Monday, October 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

I think I came across this recipe on Pinterest.  It appealed to me because I love Indian food, especially Tikka Masala, and I love the ease of using my slow cooker!  This is apparent in some other recipes I've tried.  I made a few changes to the original recipe- using far less chicken, a little less yogurt, and coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.  Since I did use the coconut milk, I omitted the corn starch, as the coconut milk was full-fat and plenty thick on its own.  This made so much that we had it for dinner twice in a row, and I still had it for lunch one day after that.  One of the days, I also made Naan Bread.  I've always grilled it (or my husband does) but our grill was out of propane that day, so I cooked the Naan on my counter-top skillet, with some ghee.  I looooved them that way!  (I love them grilled too, btw).  They were a tad softer cooked on the skillet.  Both ways are good, though. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from Cooking Classy

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut* into 1 inch pieces
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp freshly, finely grated ginger
1 jalapeno, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed
1 (29 oz) can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
genrous 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp paprika
salt, to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste (anywhere from a sprinkle to a few tsp.)
2 bay leaves
1 cup coconut milk OR heavy cream
1/2 tbsp cornstarch, optional
Prepared Basmati Rice (I used brown Basmati)
Chopped cilantro, for serving

1. In the crock of a large slow cooker, combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced jalapeno, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined. Stir in chicken. Add in 2 bay leaves. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch, pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk. If it is thick enough, you won't need the cornstarch. Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the rice. Remove bay leaves and sliced jalapeno and serve warm over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

*I did not bother chopping chicken first; I just pulled it apart with two forks after it was done cooking.

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