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water, then stir it into the simmering butter chicken sauce until you achieve your desired consistency.
Vegan/Vegetarian Option: If you're catering to a vegetarian or vegan crowd, you don't have to miss out. Swap the chicken for tofu or a plant-based meat alternative, and use non-dairy yogurt and cream in the marinade and sauce.
Adjustable Frying Methods: While the recipe calls for baking the fries, you can also air-fry them for a lower-fat option or deep-fry them for a more indulgent treat. The choice is yours, but remember that the cooking time may vary based on the method you choose.
Quick Assembly: For the best texture contrast between the crispy fries, gooey cheese, and creamy butter chicken, aim for quick assembly. Layer hot cheese curds on top of the hot fries so they start to melt, then pour the steaming butter chicken sauce over it all to tie the dish together.
Reheating, Freezing, and Storing Butter Chicken Poutine
- Fries: If you have leftover fries, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. They won't be as crispy when reheated, but they'll still taste good.
- Butter Chicken: You can store the leftover butter chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. The flavors often deepen, making it even more delicious after storing.
- Cheese Curds: Keep any unused cheese curds in their original packaging or a zip-top bag in your fridge. They should last for about 1 week.
- Fries: To revive the fries, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and spread the fries on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. This will help them regain some of their crispiness.
- Butter Chicken: Reheat the butter chicken sauce in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it's hot throughout. You can also use a microwave, but be sure to cover the dish and stir halfway through reheating.
- Assembly: Once the fries and butter chicken are hot, assemble the poutine as originally directed—layer the fries, then the cheese curds, and finally the butter chicken sauce.
- Fries: While not ideal, you can freeze cooked fries. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to a zip-top bag and store for up to 1 month. Reheat in the oven as directed above.
- Butter Chicken: This sauce freezes well. Store it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags for up to 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- Cheese Curds: Freezing is not recommended as it will alter the texture.
Butter Chicken Poutine
- Large skillet or sauté pan
For the Fries:
- 4 large russet potatoes cut into fries
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Paprika or garlic powder for seasoning optional
For the Butter Chicken:
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 can 14 oz of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped (for garnish)
- 2 cups cheese curds
Prepare the Fries:
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Cut the russet potatoes into fries and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Toss the fries with olive oil and season with salt and optional spices.
- Spread the fries evenly on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy.
Prepare the Butter Chicken:
- In a bowl, mix chicken pieces with yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic, minced ginger, garam masala, and salt. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes, up to 2 hours if possible.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add vegetable oil and cumin seeds.
- Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add minced garlic and ginger. Sauté until golden.
- Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.
- Stir in the garam masala, turmeric powder, and red chili powder.
- Add the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces into the tomato mixture. Cook until chicken is done, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Add heavy cream and butter, stirring until the sauce becomes creamy.
- Adjust seasoning with salt, then garnish with fresh cilantro.
- On a large serving plate or individual plates, place a layer of baked fries.
- Add a generous amount of cheese curds on top of the fries.
- Ladle the butter chicken and its sauce over the cheese curds and fries.
- Optional: Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Butter Chicken Poutine
Absolutely, using a pre-made butter chicken sauce is a great time-saver. However, the flavors may vary from homemade, so adjust seasoning to your liking.
Yes, the butter chicken sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Just reheat before serving.
While traditional butter chicken is made with chicken, you can use other meats like lamb or beef. However, cooking times and flavors will vary, so adjust accordingly.