Thursdays were always butter chicken day at Café Nosh at LinkedIn headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. Employees lined up to feast on Bon Appétit Cook Prabhakar N. Rana’s version of the dish: tender chicken marinated overnight in yogurt and house-made garam masala spice blend and served with an aromatic sauce of spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, butter, and cream. Originally developed in the late 1940s by a restaurant owner in Delhi, the dish is ubiquitous in many Indian restaurants, yet many LinkedIn employees claim Café Nosh’s version is the best.
“I think it is one of the masterpieces in the LinkedIn food program collection,” wrote one LinkedIn employee in an email to Bon Appétit headquarters, requesting the recipe. Said another, making the same request: “I have to say, your butter chicken recipe is the greatest I’ve ever tasted.” Meanwhile a third Tweeted @bamco: “Would you please share your butter chicken recipe? I miss it so much. It was absolutely the best perk of working at Linkedin.”
The Bon Appétit culinary team at LinkedIn has been delighted to receive such messages and others from employees who are missing the food at work and wish to replicate their favorite dishes at home.
The flood of recipe requests inspired the team to create the Kitchen to Kitchen series, a new feature of employees’ most requested recipes in LinkedIn’s weekly Foodies Newsletter. The Kitchen to Kitchen program has two components: a recipe card with clear instructions and proportions scaled for the home cook — Bon Appétit Café Chef Sonny Atienza adapted Prabhakar’s recipe — and a Call a Chef help line, which connects LinkedIn employees to Bon Appétit at LinkedIn chefs for advice as they plan for or prepare the recipe in their home kitchen.
The feedback about the new series has been extremely positive, and the team loves hearing about employees’ success replicating the recipes at home. One of the butter chicken superfans wrote (after communicating about ratios and tips with Sonny): “The Butter Chicken a la Nosh has been devoured yesterday before I had a chance to document the process and the result. There are leftovers, but it won’t do the dish justice to photograph leftovers, and also my family may get suspicious and jealous if I touch them – we don’t want anyone to accidentally finish them off in the process of picture-taking. :)”
So now, without further ado, here is the recipe for all to enjoy:
BON APPÉTIT AT LINKEDIN HEADQUARTERS’ BUTTER CHICKEN
Roasting pan or sheet pan
Large pot (8-quart)
Spice grinder (optional)
Blender or immersion blender
For the Garam Masala Spice*
2 each black cardamom pods
2 each green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon fenugreek
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 tablespoons coriander seed
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons turmeric
*Note: Garam masala can be purchased at many grocery stores and Indian markets.
Over medium heat, combine all spices in sauté pan. Heat and toast spices for 30 to 45 seconds until they begin to pop. Let cool.
Using a spice grinder (an electric coffee-bean grinder, cleaned, can also work), grind spices into a fine powder (similar to black pepper). Store extra spice blend in an airtight container for up to one month.
Yogurt Marinade for Chicken
2 lbs. chicken thighs, preferably boneless and skinless
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons garam masala spice blend
1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 each cloves garlic (grated)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 Indian red chiles (arbol)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons garam masala
28 ounces canned tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
Cut chicken thighs into 3/4 inch cubes. Combine yogurt, ginger, salt, garlic, and garam masala. Add cubed chicken thighs and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight for better flavor.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chicken from marinade, place in roasting pan and roast chicken for 10 to 12 minutes or until internal chicken temperature reaches approximately 150°F.
Gather all butter-sauce ingredients. Using large pot, over medium heat, heat canola oil. When hot, add cinnamon stick, bay leaves, red chiles, grated ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir in garam masala and cook for 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes, and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and chiles.
Use an immersion blender or a regular blender, blending in small batches, to purée the sauce until smooth. Once blended, return pot to low heat, and continually stir in cream and butter until sauce is incorporated.
Add the roasted chicken to the butter sauce pot. Stir often and cook until chicken temperature reaches 165°F.
Serve with basmati rice and naan; garnish with chopped cilantro. Bon Appétit!