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Recipe  •  26 October 2023


Butter chicken wings

Butter chicken and chicken wings, together at last.

Butter chicken sauce is probably one of the most balanced and creamy sauces I can think of; it’s creamy but also salty, acidic, sweet, fragrant, and umami all at once. It’s definitely an important member of the creamy family. I love wings, and I love butter chicken. What more can I say? Let’s not play games here. This feels right despite the traditional side of my brain feeling wrong about it. Look, there was a time when butter chicken pasta was a thing, and to me, this is far more permissible than that. At the end of the day, this is f—ing delicious, and you can call it whatever you want, but if these utterly tantalizingly succulent bad boys are in front of me, I’m suckin’ on the bone!

3-4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes, 



Butter chicken sauce:

  • 3½ tbsp (50g) ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, finelychopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1-in (2.5cm) knob of ginger, thinly chopped
  • 1 tsp (5g) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (5g) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp (7g) garam masala
  • 1 tsp (2g) ground coriander
  • 1 tsp (2g) Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 (14oz [400g]) can ofcrushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp (4g) sugar½ cup (125ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp (2g) dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cold


  • 2½ lb (1.1kg) wings (a mix of drumettes and flats)
  • 21⁄2 tsp (15g) fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp (12g) freshly grated ginger
  • ½ tsp (3g) ground whitepepper
  • 2 qt (1.9 liters) vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1½ cups (180g) cornstarch



  1. For the wings, in a large bowl, combine the wings, fine sea salt, ginger, and white pepper. Toss to coat completely. Let marinate.

  2. To make the butter sauce, heat the ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it’s melted and hot, add the yellow onion, garlic, and ginger. Season to taste with kosher salt and let it sweat, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.

  3. Add the cumin, garam masala, coriander, and Kashmiri chili powder. Stir and toast for 25 seconds.

  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until all the vegetables are fully softened and the mixture has reduced by 25 to 30 percent. Pour the sauce into a blender, and blend on high until as smooth as possible.

  5. Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and add the heavy whipping cream and fenugreek leaves. Cook and reduce for 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened to your liking. Turn off the heat, and add the butter while constantly stirring. Continue stirring until the butter has completely melted and emulsified with the sauce. Season to taste with salt.

  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a 5-quart (4.7-liter) Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 325°F (165°C). Working in batches, in a large bowl, combine the chicken wings and cornstarch. Toss to combine and then shake off the excess. Add the wings to the Dutch oven, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until just cooked through but no color on the chicken has begun to show yet.

  7. Remove and drain the wings on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Increase the oil temperature to 375°F (190°C), and fry the wings for about 5 to 7 minutes more or until they’re a deep, crispy, golden brown.

  8. Transfer the wings to a large bowl, add the butter chicken sauce, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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