Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

I loved this recipe!  Every night we ate it, the leftovers tasted even better.  I must have said, "This is so good.  SO GOOD," to Jon about 200 times.  Most definitely a keeper.

It takes a bit more prep work than I usually like to invest for a crock pot meal, but it's absolutely worth it.  Marinating the chicken in the yogurt mixture and searing it beforehand, and then cooking the vegetables and getting all the flavor from the pan give this dish an amazing depth.  Sometimes crock pot meals can sort of all taste like one thing because it's all been cooking together all day, but these additional steps really helped maintained the individual flavors.  As is often the case with Indian recipes, clear some room on your counter top, because you'll be taking out nearly the entire contents of your spice cabinet and pantry.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
slightly modified from Tasty Kitchen 

Serves 6

1 package (I think mine was about 2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
4 Tablespoons butter
1 jalapeno, sliced

4 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons garam masala
1 piece fresh ginger, 1-2 inches, peeled and grated
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon sugar (raw, if you have it)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup (or more) heavy cream

In a large bowl, toss the chicken with coriander, cumin, salt and yogurt.  Allow to marinate for about 10 minutes. 

Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. 
Brown the chicken in batches, adding more butter as necessary. 
Transfer to the slow cooker once it's browned. 
Add sliced jalapeno on top of chicken.

Don't clean the pan.  Melt the additional butter for the sauce over medium heat.
Add the onions and salt and cook for about 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent and starting to brown.  Add in the garlic for one minute.
Stir in the garam masala, ginger, and sugar and cook for about 1 minute.
Raise the heat to high and pour in the crushed tomatoes. 
Stir well, scraping the caramelized pieces from the bottom of the pan.  I found a wooden spatula to work well. 
After the sauce has come to a boil, pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for at least 5 hours.  The chicken will shred easily with a fork.

Whisk the cornstarch into the heavy cream and stir into the chicken mixture.
Turn heat to high and leave the lid ajar until desired consistency is reached.  This took about 15-20 minutes for me. 

Serve over rice and top with parsley and Greek yogurt.  I'd also recommend some naan or pita for scooping all the delicious sauce.


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