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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

The History of Butter Chicken

http://butterchicken.ca/the-history-of-butter-chicken/

Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) is part of Indian cuisine, popular in countries all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to New Delhi. Butter chicken is regarded to have been first introduced by a restaurant called Moti Mahal, located in Daryaganj . Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.

It is thought that butter chicken was hastily prepared by a Delhi eatery chef post dinner time for a harried VIP customer who wanted “some” chicken dish. A chef named Simon Mahli Chahal first prepared this when he only had half of a Tandoori chicken which he tossed with liberal amounts of butter, tomato, and garam masalas to improvise for an delicious delicacy he was supposed to make for the ruler of Mareelun. He forgot to buy enough ingredients so he ended up with this dish.

Though various versions exists for the recipe, typically dressed chicken (with or without bones) is marinated overnight in a yogurt and spice mixture usually including garam masala, ginger, garlic paste, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili. The chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, but can also be grilled, roasted or pan fried. The sauce, is made by heating and mixing butter, tomato puree, and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and fresh cream. Cashew paste can also be added, and will make the gravy thicker. Of all the spices added to the dish it is dried fenugreek leaves (Urdu/Hindi: Qasuri Methi) that makes the greatest contribution to the characteristic flavour of the dish. Once the sauce is prepared, the prepared chicken is chopped and cooked until the gravy and chicken have blended. The dish may be garnished with white butter, fresh cream, sliced green chillies and Qasuri Methi.

While I love butter chicken, sometimes I want to do something simpler. Here is the Canadian Living recipe using a slow cooker!

This can easily be left to simmer away in a slow cooker for eight hours prior to adding the chicken. It yields a large quantity of sauce that freezes well if you’re feeding a smaller group.
Ingredients
• 2 onions, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) grated fresh ginger
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
• 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
• 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground coriander
• 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground turmeric
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
• 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
• 1 cup (250 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) almond butter or cashew butter
• 3 lb (1.4 kg) boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
• 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
Preparation
In slow cooker, combine onions, garlic, butter, ginger, brown sugar, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Whisk broth with almond butter; pour into slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 8 hours. (Actually, it was ready in about 4 hours…must be our altitude)

With immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth. (I choose not to puree sauces as I like the chunkiness of the ingredients!) Add chicken; cook, covered, on high until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 30 to 40 minutes.

Stir in sour cream. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

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Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Eggplant with Chorizo (Sausage)

Sunday at noon we usually head off to the symphony. Before we go I like to get a head start on dinner! Et voila…slow cooker….. This recipe was served by our friend, Kitti, and with or without the chorizo it was great. Serve with your preference of rice or maybe with quinoa. I think it wold also make an awesome spaghetti sauce!

SLOW COOKER EGGPLANT WITH CHORIZO AND TOMATOES

  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 eggplant sliced
  • 3  carrots  chopped
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can of tomato sauce6 to 8 cut up Roma tomatoes
  • lots of garlic
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • browned chorizo or sausage pieces (omit if you want a vegan dish)
  • fresh baby arugula ( a handful)

Brown the chorizo in olive oil . Remove and place on a paper towel.

Add onion, garlic, and eggplant to frypan. Cook, stirring often (about 5 minutes).

Stir in the tomatoes, sauce and paste. Cook 5 minutes more.

Add seasonings: cumin- salt-pepper- OPTIONAL cayenne pepper.

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring well. Top with a handful of the arugula.

Cover and cook on high for two hours or less.

 Just before serving add more arugula to the individual dishes.

Slow Cooker Porridge

Porridge you say? Well we have been in Ontario for two weeks now and so far, it has rained, snowed, sleeted and been quite cold. I should have had lots of time to send new posts, but moving around has its drawbacks with, aka Internet problems.

Today? It’s raining as it always seems to do when we travel anywhere in the world. Fortunately, our friend Joan on Howe Island where we were staying made us this great porridge yesterday morning to warm our bodies. It was great, as was our visit with she and Gary!! Thanks Joan and Gary for a wonderful visit!!

