Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Food post - Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

A lot of the time when we sit down for a meal,  I don't follow a recipe and fix our old favorite standbys.  However, when I do have the extra time, and more to the point, the inclination, I enjoy browsing through food blogs on line, for those times when we want something a little bit different.  Gregg loves trying ethnic foods, he actually started me on that path, but it took a while as I grew up in a very plain cooking household.  

My Mother was an exceptional cook and her meals were always ones to look forward to (her Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding will never be surpassed in my eyes).  However, after my marriage and with all Gregg's traveling from his navy days, he developed a taste for more exotic cuisine, and introduced me to it.  His Mother also was a great cook and used more seasonings and I had never been used to anything other than salt and pepper, but she taught me about such things and I took note.

I always remember a conversation with my Mum after I had lived in the States for a few years, and at the risk of repeating myself here because I have been writing this blog for a long time now, Mum and Dad were visiting and had been with us for about a week. Mum and I were in the kitchen, chatting over a cup of tea after she had watched me prepare another meal.  I remember going all out with the menu plan, trying to make my Mum proud of my developing cooking skills.  

After looking at all the ingredients I had on my counter, Mum said, with this kind of quizzical, very thoughtful look on her face, "You don't cook English any more do you Neesie?"  

It kind of took me aback because I hadn't thought about it up until that point.  I actually think I was making a spaghetti sauce and now it makes me smile because spaghetti and meatballs was an exotic dish to my Mum and Dad. You didn't get pasta unless you went to Italy.   

If they could have bought all their English groceries with them they would have but obviously would never have gotten it through the customs, not that they would have tried in the first place.  They were allowed to bring tea -  I think - and as we couldn't get English tea here back in those days, they always came with a suitcase full to the gills with PG Tips.  This was all gone by the time they went back and their empty suitcase was filled with all kinds of souvenirs to take home to family and friends.  

I love thinking back to that conversation Mum and I had in the kitchen all those years ago.  She would have been proud of the fact that Yorkshire Pudding was still on the menu.

At heart I am still a plain cook but I always find several recipes to browse through, and I asked Gregg to choose tonight.   His choice was Slow Cooker Butter Chicken by Chung-Ah at DamnDelicious.   You can visit the original recipe here.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
6 Servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 hours 5 minutes
total time: 5 hours 15 minutes.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high high.  Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger powder until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place chicken into a slow cooker.  Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine.  Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.

Serve immediately.

What did we think of this meal?  It was another hit.  I won't share anything that we haven't enjoyed.  The main reason I put recipes on here is that it is another way to save those that we enjoy, and can easily look up when we are in the mood to try it again.

I love getting the slow-cooker out.  Fixing things early in the day is a big plus, and by the time you sit down you can relax enough to enjoy the meal. Everything is in the pot before noon, and this leaves the afternoon for other things. 

Gregg asked if I could cook chicken thighs instead of breast and that was the only thing I altered. It cooked in the same amount of time.

This is the first Indian dish I have prepared.  It wasn't hot at all and if you do enjoy a little more heat, you can add extra chili to taste.  I offered to add more chili the next time but Gregg said no, he wouldn't change a thing.  

We are not eating out as much and it is one of the reasons I am making more ethnic dishes at home.  It stops the craving for meals we only found in restaurants before.

Thank you Chung-Ah for sharing this delicious Slow Cooker Butter Chicken.   Please check out DamnDelicious.  Her meals are varied and they look excellent.  I will definitely be going back to find more yummy meals.  You can find her blog here.


  1. Those were the days Denise.
    I can still remember having Roast Beef and of course it was always on a Sunday.
    There was always the Forces Request show 'Two Family Favourites' on the radio and then 'Billy Cottons Band Show.'
    Should I be saying all this.{:))

  2. My mum used to cook a great Sunday roast now I'm a dab hand at it. Bet you miss going out for a real curry though

  3. Sounds really great, especially your mum's Yorkshire pud!!! I used to make a mean one myself.
    I bet the thighs tasted even better than the breasts.

  4. yes Denise, thanks this is one I'll try for sure. I love those flavours and it made me laugh to think there's actually no 'butter' in the recipe so how did it get that name?? I reckon that I'd prefer to use the thighs too, they seem to stay more moist than the chicken breast does and more tasty for that. Thanks for sharing....

  5. all the years my kids were kids, i cooked many meals in a slow cooker. now i don't have one, but have been thinking since i hate cooking so much, maybe i should get one.. i cook like my mother did, plain old southern cooking, no spices other than onions, garlic and salt and pepper...

  6. Oh yummy! I do adore your blog header photo! He's adorable!

  7. Sounds delicious, but I wonder where I can find garam masala in the stores here.

  8. I really shall try this ~ as we practically live out of the crock pot :) I am basically a plain cook to ! Thanks for sharing.

  9. i love the sweet memories of the conversation with you mom :) i also pinned this recipe!

  10. Love the story, my Mum was also a great cook. I take after her though in that we both seldom ever use a recipe!! As for Yorkshire pudding, I just cannot produce a good one!

    I like this slow booker dish it sounds good and one of the few that I get from America that I can actually buy the ingredients here. So many things I have never heard of and so many I would like to try but!!!
    Keep well Diane

  11. It looks and sounds wonderful, especially with the coconut milk and curry. My mom, also, was a cook who really only made simple American dishes, she never made Chinese or anything else like it. But the food was good. i think back in those days, people were not really as aware of world cuisine like we are now.

  12. What a great idea cooking curry in the slow cooker. I will definitely do this as I generally cook them for a few hours on the hob anyway....even if the recipe says 'simmer for twenty minutes'!

  13. When I was going through ur ingredient list I thought that the spices you mentioned are all used in Indian dishes and at last i found that it was an Indian dish..glad that you liked the food of our part of the world..thanks for sharing..

  14. I have a recipe for a slow cooker chicken dish I make with garam masala. Boy does it smell good! I think I will make it this week. You inspired me!

  15. We cook a lot of Indian food here. It doesn't have to be hot - but it is full of flavour.

  16. Sounds yummy, Denise! I enjoyed the story about your Mum and your cooking. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Have a happy week!

  17. Looks and sounds great.Tonight we had fried liver carrot mash and roast vegetables, what's on the menu for tomorrow Denise? We will shop again tomorrow I am feeling OK so doing shopping daily gets me out of the house, plus offers opportunities for the camera to capture something interesting, today we forgot it but there was nothing to snap.

  18. I wonder what I'd make of this... admittedly, I'm not a fan of the hotness of a fair amount of Indian cuisine.

  19. This sounds and looks delicious. Thank you so much for sharing. I got a chuckle out of your conversation with you mum. :)

  20. Hi Denise, you know, I really enjoyed your post. It kind of gave me a bit of a shake up - I've been thinking for a while that I have been sticking to my usual old round of recipes and it's time to start finding some new ones.
    I've just been over to have a look at Chung-Ah's blog and have now bookmarked it.
    Reckon the Butter Chicken will be the first one, it looks delicious and, yes, the convenience of the slow cooker is wonderful.
    Cheers now :D)

  21. We eat out too much. It is difficult watching calories, when dining out. Plus it is more expensive. I need to prepare more foods at home. Your butter chicken sounds delicious.

  22. You are such an incredible cook, Denise. Thank you so much for sharing. I rarely cook these days because mom lives with us. You make the most delicious looking meals. Lucky Gregg!

  23. Greatly enjoyed reading about your cooking experiences, Denise. The recipe is probably one will not try as it is difficult to get some of the ingredients listed, unfortunately. We have an international section in our 1 local supermarket, which mainkynincludes some Spanish and Chinese spices.