You can freeze butter chicken in the freezer for 3-4 months in an airtight container. It is recommended to store it in individual portions.
Indian cuisine is widely loved and celebrated for its rich blend of spices and flavors.
One of the most sought-after Indian dishes is butter chicken.
As an experienced chef who has made countless Indian dishes over the years and butter chicken is one of the easiest to prepare and freeze!
If you love butter chicken and often make large batches, you may wonder how to store the leftovers.
I’ll will guide you through an easy step-by-step procedure to freeze your butter chicken for later use.
What Is Butter Chicken?
Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani in India, is a popular Indian recipe featuring marinated chicken that is cooked in a clay oven and served with a tomato and cream curry.
The taste of butter chicken is similar to that of Tikka Masala or Chicken Korma but with a primary distinction in how the sauce is made with tomatoes.
According to some sources, the Punjabi dish has been consumed for many centuries, dating back to the Mughal Empire.
Others believe it is more contemporary and became famous in the 1950s thanks to Moti Mahal, a Punjabi restaurant in Delhi.
As the story goes, the chefs at Moti Mahal used the leftover marinade for their roasted tandoori chicken by adding butter and tomatoes and seasoning the chicken pieces with the resulting sauce.
This is how the dish became an extremely sought-after part of Indian cuisine in the Western world today.
The Best Way To Freeze Butter Chicken
While some Indian curry dishes don’t freeze well, butter chicken is not one of them. It’s easy to freeze and store for later use.
Here’s how to freeze butter chicken:
1. Cook The Sauce
Prepare the sauce according to the recipe and add it to the cooked chicken.
While homemade sauce with freshly prepared ingredients is more delicious, pre-made mixes can be used as a time-saving option.
2. Cool The Dish and Prepare Containers
It’s important to cool the cooked butter chicken before freezing, but avoid keeping it at room temperature for too long to prevent bacterial growth.
Allow it to cool for no more than an hour.
You have three options for containers:
- Sealable bags
- Airtight sealed containers
- Disposable aluminum foil dishes
We will show you the steps to freeze using the sheet of foil in the next step.
3. Freeze The Butter Chicken
To freeze, divide the butter chicken into small portions to make it easier to thaw later.
Use freezer bags or airtight containers, and remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
If using foil pans, cover with freezer-friendly plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Make sure the wrap covers the dish completely, and then add the sauce and butter chicken before wrapping again with aluminum foil.
Stored properly, frozen butter chicken can remain fresh and safe to eat for up to three to four months.
Freezing Butter Chicken
Read the information below to get more information on the freezing of butter chicken. Enjoy freezing!
Freezing The Sauce and Chicken Separately
If you are wondering whether to freeze the sauce and chicken separately, we generally prefer to freeze sauces in separate containers.
This way, it is much easier to address any issues that might arise during the freeze-up, and it prevents other items from not freezing well when combined with sauces.
However, butter chicken can be frozen exceptionally well when it is frozen in a dish, including the sauce.
Chicken can easily dry out from freezing, but the sauce helps to prevent this.
Can You Freeze Cooked Butter Chicken?
Some may not be familiar with the idea of freezing cooked butter chicken.
However, it is possible to freeze cooked butter chicken when it is done perfectly.
To do this, we suggest boiling your butter-cooked chicken before freezing, which is the best option and safer.
What’s The Difference Between Masala Chicken and Butter Chicken?
While the list of ingredients is almost identical for both recipes, there are a few distinct differences between them.
The most noticeable variations are found in their preparation process and the end-to-end taste of the food.
One of the most notable distinctions is in the chicken used.
Tikka Masala includes grilled chicken, while butter chicken is cooked differently.
Tikka Masala recipes use a more diverse list of spices, and they are used substantially more, which results in a rich taste that is incredibly aromatic and robust.
On the other hand, butter chicken is more creamy and less complex.
When it comes to the taste of the dishes that are cooked, the difference is more evident if you are following two traditional Indian recipes.
Can I freeze butter chicken made with cream?
Yes, you can freeze butter chicken made with cream. It is best to store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and consume it within 2-3 months for best quality.
How long will butter chicken last in the fridge?
Butter chicken can last for up to 4-5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
How long to reheat frozen butter chicken?
To reheat frozen butter chicken, it is best to thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating it in the microwave or on the stovetop until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This usually takes about 5-10 minutes.
Can you save leftover butter chicken?
Yes, you can save leftover butter chicken by storing it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. However, it is important to follow proper food storage and handling guidelines to ensure its safety and quality.