Sunday, April 6, 2014
DIY Takeout: Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
It's melting! It's melting! You guys. It finally feels like the longest winter ever is leaving us. This has me pretty excited, in case you hadn't noticed. I'm splashing around in my blue rubber boots, the windows are open and I'm even excited to tackle spring cleaning. Seriously. What has come over me? While cleaning out the cupboards I spied my little slow cooker looking lonesome in the dark corner. I was also craving Indian food, thus a recipe was born. Also, why don't I use the slow cooker more often? It's makes dinner prep so easy. Maybe I just need to clean my cupboards out more often (says the voice of my mother). Right.
Butter chicken really is every one's favourite item at the Indian buffet, isn't it? Well, next to the samosas and Naan bread. This was my first crack at making it, and I'm pretty happy with the results. I did cook the chicken with onions, garlic and ginger before putting it in the slow cooker. I find that when I don't cook out the onions first, whatever I'm making in the slow cooker tastes overpoweringly of onion. And that bugs me. If that doesn't bug you and you want to leave out the "fry first" step, then just add another 30 minutes to the cooking time. Now let's talk about the sauce. It's good. Real good. Initially I just cooked one pound of chicken, and had about half the sauce leftover, thus I increased the amount of meat you need. Feel free to adjust more spice at the end, if you like, but overall this had a medium spice level. All you need is a bowl of steaming basmati rice and some Naan bread to scoop it all up with. The supermarket stuff I had was mediocre, at best. Oh, what I wouldn't give for really good Naan. Perhaps I'll teach myself how to make that, too.
Have a great week, friends. Don't forget to splash around in a puddle or two. It's terribly satisfying.
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
I always keep my fresh ginger in the freezer - makes grating it super easy. Just give it a quick peel first, then grate away.
3 tbsp canola oil
2 pounds chicken - either boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and/or boneless skinless thighs, cubed into 1" pieces.
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 14oz can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
cilantro for garnish
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium high heat and fry the cubed pieces of chicken until light brown. Stir in the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion is translucent. Remove from heat and put in the bottom of slow cooker.
In a large mixing bowl, add the spices, honey, salt, tomato paste, coconut milk and cream. Whisk well. Pour this over the chicken and cook on high for low for 5 hours or high for 3. Serve with steamed basmati rice, Naan bread and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serves 4.