Chicken Tikka Masala

I love slow cooker meals on a Monday. Even though it’s the beginning of the week, it is always the night I have the least amount of energy. Coming home after work to a house full of delicious smells is by far the best way to start the week. That and curling up with my favorite Syfy shows and favorite husband. This was my first attempt at a dish with Indian flavors and I’m in love! And completely shocked that I actually got it right the first time. Also, I think I’ve found a gold mine in Meal Planning 101, as grocery shopping could be one of my least favorite things to do on the planet.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cook Chicken Tikka Masala
via meal planning 101

Chicken Tikka:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1/4-1 tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
6-8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone-in)

Stir all ingredients except chicken into the bottom of a large plastic container. Add the chicken and coat the chicken completely with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Masala:
1 can 28 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 5.5 oz tomato paste
2 inches fresh ginger, grated (store your ginger in the freezer and it will be super easy to grate)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp tikka paste (could use mild curry paste instead, but add about a tbsp of lemon juice)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt
1 cup cream
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Turn your oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack over top. Take the chicken out of the marinade (discard the marinade) and place on the baking rack. Place under the broiler about 6-10 inches from the heating element and broil on each side about 10 minutes. You could also do this on the BBQ. You don’t have to worry about cooking the meat all the way through, you are just looking for a nice browned color.
While the chicken is broiling, in a pan over medium high heat, add about a tsp or two of oil. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a few more minutes until the mixture is nice and fragrant. Place the mixture into your crockpot. To that, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, tikka paste, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir together. When the chicken is done broiling, add them straight to the slow cooker and stir into the masala (sauce). I have cooked and experimented with this dish quite a few times, and it by far tastes the best when the chicken is first broiled and then slow cooks in the masala sauce. It gives the sauce a real richness of flavor. Slow cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours.
Before serving stir in 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and salt if it needs it. I find this just brightens up the spice flavors a bit. Then stir in the cream and fresh cilantro. Serve a chicken thigh with lots of sauce over basmati rice.

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2 comments
  1. hMmmmm this may just be a recurring recipe in our household… It just might help me get through the weird weather changes here in SeaTac. Le sigh. At least it will make the haus smell yummy =D

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