Busy Week Dinner

Even though its already Wednesday, I’m still thinking about how incredible our weekend was! My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew came to visit. Not only was this their first time visiting us in St. Louis, but it was also our first time having a house filled with kiddies! We had a great time going to the zoo, dining out, and showing them the city. It was a fun, hectic weekend, that I did not want to end.

The busy weekend has run into an even busier week, so I’ve had almost no time for cooking. This week has proved to be the best type of week to bust out the trusty slow-cooker. Since this was one of few attempts to cook Indian food at home, I thought trying out one of the most widely known and loved dishes was a logical place to start: Chicken Tikka Masala. The creamy tomato sauce and tender, slow-cooked chicken served over rice is so good, even to those who don’t know they like Indian food will like this. The garam masala spice can be recreated, if you happen to have all the spices already; but if you don’t, it may be best to just pick up a jar of garam masala. This dish took little time to throw into the crock pot, so keep this recipe in your back pocket for busy weeks like mine.
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

What You Need

  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala Indian spice blend (mock recipe to follow)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs or mixed
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • For the garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne

What To Do

  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the cucumber and cilantro with the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  4. Just before serving, stir the cream into the chicken tikka masala. Then, use a fork to break the tender chicken into pieces. Serve over the rice with the cucumber relish.
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