Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with Naan Breads

Our slow cooker is worth it's weight in gold over winter. I love the way everything can be tossed in around lunchtime, or sometimes even earlier and left to simmer until dinner time. It's great for those nights when the kids have activities and we are out of the house from 4-6pm. There is something so nice about walking in the door after we've been out and smelling delicious smells wafting from the kitchen...

I originally posted this recipe over on the Taste forums a couple of years ago. Since then, I have tweaked it slightly and it really is a family favourite. The quantities listed have been fine for us up until this point, although I think I will start doubling it from now on, as it's getting to be a leeetle bit too tight a stretch, even for my standards!

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
500g free range chicken thigh fillets, cut into thirds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbs butter
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp finely chopped ginger (or ½ tsp ground)
¼ tsp chilli powder or fresh chopped chilli, if available
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground)
6 cardamom pods, bruised (or 1-2 tsp seeds or ground)
2 tbs tomato paste
400g tin tomatoes
1 tbs sugar
Salt and pepper
½ cup cream
Coriander for garnishing

If using whole spices, contain them in a piece of muslin tied up with string. Heat a little ghee or oil in a large frypan and brown chicken. Transfer to preheating slow cooker. Add the onion and garlic to pan, saute gently until the onion is softened. Add butter and spices, and continue sauteeing gently until spices are fragrant.

Add tomato paste, tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and increase heat to med - med/high. Simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and pour into slow cooker, stirring to distribute the sauce evenly. Replace lid and slow cook for ½ hour on high, then about 3-5 hours on low, stirring occasionally. If your slow cooker is like mine and tends to 'run hot', you may want to add a little water during the cooking time to thin the sauce down.

Before serving, remove spice bag (if using), turn off slow cooker and add cream, stirring well. Stir through plenty of freshly chopped coriander from the garden and serve with steamed basmati rice, naan breads and homemade yoghurt if it's too spicy for any little ones.

Naan Bread
2 cups white or wholemeal flour - or a mixture of both (plain, not self-raising)
1 tsp instant yeast
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons yoghurt

Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the yoghurt and slowly add water to make a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Set aside in a covered, oiled bowl for 1 hour.

To cook, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and roll out thinly. Add a little ghee or oil to the pan and cook the naans for a few minutes each side until puffy and browned. Serve warm.


  1. Yummmmm your butter chicken looks so nice, I have slow cooker book and used a recipe out of there, mine went a bit mushy, think I put it on to cook to early...Hope you don't mind I am going to keep the Naan bread recipe...

  2. Thanks for the naan bread recipe, will have to try it next curry night. Being a vego I'll pass on the Butter Chicken, but I'm sure my OH would love it.

  3. It's recipes like this that make me wish I hadn't given away my slow cooker all those years ago. Sigh..

    I wonder if this recipe might adapt to the claypot? Hmmm..

  4. Yum! I love any indian inspired dishes. Naan bread looks like the the perfect accompaniment. I'm loving any flat breads at the moment, can't get enough of them. No slow cooker though...just me :-)

  5. Oh Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. I found that too, Wendy. It's one of those recipes that needs to go in around lunchtime, not first thing in the morning (which is what I jumped in doing originally). The naan bread is very simple to make and so tasty to mop up the sauce :o)

    Lisa, I was trying to think of a vego option instead of chicken because to be honest, it's the sauce that I am attached to! Maybe chickpeas...or lentils?

    It was actually your claypot post that got me cranking up the slow cooker again, Celia! I would imagine this recipe and similar curries would be delicious in your Romertopf baker. :o)

    I'm a sucker for the Indian meals too, Brydie. They are just soooo yummy! (but not overly agreeable with the waistline...). I often do this dish when I haven't been organised enough to get the slow cooker out early, by cooking it in a covered pot in the oven for 1 hour on 170c.
    Flat breads are great, aren't they! Easy to make and tasty. My daughters think it's great fun to pile every last scrap of their dinner into a flat bread and eat it burrito style! Messy -yes, but at least it's entering their bodies. :o)

  7. We posted at the same time, Debbie! You're welcome :o)

  8. I have this my slow cooker right now and I have to say it smells DIVINE. Naan bread dough is resting as I type, might be an early dinner tonight I think, hubby will have to eat by himself lol. We are huge curry fans but, strangely, I've never made butter chicken, although we always order it if we go out. Thanks for the recipe :-)

  9. Fantastic, Julie! How did it turn out? I love curries, and will _usually_ try any that comes my way, but for home, I always keep coming back to this one.... :o)

  10. Oh yum! This sounds like a delicious recipe, I'll definitely be giving this a try. Thanks for the recipe I've been looking for a naan bread recipe and this one looks great.:)

  11. You're welcome, Catherine. It's a favourite in our house, I hope you enjoy it! :)

  12. I made the Naan bread tonight and it was fabulous - however I used self-raising, should I have used plain flour?

  13. Ahh, yes, plain flour is what I use. I'll alter the post - thanks! The yeast is enough to rise the dough when made with plain flour. Good to hear they still turned out ok.. :)

  14. we tried that recipe too and really liked it! we served the kids cheese pizza, they are so picky!

    By: Irene of Wild Alaskan Salmon


Hi there, it's so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Chris x