Butter Chicken with Pinot Noir

Butter Chicken with Pinot Noir

Butter Chicken

This fortnight we're introducing you to our new range of local wines including T Scharke Shiraz, Em’s Table organic shiraz, Smidge Houdini, Em’s Table Organic Reisling, Cork Cutters GSM and of course, Jones Rd Pinot Noir. To celebrate another addition to our ever-evolving stock, we wanted to share a great food and wine pairing. For the star of today's menu, we're serving butter chicken with Jones Rd Pinot Noir. 

While it might not seem like an obvious match at first glance, the subtle complexities of Pinot Noir complement the rich, flavorful elements of butter chicken in a way that enhances the overall dining experience. The acid of the wine cuts through the richness of the butter chicken, while the bright, fruity notes combine with the earthy spice of the butter chicken so they work together to create a holistic aromatic and flavour profile. They lift each other up and inspire their best features. With the warming tannins of a red wine and the rich, spice of the curry, you can enjoy them together as a flavourful, luxurious, warming winter meal.

Download the recipe card here


for the marinade:

  • 500g skinless chicken thighs, deboned and cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

    for the sauce: 
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste 
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 cup heavy cream or coconut cream as a dairy free option
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashews, soaked in warm water, or 1/4 cup of thick cashew cream 
  •  Salt and sugar, to taste 
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
for the curry:

generally butter chicken is simple, with added side salads, naan breads and rice. However, to pack more veggies into your diet you could include 

  • peas
  • carrot
  • capsicum strips
  • broccoli 
  • potato


1. In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and coat them thoroughly with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for the best flavour.

2. After marinading, cook the chicken. The chicken can be prepared multiple ways depending on how the dish is made: you could pre-cook the chicken in the oven before adding to a pot once the sauce is cooked, you could brown the chicken in a dutch oven and move the entire meal from the stovetop to an oven in the last session of cooking, or you could add the marinaded ingredients into a slow cooker with everything else and cook on low for 8 hours. To cook in a high-walled saucepan, heat oil and add chicken to the pot. Cook until browned. 

3. To make your own cashew cream, add soaked cashews and two tablespoons of water to a blender. Otherwise, set aside 1/4 cup of cashew cream. Heat ghee in a saucepan until melted then cook onions until translucent. 

4. Stir in the ginger and garlic paste and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add the garam masala, fenugreek leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Cook for a minute to release their flavours.

5. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken and the flavours to meld. Stir in the cashew paste and heavy cream. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes, adjusting the seasoning with salt and a pinch of sugar if needed.

6. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavours. Sprinkle some cilantro leaves over the dish just before serving.

note: for a baked version, add the chicken and vegetables alongside the tomatoes, cashews and heavy cream and allow to cook for about 20 minutes in a medium oven. Serve with rice, naan bread, poppadoms. If you can't find fenugreek leaves you can use celery leaves, or collard as an alternative.