How to make…Butter Chicken in the slow cooker…

A delicious bowl of creamy butter chicken with basmati rice and cilantro.
This is what it would look like if I was a food stylist.

So anyways, I’m trying to cut back a little on my partition hours by taking Fridays off to take care of other business- ie work on my manuscript. To date, I haven’t been hugely successful. Meetings get booked that I need to attend; end of month has a habit of rolling around monthly; and if my boss is away, I like to make sure I’m available.

I am, however, managing the occasional almost half day.

I had plans for last Friday afternoon. I was going to be home in plenty of time to get some groceries in, settle down and write 1000 words or so, pop something into the slow cooker for dinner, and whip up a batch of coconut ice-cream for the friends we’d invited for Saturday night.

Then Miss 17 called. ‘I’m not feeling great and it’s the last day of term and we’re not doing anything and I think I might have an ear infection or something so can you pick me up?’ No, she didn’t use punctuation.

So I picked her up and we got the groceries. All was ok, I was only an hour later than I’d planned to be. Still time to get dinner on, get ice-cream on, and get writing on.

My daughter had been nagging me for slow cooked butter chicken. It’s one of her favourites. My husband doesn’t like it- because he doesn’t like butter chicken. Too much cream and no spice, he says. Mine has no cream and a lot of spice, so he enjoys it if I don’t tell him that it’s butter chicken. Miss 17 is much the same about beef stroganoff.

Next was the ice-cream. It’s a pretty special recipe, made from coconut cream and a lot of egg yolks, and I’d painstakingly stirred it over hot water for hours (ok, perhaps a slight exaggeration) to make sure it didn’t turn into a scrambled coconut mess. Then I painstakingly stirred it over an ice bath for a few more hours (again, an exaggeration, but I’m not known for my patience) to cool it evenly.

Following all of this painstaking stirring, it was poured into the ice-cream attachment that fits to my kitchenaid mixer and the churning began. Until it stopped.

Miss 17, who loves this ice cream, was trying to sneak some of the early frozen bits off the side, dropped a spoon into the mix and then, in her panic, turned the speed up rather than down. This had the effect of jamming the churner, bouncing the spring off the connector, and sending ice cream mix all over her, the wall, the floor, the stove, and the dog.

It was pretty hilarious until I realised that the connector thingie was probably now cactus. I yelled. She stood there covered in ice-cream mix, held her hands out and said ‘why are you blaming me? You’re acting like this is all my fault!’

At which point, we both collapsed in giggles again and cleaned up.

Hubby was able to fix the connector thingie when he got home, the mix that was left was rescued, and no work was done on the writing project.

But it was pretty funny.

As for my butter chicken that isn’t really butter chicken? Here’s the recipe. Oh, no photos- partly because I forgot, and partly because it pretty well looks like a tomatoey, chickeny, unphotogenic mess. The photo above is how it would have looked if I could have been bothered to style it instead of eating it.

What you need…

  • 1kg chicken thigh fillets, quartered. The chicken should, of course be from previously happy chooks who spent their lives doing chookie, cluckie things outside of a cage.
  • 2 onions, chopped- as fine as you like.
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (we like spice, so I use at least 2 tsp & often add more if needed)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a handful of cardamom pods, bruised…or 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Tomato paste- I usually use a sachet…otherwise a few tablespoons will do the job
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 300ml greek yoghurt- or more if you like…plus more to dollop on top when you serve.

What you do with it…

  • Heat a little oil in a large frypan and brown the chicken. I use coconut oil. Do it in batches, and transfer into your pre-heating slow cooker.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the pan, frying gently until the onion is softened.
  • Add butter and spices, and fry until the fragrance hits you.
  • Add everything else (except the yoghurt) and simmer for a few minutes until it’s thickened a bit.
  • Add the yoghurt and stir well.
  • Pour it all over the chicken in your slow cooker. Pop the lid on and let it do its thing for a few hours.
  • Serve with rice, some chopped coriander, and some more yoghurt

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

3 thoughts

  1. I don’t mind Butter Chicken but never make it from scratch (naturally). Am sure it would be great if done in a slow cooker!

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