Crock Pot Recipes, Main Course Recipes

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

 

This dish accomplishes three ever-important objectives. 1) Delicious taste. 2) The kitchen is filled with a wonderfully unique and enticing aroma. 3) Easy to make.  Three objectives met. One adjective needed.

Magical.

Indian food is all about the spices. While there are numerous spices to choose from, I brought this particular taste of India home by focusing on these basics. Sweet cinnamon, smoky cumin, spicy cayenne, lemony coriander, and warm garam masala.

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt SauceCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

 

This is far from an intimidating spice list.  In fact, I bet you have most in your spice cabinet. But even if you don’t, all of these spices are easily accessible and affordable. Garam masala was the only new spice I had to purchase to complete this dish.  Garam masala is a Northern Indian style spice blend.  The composition of garam masala differs according to regional and personal taste.  The specific blend I used is a tripart mixture of cardamom, coriander and black pepper.  Well worth the investment.

I like to serve this dish over fluffy white rice. As an accompaniment, a heaping scoop of cilantro yogurt sauce and a plate of warm naan.  Don’t skip the sauce, it brings a cooling balance to the dish.

We know you’ll be back for seconds. We know I’m about to steal an old, corporately-leprechaun cereal slogan.  You and I both know this dish is… magically delicious.  (I couldn’t resist.)

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt SauceCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt SauceCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs chicken breasts, approximately 8 large chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 26oz container strained tomatoes, I prefer Pomi
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • Long grain white rice, prepared according to package direction, for serving
  • Naan bread, Firestone and Whole Foods Market make a great garlic variety, for serving
  • Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
    • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
    • 1/4 white onion, very finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
    • 6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste
    • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breast into 1 inch pieces and reserve.
  2. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine onion, garlic, ginger, strained tomatoes, olive oil, garam masala, cumin, sweet paprika, salt, coriander, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, lemon juice, and black pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add chicken breast. Stir to combine, and nestle bay leaves into the sauce.
  4. Cook on low for 5 1/2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare yogurt sauce by combining all of the ingredients into a small bowl.  You can do this several hours before serving to allow flavors to meld together.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Whisk together half and half and cornstarch in a small bowl, and add to the slow cooker.  Stir well and cook with the lid off for an additional 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.  Total cook time is 6 hours.
  7. Note: If you haven’t already done so, prepare rice.  Most long grain rice takes approximately 30 minutes to cook.
  8. Serve chicken with freshly chopped cilantro, white rice, naan, and cilantro yogurt sauce.

Servings: 10

Serving Size: 1 cup chicken and sauce, plus rice, naan and cilantro yogurt sauce

Note: You could easily make this dish on the stove-top.  Follow the directions as is, and cook on the stove-top for 2 hours over medium-low heat.  If the mixture starts to boil vigorously, reduce the heat to low and simmer for the remainder of time.  After 2 hours, add the cornstarch mix, and continue the recipe as noted.

 

 

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Breakfast Recipes, Crock Pot Recipes

Crock Pot Apple Butter

apple butter

I live on the windiest corner in Chicago.  Seriously.  Those pictures you’ve seen of people walking at a 45 degree angle, fighting the wind with hats and  scarfs flying through the air?  Those pictures were taken outside my apartment!  Earlier this week the high temperature was -15 degrees F, -40 if you include windchill.  Think of that bone chilling cold on the windiest corner of Chicago.  It was rough.  This resulted in plenty of time spent inside cooking, baking, reading, and wearing fluffy slippers.

apple butter

My hibernation yielded some tasty food, of course.  A highlight was this delicious apple butter.  If you’ve never had apple butter before, you must try this recipe.  Apple butter is simple.  Apples, sugar, and spices cooked way past apple sauce and into a thick, spreadable, jam like consistency.  My version is low in sugar and makes a healthy alternative to store bought spreads.

My favorite way to eat apple butter is on a toasted and buttered English muffin (butter AND apple butter…yes!).  I also like to mix it into Greek yogurt or warm oatmeal, served on top of pancakes, or heat it up and spoon it onto vanilla ice cream.

Apple butter, a crusty slice of toasted bread, and a hot cup of tea.  It was the perfect snack for crazy cold windy, stay inside, days.

apple butter

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Mutsu apples which is a hybrid of Golden Delicious)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in your crock pot and stir well.  Cook on low for 10 hours.  Remove crock pot lid, and process with an immersion blender for 1-2 minutes until smooth. (If you do not have an immersion blender, pour contents into a blender, puree, and return puree to crock pot.)  Increase the heat to high and cook for an additional 2 hours with the lid off.  This will concentrate and reduce the apple butter.

Cool to room temperature, package in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.  You may also can the apple butter by following instructions here and store in your pantry for 1 year.

Makes: 2 cups

Note: The apples for this post were gifted to me from Cardellio Family Orchard.  A beautiful private family orchard in Bruce Township, Michigan.

apple butter