Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Slow-Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

I've owned a slow-cooker for about eight years now, and tonight marks its inaugural use. It's not that I scorned the crock-pot; it's just that first of all, I love the act of cooking. I love standing in front of the stove and watching the flavours and colours come together. Second of all, I'm never really sure what I want for dinner until it's 4pm and I don't want to work any more and my mind and web browser turn to cooking and food blogs.

But this morning, having woken up with a sore throat, I knew that by the time my meeting-filled day wrapped up, I was going to be ready for nothing more than a couch, a cozy meal, and maybe a beer. Thus inspired, I looked through the many recipes my generous friends have sent my way, but I also looked to this lady, whose crock-pot blog is the go-to online for slow-cooker recipes.

I have been trying for years with no success to cook something akin to the butter chicken I order when at Indian restaurants. I decided to give it one more try, using this recipe, but with some modifications.

You need (adapted from the above link):

A 3.5 litre crock pot (but I bet you anything you could do this stove-top too!)

2 large-ish chicken breasts
2 onions, sliced into half-moons
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of coconut milk
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5" knob of ginger, minced
2 whole cinnamon sticks
15-20 whole cardomom pods
2 tsps whole pepper corns (I used mixed: red, green, and black)
1 tsp grated nutmeg
2 whole star anise
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tbs curry powder
2 cubes of chicken/veggie/beef stock (cheating, cheating, yes, yes.)
4 tbs butter
1/2 c frozen peas
1/2 c chopped sweet pepper (I had a yellow one on hand)
1/2 c cooked chickpeas (because they were there)

1. Put into the crock-pot all ingredients but the last three. I put my whole spices in a cheesecloth bag tied at both ends and I recommend you do the same.

2. Cook on low 7 hours or high 3.5 hours. After that time, taste it to adjust the spices and add in the last three ingredients. Cook another hour on low or another 30 minutes on high.

HOW EASY WAS THAT, HMMM? Serve it with basmati rice and naan bread, a recipe for which you can find here.

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  1. that looks great! I love butter chicken...I never thought about using the crock pot for it.

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  3. When you say "2 chicken breasts"--do you mean 2 whole chicken breasts or 2 half chicken breasts?

  4. Thank you for this recipe! It was enjoyed by the whole family. My husband was very impressed with the cheesecloth spice bag.

  5. Can I put my chick peas in soaked but not cooked, 7 hours on low seems long enough to cook them?

  6. Heather, you can give it a try, but my chickpeas weren't mushy by the end. You might have to add more liquid if you go that route. Let me know if you try it!