Slow Cooker/Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken

I had the slow cooker out last week for the first time this autumn.  With the need to have 4 out of 5 weekday dinners ready by 4.30pm, I, for one, am quite pleased that the weather has turned and piping hot food at the end of the school day is required.

I was bought a slow cooker curry recipe book a few years ago but when I read through it, all the recipes involved various ready made curry pastes which I don't keep in stock.  We do, however, have a cupboard full of Indian spices so I have based mine instead on Madhur Jaffrey's Chicken with Tomato Sauce & Butter from The Essential Madhur Jaffrey, with a few additions from her later Butter Chicken recipe from Indian Cookery

8 chicken thighs
2 medium tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic
5cm piece of ginger
1 cinnamon stick
8 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp chilli powder
6 tbsp sunflower oil
6 cardamon pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp hot chilli flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tin of tomatoes
1 tsp salt
4 pats of butter
200ml double cream

In a frying pan, brown the chicken thighs in batches.  Place the browned thighs in the warming slow cooker.

Whilst browning the chicken, peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic and place in a liquidiser.  Add the roughly chopped ginger, crumbled cinnamon stick, cloves,peppercorns, bay leaves, and chilli powder and liquidise with enough water to make a smooth double cream like puree.

When all the chicken thighs are browned add the cumin seeds and cardamon pods to the hot oil.  Stir them around and when they start to pop add the onion puree into the pan carefully as it will spit violently! Stir the paste regularly until it starts to brown and start to stick to the bottom.  Liquidise the tomatoes and add these to the onion paste and wash the liquidiser out with a can of just boiled water and add this to the pan.  Add the rest of the ingredients (chilli flakes, garam masala, and salt) apart from the cream and butter.  Bring to the boil and pour over the chicken thighs in the slow cooker.  Stir the chicken into the sauce and leave to cook on High for 6 hours.

Before serving melt the butter into the sauce and stir in the cream.  Season to taste.