This isn’t your typical butter chicken. Butter chicken is usually swimming in butter and cream.
This is a Fijian butter chicken. What makes it Fijian? It incorporates chicken lovo. Lovo is a traditional Fijian cooking technique that involves steam-smoking food in an earthen oven. Our gardener did a lovo for us this past weekend, and we had plenty of leftovers. This dish also uses coconut cream, which is a staple ingredient here in Fiji.
It would be rare if you happened to have chicken lovo lying around, so you can substitute with regular chicken thighs or shredded rotisserie chicken.
I use lentils because they’re nutritionally dense with a good ratio of carbs, protein and fiber. If you want to substitute, you could use chickpeas or simply add more potatoes.
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup split lentils (split lentils cook faster)
3-5 tbsp. butter
1 can coconut cream
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 large potatoes, chopped
6 pieces of chicken
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot, and toast the onion, garlic and lentils in the butter.
Stir in the coconut cream, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-30 min., or until the potatoes are cooked through. Add olive oil if the texture of the dish becomes dry.