Monday, August 13, 2012

Crockpot Butter Chicken

Okay, I am not sure if I am the only one but crockpot meals tend to be a little ... blah.  They all have that same flavour of crock pot-iness and often have the horrible addition of cream of something yucky soup.  I am not sure how often I have voiced it before but I hate condensed cream soups, especially when added to some sort of casserole or dish.  I have one or two exceptions but for the most part I avoid them at all costs.  
I am always on the hunt for easy, delicious crockpot meals.  Ones that my kids will eat and that still satisfy the food snob in me.  This one is it.  You guys, this is a delicious meal, tastes really authentic, no cream soups and is relatively quick to put together.  Plus, all the ingredients are readily available - I picked mine up at No Frills which if you know what that is, you also know they do NOT stock a large variety of foods!
This is rich, deeply flavoured, pairs great with rice and even better with naan and leaves your house smelling mouth-wateringly good!  Perfect for the days when you would rather be outside - just set it and forget it and come home to a great dinner.

Crockpot Butter Chicken
recipe adapted from Meal Planning 101

4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 onion diced
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp coconut oil (or a couple Tbsp butter and oil mixed)
12-15 green cardamom pods/seeds
2 tsp curry powder (just regular yellow curry powder)
1 heaping tbsp mild curry paste (I used Patak's - found in the Indian food aisle in a jar/bottle)
2 tsp tandoori masala (bright red powder)
1 tsp garam masala
1 can premium coconut milk (do not use light)
1 c plain yogurt (not light, not vanilla, just plain)
1 small can tomato paste (I think 5 oz approx)
salt and pepper

Cut chicken into large bite-sized pieces. Use a variety of chicken or just adjust it to use all breasts or all thighs.  Maybe 4+ breasts or 8+ thighs Cut onion and peel garlic.  In a large skillet, melt coconut oil (if you don't have it and don't want to get it, you could use a combo of 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil but I like the coconut oil better), add onions and cook until tender.  Add crushed garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in chicken and cook until opaque and getting some colour.  Dump all of it into the crockpot.

This next part is the most work you will do.  Take 12-15 of the cardamom pods and with a needle and thread, string them together.  This will enable you to remove them all before you eat them, as they add greta flavour but don't taste great in your mouth.  You don't want to be surprised by one of these puppies!  Just knot the end of some thread, and string them on and tie the other end like this:

Now, in a bowl mix together coconut milk (shake the can well before you open it), yogurt and tomato paste.  Add curry powder, paste and masalas.  Add some salt and pepper (maybe a tsp of kosher salt and a few cracks of pepper).  Pour over chicken and stir well.  Add Cardamom pods and stir in and put lid on:

Cover and cook on low for at least 5-6 hours.  I cooked it for 5 hours the first time (1 hr on high and the rest on low) and 7 hours the next time (all on low) and both times were great.  Serve over some basmati rice or brown rice and/or with some naan.  Whatever way you serve it, you are going to love it.  It really is simple to put together and tastes like you spent all day making it.  Your family, guests and anyone else you are cooking for will thank you.

Go forth and cook, my pretties .....


  1. Could I just use the cardamom powder I already have?

    And where in the store did you find garam masala and tandoori masala?

    As you can tell, I am going to make this!! YUM!

  2. The spices were just in the spice aisle next to the regular spices - all Indian spices hanging together. They may be there or else at Superstore in the Ethnic foods aisle with all of the indian spices - Suraj is the brand name. They were in rather large bags but they are pretty cheap and will last forever.
    About the cardamom, I am not sure you will get the same flavour as they roast the pods and grind them for the powder and these are just dried ones but by all means try it. I think the green pods are more strongly flavoured. Someone also suggested using the pods and putting them in a cheesecloth bundle (like herbs de provence) and dropping that in. I think it is a fairly key flavour in the Butter Chicken. Let me know how it all turns out :)

  3. I can't wait to try this!