If for any reason I ever ended up on death row, butter chicken is what I would take over steak, baked potato and garlic bread as my last meal. Hands down.
Working in the oilfield, I have befriended a top-notch chef with all his eyebrow and lip piercings who passed on what he claims is an “authentic” east-indian recipe for this dish. I hunted him down after he served it to 140 people in the camp we stay in, because it was pretty much to die for.
The only downside was he had thickened it with heavy cream…also why it was probably so delicious, but he did sit down and discuss with me how to make it, and substitute less calorie-dense ingredients.
I made it the first time over a month a half ago, stove-top, simmer, adding greek yogurt at the end thicken it sans cream. It was a little high-maintenance for me, so I decided to try and get it done in a crockpot…and I think I got it. When I made it, I used only 4 chicken breasts, but there was enough sauce you could fit another breast or two in there.
Here we go :D.
Crockpot Butter Chicken
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
7 on-the-vine tomatoes, diced
1 can of lite coconut milk
1 can of tomato paste
1 white onion, diced
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 package of butter chicken spice paste
1.5 tablespoons of curry powder
1 cup of plain full-fat greek yogurt
salt to taste
cayenne pepper (optional)
Step 1: Dice up the onion and chop the garlic. Next, sauté them in a frying pan over medium heat, just till the onion is transparent…be careful because you do not want to burn the garlic. Put them in the crock pot once done.
Step 3: Put all of your diced tomato into the crock pot. You do not have to use fresh tomato, and if you are really short on time, use one large can of diced or crushed tomato…I just decided to use fresh because it’s healthier and it’s going to cook for 6-7 hours so it will break down anyway.
Step 6: Add can of lite coconut milk. You can also use a can of regular coconut milk instead of lite…but just know that regular coconut milk has 60% more calories in it. Big difference.
Step 7: Add your curry powder to your desired strength, my measurement is just my preference. This is also the time to add of cayenne pepper to the pot if you want this spicy…probably start with just 1/2-1 teaspoon if you’re not sure and making this for the first time.
Step 8: Now mix everything together really well. Turn your crock pot on LOW for the next 6-8 hours. If you are able to adjust the temperature on your crock pot, trying setting for 145-150 F. Depending on your crock pot, your LOW setting may still be too high and potentially dry out the chicken. This really only happens with cheap slow-cookers so you should be fine…just check it at 6 hours to see how it’s doing.
Step 9: At the end of cooking the butter chicken, when you are starting the rice, open crock pot and stir in 1 cup of the plain greek yogurt. Also, now you can add salt to taste. I added not even a teaspoon and it seemed pretty good.
Step 10: Serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice. See picture at top!
If anyone wants me to post the caloric values, just let me know…and also if you see any mistakes potentially in this recipe, say something haha. (I used 4 chicken breasts and a can of regular coconut milk in mine, and the value came out to like 240 calories per cup…so just imagine how low the calories are when using lite coconut milk.)