Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken made with spices you already have in your cabinet with all the creamy deep flavors you’d expect from your favorite restaurant.
Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken is one of my favorite meals to make when I’m feeling nostalgic about culinary school. The recipe is a slow cooker version of one of the first ethnic dishes I learned to cook in culinary school.
One thing I’ve learned when it came learning to cook different cuisines in client’s homes was that you try to pack light and use as much as possible in the client’s home. If they have great cookware that means you don’t have to bring in pots and pans (score one for your back!) and if they have spices that are fresh you use them (my clients pay for groceries so using existing spices was always preferable). There are some tweaks you can add if you’d like to take this recipe to the next level:
- Brown the chicken quickly on a high heat before cutting into chunks (don’t worry about it cooking through, that is the slow cooker’s job)
- Saute the jalapeno and garlic in the butter in a saucepan before adding the sauce ingredients into it. Yes, a second pan – but it will make an even more awesome flavor if you’d like to take the extra step.
- If you want to skip the cornstarch, scoop out the sauce and reduce it in a saucepan while you’re setting the table before dinner. Again, second pan but another trick for an additional layer of flavor.
When cooking Asian or Indian cuisines you’ll often find that the spices you need are unique, expensive and not readily available. This of course is the chef’s problem since your clients only need to be thinking “oh my goodness this is amazing!”
This Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken is the perfect set of spices and flavors that rivals your favorite Indian restaurant with none of the hunting down spices.
Tools Used in the making of this Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken:
Slow Cooker: This is the smaller version of my normal slow cooker, but if you’d like to make it in a larger slow cooker make a double recipe. Don’t skimp on the sauce, it thickens if you have leftovers too and it is SO good you won’t want to have to ration!
AllSpice Spice Rack: I use this spice rack and fill up the bottles with freshly purchased spices. It’s basically one of the most beautiful things in my kitchen and when you’re working with a large quantity of spices, not having to hunt and peck through your cupboards makes everything go at warp speed.
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a large ziploc bag the night before cooking add the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, salt and chicken (leave the chicken breasts whole here).
Zip the bag closed and work the mixture into the chicken until all incorporated.
Scrape off a majority of the marinade that is on the chicken and discard it. You'll have plenty of the second sauce to keep the food moist and provide enough sauce.
Cut the chicken into two inch chunks.
When you're ready to cook the chicken, add the butter, garlic and jalapeno into the bottom of the slow cooker.
In a small bowl add the 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, tomato sauce and heavy cream and stir to combine.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Stir the cornstarch into the one tablespoon of water and add to the slow cooker and stir (stir and pour quickly since you're using more cornstarch than water it will settle quickly).
Cook an additional 20 minutes on high.
Top with cilantro before serving.