Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Cook date: April 25, 2020

A couple of months ago Carla made a curry. It was quite nice and I realized I don’t cook much in the way of Asian cuisine. My palate leans more to southwest and Mexican cooking. I think the last time I made anything remotely related to Asian food was when I joined in the pressure cooker butter chicken craze in December 2018. Somewhere along the line I stumbled across a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala in the pressure cooker. The recipe had been sitting on the corner of my desk for I don’t know how long. Of course with The Rona [Corona/COVID-19 virus] we have been cooking even more at home and we wanted some variety since it is said to be the spice of life.

Once I re-read the pressure cooker recipe I was wary of scorching. There is only ½ cup chicken broth and a can of diced tomatoes. I’ve read that depending on tomatoes as the liquid in the pressure cooker can lead to problems. Sure enough, a few people commented that they got the dreaded “BURN” message on their pressure cooker. I called an audible and switched to TheKitchn slow cooker version [recipe here]. It had the same ingredients, but called for ½ pound more boneless/skinless chicken thighs than I had. We’ll make do.

Chicken Tikka Masala ingredients.

I prepared the spices and loved the unfamiliar smell.

Chicken Tikka Masala flavor bomb. Ginger, garlic, garam masala, cumin, coriander, and tumeric root.

The 1-inch cubed chicken pieces go into the slow cooker insert with yogurt and salt. Raw chicken is gross – I’ll spare you the picture. While that marinates we sauté the onions, then add the spices, and the diced tomatoes.

Chicken Tikka Masala sauté ingredients.

I drained the diced tomatoes. This resulted in an incredibly thick “sauce” though I don’t think that describes it. The recipe calls on simmering the sauce for a bit while deglazing the pan. I used some of the drained liquid from the tomatoes to do the deglazing.

Then it all goes into the slow cooker for 4 hours on high. When the time got down to 1 hour left I started some jasmine rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala after 4 hours in the pressure cooker.

It smelled delish. The last step is to add ¾ cup of cream, half-and-half, or coconut milk. We were all in with the cream. It’s amazing how it changes the color of the dish. I discovered that a few weeks ago with this amazing pasta bolognese so I was prepared.

Chicken Tikka Masala – ready to serve.

Our youngest son did some shopping for us – he is so sweet – and picked us up a few pieces of naan. Rice and bread.

Dinner is served

Chicken Tikka Masala with jasmine rice and nann.
Chicken Tikka Masala with jasmine rice and nann.

It was very good – I’ll make it again for sure – though it didn’t have as intense a flavor as I thought it would based on the smell. Maybe that was because the garam masala I used was a batch I made in December 2018 for that butter chicken. I may add ½ teaspoon of fish sauce some time during the cook to give it an umami boost. Don’t fret, it won’t make it taste like fish.

Rating: ★★★. 3 out of 5 stars. Perfect for home cooking, though maybe not for company unless I can get a bit more flavor next time.

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