March 20

Crockpot Butter Chicken

Oh holy hell, you guys. This was an amazing recipe. I’ll admit I had my hesitations in the beginning, but only because the last time I tried to make an Indian dish, it turned out awful. So much so I didn’t even want to speak about it. Not to mention my photo of it made it look a thousand times worst. In fact, I made that dish – a curried chicken – almost a year ago to the day. I had worked the whole day at the stupid home and garden show (had to thanks to work) and I wanted something quick when I got home. I really winged a recipe and came up with absolute crap. The Fellow™ willingly ate it, though I’m not sure he actually enjoyed it. Food is food to him sometimes. That’s why I’m glad even when I mess up a meal, he’s there to eat it. No food wasted!

Anyway, this recipe. Wow. Crockpot Indian food.

We spent half of the weekend running errands and doing this and that. We stopped at the little whole foods market on the other side of the county from us and I picked up the handful of spices I needed for the recipe, since garam masala and tandoori masala aren’t things I have readily available. I made sure to pick up about three times the amount needed for the recipe, juuuuust in case it turned out fantastic and I wanted to make it again in the near future. We don’t get up to that side of the county much – no reason to be up there since I don’t work up there anymore – and so we stock up on goodies from there when we can, knowing it’ll be awhile before we return.

We had company come over the day I set this up in the crock pot, so I needed to add more chicken and hope that the base would be enough to feed two hungry men and little ‘ol me. Maybe even with some leftovers for The Fellow’s™ lunch. The whole house smelled amazing all day long. I left it stew for about 6 hours on low, then cranked it up to high for another hour, before calling it good and serving it with jasmine rice and warm, buttery naan. I wish I possessed more ambition, because I would have tried my hand at making naan, instead of buying the stuff at the whole foods market. Alas, after hauling cow poo and peat moss and cleaning the house and doing umpteen loads of laundry and having very little down time to work on my other *really important projects*, I nixed the idea and was happy I could find quality naan anywhere out here short of an actual Indian restaurant. There are times I miss living in Seattle, where you can get your hands on just about anything your little heart desires.

My only negative comment on this particular recipe – and this was my doing, not the original – was picking up Patak’s Tikka Masala paste. I was surprised at the selection the whole foods market had; or rather, the lack thereof. As far as pastes go, they had the Tikka Masala (which is lemon-y and coriander-y), Biryani, and hot. Then the rest were chutneys, marinades, and so forth. I’ve even my fair share of Indian food over the years, but knowing how poorly my last Indian food-making endeavor turned out, I was hesitant to pick up something I knew very little about. If I can find someone to hand off my Tikka Masala paste to, I’d be pleased as punch, and wouldn’t mind having to buy a different one. With any luck, maybe that store, or one of the other ones south of us, might have a better variety. The recipe mentions using Curry Paste Mild and adding cayenne for some heat. I think I’ll take that route again in the future.

But yes, if you like Indian food, and you like butter chicken, make this! I cannot recommend it enough!

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Crockpot Butter Chicken

source: Meal Planning 101 [Slow Cooker Butter Chicken]

Ingredients

4-6 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
15 green cardamom pods**
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp curry paste
1 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
2 tsp tandoori masala
1 tsp garam masala
1 can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 5.5 fl oz can of tomato paste
salt to taste

**I did not have cardamom pods or even cardamom as a powder in my cupboard so I did a quick search on substitutes and it boiled down to a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg or ginger. I used:

1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

1) Stir fry chicken, onion and garlic in frying pan on medium heat until the chicken has some color and the onion is translucent. Pour entire contents of pan into crockpot.

2) Add all other ingredients to the crockpot. Mix gently.

3) Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice and warm buttery naan.

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