So, yeh… this pan of tasty was made with a packaged simmer sauce, but y’know what?
It was good!
And, mebbe a bit more importantly, the packaged sauce ingredients list was made up of stuff you could find in your local market, as opposed to stuff you’d need a degree in chemistry to wrangle with. Of course, I added a few extras – fresh basil, diced onion, pesto potatoes, and some freshly home made naan to go with…
It all started with a visit to Rich’s mom in Indiana.
She has this Meijer superstore on the other side of town that we like to check out whenever we’re in the area – we have them here in Illinois, but the closest to our (far) North Shore ‘burb is 20 miles of indifferent roads or 30 of Tri-State Tollway away – so we just visit the one by mom.
Anyway, walking through the food aisles, we came across a whole assortment of these ‘Passage to India’ foods. A quick look at the back panel showed us that the ingredients were, as claimed on the front, all natural, and pretty much what I would use, were I to make Butter Chicken or Tikka Masala from scratch; so we picked up a couple of packets to try.
About as easy to toss together as one of those ‘helper’ boxes, but so much nicer.
All you need do is sauté some chicken (or lamb, tofu, veggies, whatever) in a bit of oil in a large pan – as noted above, for the butter chicken, I added diced fresh onion and freshly torn basil – until the chicken is firmed up a bit and partially cooked – I used whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the Butter Chicken and cut up boneless, skinless breasts for the Tikka Masala – both worked a treat and tasted just fine.
Once the chicken has been cooked a bit on both sides and the onion (if you’ve added it) is tender, add your sauce directly from the package. I had some pesto potatoes left over from dinner the night before that I thought would go well with the Butter Chicken, so added them as well.
Stir the sauce to coat everything, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is well and truly done and everything is nicely heated through, then stir in a bit of half and half.
Even though I’d added those pesto potatoes, we had our Butter Chicken with basmati rice and that freshly made naan on the side, so it was a kindaofa carb-heavy (if tasty) meal.
For the Tikka Masala, I just browned the chicken a bit, then added the sauce, covered and simmered. A bit of cream added at the end, and then served with basmati rice and a few more pieces of naan made the – still carb heavy, but a touch lighter – meal.
Both were nicely flavored, simple to put together, and ready in next-to-no-time.
I’ve done a bit of web surfing, and Passage Foods products are supposedly available at several of our local markets, so I need to do some shopping and stock up.
One note: each package says that it serves two to three, and it is correct, so if you plan on serving one of these nice little numbers to a crowd and claiming it as your own (no one’s in the kitchen with you, they don’t have to know!), you’ll want to plan on buying several packets.
And don’t forget the naan…