In the Kitchen

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

March 25, 2022

Two extra steps make this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala a showstopper: blooming the aromatics in the microwave and finishing off the chicken under the broiler. They are technically optional steps, but quickly add so much depth of flavor to this deliciously rich, spiced (but not spicy!) tomato sauce that we hope you’ll give them a try.2 Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka MasalaPlace chicken in the slow cooker and season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add the tomatoes.

In a heatproof bowl, stir together the onion, oil, tomato paste, garam masala, garlic, ginger, sugar, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, until onion is softened. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir everything together. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours, until chicken registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer.3 Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka MasalaPreheat broiler. Use tongs to transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, until charred in spots. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.
4 Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka MasalaStir cream and cilantro into slow cooker and cover to heat.5 Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4 to 6


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, any large fat chunks removed
1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup tomato paste
5 teaspoons garam masala
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup minced cilantro, plus more for serving

Cooked basmati rice, for serving
Naan, for serving


Place chicken in the slow cooker and season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add the tomatoes.

In a heatproof bowl, stir together the onion, oil, tomato paste, garam masala, garlic, ginger, sugar, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, until onion is softened. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir everything together. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours, until chicken registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Preheat broiler. Use tongs to transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet. Stir cream and cilantro into slow cooker and cover to heat.

Broil chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, until charred in spots. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place back in slow cooker and stir to combine.

Serve with basmati rice and naan.


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