Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recipe Review: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

It's been a whirlwind of a day, and I'm all out of creative things to write, so I thought I'd share an awesome recipe.  

If you like Indian food and you like using your slow cooker, you're going to love this recipe.  It's called Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala.  Click on the link to access the Tasty Kitchen blog where I found the recipe.  Deeeeeeeelicious!

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I've copied and pasted the ingredients and directions, and I included my notes below.

  • 9 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Jalapeño Pepper, Stem Removed, Pepper Pierced Several Times With A Sharp Knife
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Peeled And Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 piece Fresh Ginger, About 2-3 Inches, Peeled And Grated
  • 4 cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Sugar (can Substitute White Granulated If Necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch Or Cleargel
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • Hot Buttered Rice And Peas
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding.

Melt 1 tablespoon the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker as it is finished, using 1 tablespoon of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker.

Throw the pierced jalapeno in on top of the chicken.

Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.

Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and raw sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.

Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch or cleargel into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the colour is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

Serve over hot rice and peas, topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

My Notes:

There's a lot of butter, and you can get away with cutting out a few tablespoons.

The recipe has a good kick to it from the pierced jalapeño.  If spicy isn't your thing, I'd suggest halving the jalapeño or leaving it out altogether.  

We found a good-sized jar of Garam Masala (the key spice for the sauce) at Target from their Archer Farms series.  

I used granulated sugar since I didn't have raw sugar.

Consider chopping the chicken thighs and doing the veggie prep the night before so that all you have to do the next day is combine ingredients and turn on the slow cooker.  

I used the freezer pack chicken thighs from Costco.  Gotta love Costco! 

I used cornstarch instead of the cleargel.

We used basmati rice.  We cooked according to the package directions and threw in some frozen peas for the last minute.

Serve with naan.  Got that at Costco, too!  It came in a pack of 3, so we froze the extra.  Brush it with olive oil or sprinkle a little water on it and stick it in the oven at 300 for a few minutes. 

I love cilantro, but I decided against serving with cilantro since the sauce already had so much spice to it.  Taste the sauce before you decide to add the cilantro or not. 

The recipe made a lot of leftovers for us, so I froze about half into a few quart-sized bags.  I made the recipe a few weeks ago for dinner, and had the frozen half for dinner last night.  I thawed the bags in the fridge Monday night and poured the contents into a saucepan to thaw Tuesday night for dinner.  All I had to do was make another batch of rice and throw in some peas at the end!  We had the leftover naan, too.  So good!


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