Easy Crock Pot Indian Chicken
Adapted from: Real Simple Chicken Tikka Masala
I found this recipe while looking for new and different ways to cook a whole chicken. There are lots of local farms that raise and sell broiler chickens, but most sell whole birds. Cooking a whole chicken can seem overwhelming if you are used to buying chicken at the grocery, where chicken parts and boneless breasts are the norm. I’ll be writing a post in the coming months showing how easy it is to cut up your own chicken, but for now, I’ve adapted this recipe to use the whole chicken.
4-6 pound locally raised whole chicken
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes (or fresh diced tomatoes from the garden)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons garam masala (Indian spice blend)
1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cream (optional)
The beauty of this recipe is how little of your time it takes to get going. You can easily get everything into the crockpot in less than 15 minutes, then let the crockpot do the cooking while you go to work or take the kids to school. Many people put their slow cooker away when spring arrives, but I find that using a crockpot doesn’t heat up the kitchen like the oven can during the heat of summer (this week’s 90 degree days are a perfect time to cook with the crockpot). This is also a great time of year to find fresh, locally raised chickens. Upper Valley-raised frozen chickens are available year-round, but summer and fall are the best seasons to find fresh whole chickens.
Chop onions and garlic. Dice tomatoes if using fresh.
Combine the onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and garam masala in the slow cooker. Stir the ingredients. Salt and pepper the chicken inside and out and place on top of the veggie and spice mix.
Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, depending on the size of the chicken and your slow cooker. Luckily, you can’t overcook the chicken. The worst that can happen is that the meat will start to fall off the bone, but still be heavenly – just be careful and look out for unexpected bones during dinner.