Butter chicken and naan are totally gaga for each other, don’t you think? It’s tough to have one without the other. And so I wrapped butter chicken in naan dough, then baked it into a sort of butter chicken calzone. With or without cheese, it’s one of our new favourite things to eat around here.
I originally wrote this recipe for the April issue of Parents Canada – streamlining it for print with the use of bottled sauce. You could, of course, use any butter chicken recipe you like, or even use takeout. Once cold, it will easily spoon into the middle of a circle of dough without running amok; you can then top it with a wee mound of grated cheese and seal the pocket to bake into a gooey pocket – I want to give them a go on the grill, and see if the added char will make them even more reminiscent of the smokey flavour naan gets from a traditional tandoori oven.
Bonus: they happily go into lunchboxes (six days of school to go!) and are pretty perfect for picnicking, too.
Butter Chicken Naan Pockets
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
Butter chicken filling:
canola or olive oil, for cooking
2 lb (1 kg) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
a jar of your favourite butter chicken sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2-1 cup grated mozzarella (optional)
Start with the naan dough. In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast is inactive; replace it with a fresh jar of yeast.
Stir in the flour, salt, canola oil, yogurt and egg, and stir until the dough comes together, then knead for a few minutes, until it’s soft, smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about an hour.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 7–8 minutes, until opaque and starting to brown. Add the butter chicken sauce and cilantro and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Let cool as you wait for dough to finish rising. It’s even better if it gets a chance to chill completely in the fridge.
Divide the dough into six pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into an 8-inch circle or oval. Pile a spoonful of butter chicken onto each circle, top with a bit of grated cheese and fold over, pinching the edges (you may have to fold the edge up over itself) to seal. Transfer to a parchmentlined baking sheet and cut a few slits on the top of each with a sharp knife. Preheat the oven to 400?F.
Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Makes 6 pockets.