Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

While it might not be bright orange like the Indian restaurant style butter chicken, this version is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.


from The Indian Slow Cooker
Yield: 13 Cups
Slow Cooker Size: 5-Quart

8 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
1 (4-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup blanched sliced almonds
1/2 cup of water
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp red chile powder
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp garam masala
8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
2 tbsp sea salt
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2-1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Chopped onions, for garnish
Copped green chiles, for garnish

Turn slow cooker to high and add the ghee or butter. Cook for 20-25 minutes until it melts.

Meanwhile, wash the chicken and cut into 2.5″ strips. Don’t cut it too small, or it will dry out while cooking. (If you are using frozen chicken, be sure to defrost it completely before using it.) Put the chicken in a bowl and set aside.

In the food processor, grind the ginger, garlic and almonds until smooth. Pour in the water and puree to a thick, almost creamy paste. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed.

Add onions to the melted butter or ghee in the slow cooker and lightly fry for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. The onions won’t brown as they would on a stovetop, but they’ll soften a bit and the slow cooker will do the rest.

While the onions are cooking, put the ginger/garlic/almond paste, yogurt, red chile powder, cloves, cinnamon, garam masala, cardamom, and sea salt in a bowl and whisk together. Gently fold in the tomatoes.

Pour this mixture over the chicken and mix well. Turn slow cooker to low and add the chicken. Cook for 6 hours.

Sir in the cilantro and cream. Top with chopped onions and green chiles. Serve with rice or naan.


I think my favourite thing about this recipe is that I’ve managed to make it “wrong” twice now—accidentally adding double the necessary butter once and missing a bunch of ingredients the second time—and it still comes out tasting amazing.

I have a smaller slow cooker so I halve all the ingredients. Also I substitute 1/4 tsp ground cardamom for the ground cardamom pods which works just fine.

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