Saturday, September 5, 2015

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Sliders

My first introduction to butter chicken came during one of my many pre-move visits to Charleston. While looking for proper sustenance, I was shocked to find that (thanks to her busy doctory schedule) the only safely edible thing Robin had in her fridge was some butter chicken that her mother had made for her. Fortunately for me and my tummy, my future mother-in-law is quite adept at making delicious Indian food, so I was in an amazing treat.

Following a long week of work, I wanted to welcome Robin back with this favorite comfort food of hers while giving it an American (and lazy) twist.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Sliders
Adapted from Kiwi and Bean
Time: 5-7 Hours
Servings: Happy hour amounts of sliders
So many spices

3-4 tbsp butter (pick how "healthy")
1 onion, diced
5 cloves glarlic, crushed
2 thumb-size pieces of ginger, peeled and grated
3 tsp garam masala
2 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cayenne
15 oz coconut milk
5 oz tomato paste
Not pictured: mango chutney
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp cornstarch
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Sriracha to taste
Red Cabbage, shredded
Jalapenos or other spicy pepper, sliced
Mango Chutney
Cucumbers, sliced
Slider Buns

The heart of butter chicken

  1. Get really bored while your fiance is working out of town.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until tender and translucent. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook until the onion are browned, stirring frequently to keep from burning. 
  3. Coat with the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. 
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and tomato paste. Mix until smooth. Then bring to a boil. 
  5. Transfer the sauce to a slow cooker along with the chicken.
  6. Cook over low for ~ 5 hours until the chicken is very tender.
  7. Remove the chicken and shred. 
  8. Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce in the slow cooker, ramp the heat to high and let thicken. 
  9. Return the chicken to the sauce and coat well. Add salt, pepper, and sriracha to taste. You'll likely need a lot of salt.
  10. Assemble your sliders with chicken, red cabbage, jalapeno, cilantro, mango, chutney, and cucumbers on preferably toasted buns.
  11. Be amazed at how much more amazing they taste the second day.
One day I'll use the book Robin gave me on food photography, so you can stop enjoying shadows in pics.
The veggie toppings provided wonderful freshness, flavor, and crispiness reminiscent of a banh mi, while the mango chutney added a nice hint of sweetness to keep the fire at bay. As with most slow-cooker made deliciousness, the results were even more amazing the second day once the flavors had a little more time to meld together. To make these even more awesome, I would either try to incorporate some yogurt into the mix or try to emulate a nice banh mi a little more by using char-grilled chicken instead of shredded (thus pretty much nullifying the entire recipe and its inherent laziness!). Despite some very minor room for improvement, these provided many days of magnificently tasty and spicy leftovers that I never found myself tiring of. More importantly, they seemed to satisfy and not offend Robin's love of butter chicken.

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