Chef Joel & Jenn: Butter Chicken

Its been a couple of weeks since Jenn and I have had a chance to make a new recipe. We just got busy. We had the play in the park and then celebrated our birthdays for two weekends. So needless to say it was time to catch up on some recipes. One of the recipes I've had my eyes on for a while is a crock pot Butter Chicken.


For those that don't know Butter Chicken is a very popular Indian dish and one that I always love with a good white rice. I had the opportunity to work from home before going to a meeting in Irvine so I thought this past Wednesday was a great opportunity to make some Butter Chicken. The recipe wasn't hard but it had a good number of ingredients that we didn't own (curry, coconut milk, garam masala, ginger powder, and tomato paste).This past Sunday I picked those up along with a chicken breast and was ready to pick before heading out the meeting.

The first step was cooking the onion and smashed garlic and then adding in the other ten ingredients to make the sauce. The aroma of the sauce was out of this world. Its the type of flavor I never imaged I'd be able to make in my own kitchen. So the sauce was great. I put the chicken breast (chopped up) and the sauce into the slow cooker and let it sit on low. When I got home from my meeting on Wednesday evening the apartment smelled amazing. I felt like I was in an indian restaurant. I then used our new rice cooker which was great. I even picked up the absolute best garlic naan from whole foods for a side dish. Honestly the best at-home naan I've found. 

When Jenn got home from work the dinner was done and ready to serve. The recipe called for five hours in the crock pot but due to my meeting it sat in there for seven. Our chicken ended up drying out a bit more then I would have liked. I think next time I'll only let it cook for five hours and use chicken thighs instead of breast. Otherwise the sauce was out of this world. I kept adding more and more of it to my rice. Oh and the garlic naan, AMAZING. 


So another recipe in the books. Not a perfect first try but I can't wait to try it again and make some slight improvements to my first go. Not bad though for my first indian dish. 

Oh and here are some pics from Jenn's day at work. Her co-workers surprised her for her birthday with a decorated desk, flowers and an ice-cream bar. She's got a pretty awesome job if you ask me. 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, tomato pasta, flour, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger powder until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place chicken into a slow cooker. Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Recipe from