Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

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Dear Jess,

I feel like I have been stumbling across many delicious recipes lately. Choosing one to share (on top of finding time to do so…) is becoming challenging.

I love finding truly delicious Slow Cooker meals. It’s always such a surprise. I generally find, when doing a meal in the Slow Cooker, that I sacrifice (to varying degrees) flavour… or maybe the distinction in flavours within the meal… does this make sense to anyone else? All this is to say, it is a rare occasion when I find a Slow Cooker recipe that reaches the standards of a meal made more conventionally.

This. One. 

I have made it twice this week. Once because I was desperate (with a sick, teething baby), and twice because we found it such a delight, I made it for friends when they came over for dinner.

It looks spicy, but isn’t at all. It is actually a little sweet, due to the coconut milk.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1-2 Tbsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 can full fat coconut milk

Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and transfer them to your slow cooker. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, 1 Tbsp garam masala, paprika, and kosher salt until the chicken is evenly covered with spices.*

*If you have time: marinate the chicken in 1/2 cup yogurt of up to 6 hours. Shake to remove excess yogurt before transferring to the slow cooker… I didn’t do this

*If you have time: Saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet until softened, then stir in the ginger, tomato paste, and spices until fragrant. Transfer to the slow cooker with the chicken and diced tomatoes. This will give oyur tikka masala more depth of flavour…. I DID THIS

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on hight, or 8 hours on low. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the coconut milk. If you prefer a thicker sauce, leave the slow cooker uncovered for the last 15 minutes. (I have done it both ways, and didn’t see a big difference in thickness.) Taste and add more garam masala or salt to taste.

Serve over rice!

I may even make a batch of this for the freezer! Mmmmm.
I hope you’re doing well, and the cooling of the air is a comfort to you.

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday night. Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles was also named best in the country, making the restaurant the runaway winner at the awards. A panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists gave chef and owner Frank Stitt’s modern Southern restaurant the honors. The other big winner of the night was Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, whose JuneBaby was named best new restaurant in America; he was also named Best Chef Northwest for his restaurant, Salare. “People always talk about Portland [Oregon] as the Pacific Northwest restaurant city,” said Jordan. “But they’re like the cool kid with a new name every season. Seattle is showing we are an ongoing force.” He doesn’t credit the rise of Inc. for his restaurants’s successes, although owner Jeff Bezos has dined at Salare. “Seattle has always had big companies—Boeing, Microsoft. They come in and eat, but it’s the people in the city who are making it happen. They’re more engaged than anyone gives them credit for.” The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize restaurants, wine programs, chefs, designers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and journalists from around the country. The awards, established in 1990, have recognized industry leaders such as Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. While it may not have been a good year for such famed restaurant cities as New York and San Francisco (which won only two chef and beverage awards, including Best Service at Zuni, and the Best Chef West winner Dominique Crenn), it was a very good year for women. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was named Outstanding Chef in the U.S, and Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn was named Best Chef New York. Forty percent of this year’s nominees were female. Women won many of the major awards, including Caroline Styne, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur for Lucques Group in Los Angeles. Forty percent of the winners of the regional chef awards were women; last year, that number was 30 percent. For the first time, voters were encouraged to consider qualities beyond food, wine, and ambiance, including respect and integrity. This follows accusations of sexual harassment against such past Beard winners as Mario Batali and John Besh.

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