Slow Cooker Butter Style Chicken

Slow Cooker Butter ChickenBranching out of your comfort zone is never easy.  Wether it is trying a new fashion trend (No, not everyone can wear skinny jeans.) or talking to people you don’t know at a party (The weather is a safe topic…) or reading a book from a section you don’t normally pick from (Try EXODUS by Leon Uris), it can all be a bit intimidating.

As with most things, I believe being adventurous with your food splits people into two categories: those who are and those who decidedly are not.  There are those of us who order something different every time we step foot in a restaurant, get excited about pot-lucks because of the variety, and never give a dinner invite at a friends house a second thought.  The flip side is one who orders strawberry at every ice cream shop they frequent, prefers to go to only one restaurant because they know they can order something there they like, and sweats a bit at dinner parties because they just don’t know exactly what they will be eating!

Between our families and friends, both groups are well represented.  Thankfully, I have a recipe that takes care of everyone!

This recipe is easy and quick to put together, but wonderfully convenient due to the use of the slow cooker.  While some of the spices may be a little foreign to you, nothing is all that out of this world in terms of flavor.  There is chicken, which everyone loves, and rice, which everyone can eat!  There are no weird veggies lurking in the sauce to make your kids wrinkle their noses, and I have lightened it up so bonus-its healthy!

Butter chicken and chicken tikka masala are very similar dishes.  Butter chicken has…well…butter in it.  But after messing around I couldn’t tell the difference wether I added it or not, so mine is without.  I luuuuuuurv buttah, but if I can’t taste it, there is no sense in adding the calories.  The other separations of the dishes are less obvious and depending on where your recipe comes from and who you ask, often contradicting.  Out of habit, I call my version Butter Chicken.

Bottom line, this isn’t as odd or as crazy as you may think.  So if you are trying to branch out in your meal repertoire, this is a super easy option.  Not knowing you or those you cook for, I cannot guarantee they will like it.  You just never know.  All I can say is that it has become a favorite in my house and my family begs for it often.  Testing this recipe over and over to get it juuuuuust right was a task they were more than equal to.  Adventurous eaters or not!
Slow Cooker Butter ChickenSlow Cooker Butter ChickenSlow Cooker Butter ChickenOne Year Ago: Cranberry Maple Pudding Cake – Holy majoley this is so good!
Two Years Ago: Honey Cheesecake Bars
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars & Lemon Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
This lightened up version is still rich and flavorful.  The bit of cream at the end can be left out, but it finishes off the flavors nicely so please don’t skip it if you can at all help it!  Leftovers freeze wonderfully.  This recipe makes a lot on purpose!  I portion it out in individual servings so that my husband can take a single container of sauce to work with him.  I just make him a fresh batch of rice the night before to go with it!

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast and/or thighs, cut into bite size chunks
1/2 large or 1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T grated fresh ginger
pinch of cinnamon
2 tsp thai red curry paste (use 1 tsp if you want almost no heat)
2 T garam masala
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne or to taste, optional
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can lite coconut milk, regular is all right too
1/2 c plain, nonfat yogurt
1/2 c heavy cream, optional
cooked brown rice for serving
Naan, recommended but not required

In the bowl of a standard size slow cooker, add all the chicken and onions.  In a medium bowl combine the remaining ingredients through the yogurt and pour over the chicken and onions.  Cover and cook on low for at least 6 hours, or until the edges are bubbling and the chicken is cooked through.  If possible, stir once halfway through.  On high for four hours is fine as well.  Turn the heat off and stir in the cream.  Sauce will thicken wonderfully when it cools a bit from bubbling!  Serve over brown or white rice, couscous, quinoa, or even whole wheat noodles.  A great whole wheat naan is ah. may. ziiiiiing. with this.  You could skip it, but why would you want to?!

Note: Stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY and Part 2 of  Things You Should Be Doing In Your Kitchen!