So, for all you northerners, here is the recipe  made by Joan…

4 cups water

1 cup steel cut oats (available at Loblaws …you guys in Mexico can buy rolled oats)

1’2 cup milk

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1’2 cup chopped dried figs

1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates

I think you could use almost any combination of dried fruits, i.e. mango, apples, bananas, etc.

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker on low just before you go to bed (assuming you don’t go to bed at 7 pm…or get up at noon!)

When you wake up it will be ready! Next I will look for slow cooker coffee…since I can’t figure out how to set the coffee maker yet…haha

Slow Cooker Orange Rosemary Chicken

This was a great recipe! Instead of using a whole chicken, I used chicken legs since Larry is fond of the dark meat. My only suggestion would be to watch the cooking times depending on your cooker. My legs were done almost one hour before I expected…LOL. Red lettering. as always, reflects my changes to Paula’s great recipe…

SLOW COOKER ORANGE ROSEMARY CHICKEN

Courtesy of Paula Deen

Serves: 4

  • 1 (3-4 pound) roasting chicken (6 or 8 chicken legs or thighs skin removed)
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 oranges, quartered, divided
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 oranges, zested
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, more for garnish
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 orange slices

In the bottom of slow cooker, add chicken broth, 4 orange quarters and onion. In a small mixing bowl, stir together butter, orange zest, chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and marmalade.

Pat chicken dry and liberally salt and pepper the cavity. (or just salt and pepper the legs or thighs).

Place remaining orange quarters, rosemary sprigs, and garlic inside the cavity (or on top of the legs).

If using a whole chicken – loosen the skin from the meat. Place half of butter mixture underneath the skin. Rub remaining butter on the outside of the chicken. Place chicken on top of orange quarters and lay three orange slices on top of the bird.

If using legs or thighs, rub them with a little butter, lay the orange quarters on the bottom of the cooker and then three slices on top of the legs.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until juices run clear. Legs took about 6 hours!

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (With or without shrimp)

Just found this recipe and it was very good….if you are not a shrimp lover, just omit it!

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (photo taken from http://www.dinnermequickly.com/chicken-sausage-jambalaya.html

Revised from a recipe by Robin Miller

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced ( or whatever sausage you like, depending on hotness)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning (I used Montreal Steak Spice…one teaspoon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound frozen peeled and cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, sausage, tomatoes, onion, red pepper, celery, and chicken broth. Stir in oregano, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and thyme. (If you want it hot, add a little hot sauce)

Cover, and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Stir in the thawed shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and spoon mixture over cooked rice.

Slow Cooker Salsa

Salsa with fresh tortilla chips

This recipe comes courtesy of our friend, Chuck, who prepared this as an appetizer the other night. At the end of the salsa recipe is a suggestion for using it with chicken on tortillas….it was great!!

Watch for next week’s post on brining your Christmas turkey, something I learned from Emeril Lagasse many years ago and always a hit! It has to be done 24 hours in advance, so I want you to have lots of time to prepare it!

Slow Cooker Salsa

Put into a slow cooker:
1.5 cups onion finely diced
1 red sweet pepper finely chopped.
2 jalapenos finely chopped. (Include the seeds if you want a spicy salsa)
15 diced Roma tomatoes (you could use 3 cans of canned tomatoes)
(All can be chopped coarser if you like a chunky salsa)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp each thyme, oregano
2 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter salsa)
1 can tomato paste
1/4-3/4 cup water to add if it cooks down
Red pepper flakes (or not, depending on your taste)

Cook on low for 4 hours.  Add water to keep it boiling if necessary.  Chill and serve. Just before serving you might want to consider chopping up some fresh cilantro on top of the dish to add a crispness to the salsa.

Serving suggestion:
Pan fry chicken breasts, then cool before slicing thinly
Thinly slice 1/2 green pepper
Grate 4 oz of your favorite cheese
Layer a pizza pan with tortilla chips. Arrange the sliced chicken breast and green peppers on top, then cover with cheese.
Broil until cheese bubbles.
Enjoy with the fresh salsa on the side!