Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

I have been wanting to create a good slow cooker version of this favourite Indian dish for so long. I am pleased to say I have finally got around to it and it was a hit with the whole family. 

The ingredient list may look long, but don’t let that put you off. Depending on how well-stocked your pantry is, you may need to pick up a few extra spices. All of these can be found in your local supermarket.

Once you have coated your chicken in the yogurt and spice mixture, it’s just a matter of throwing everything else in the slow cooker and letting time and the spices do their thing. 

Serve it with steamed basmati rice, Naan bread and a big pile of vegetables. 

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
Serves 6
A mild slow cooker version of one of India's favourite chicken dishes.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 kilo chicken thigh fillets
  2. 1/2 cup plain greek or natural yoghurt
  3. 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  4. 2 teaspoons garam masala
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground chilli powder
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  8. 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  9. 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  10. 100 grams unsalted cashews
  11. 1 brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  12. 400 ml can tomato puree
  13. 400 ml can coconut cream
Instructions
  1. Place the whole thigh fillets (they stay more moist if you don't chop them) in a plastic bag.
  2. Add the yoghurt and all of the spices and ginger.
  3. Give the bag a big shake, coating the chicken well in the mixture.
  4. Place the contents of the bag into the slow cooker.
  5. Using a food processor, grind the cashews until finely ground, before they become a paste.
  6. Add the cashews, onion, puree and coconut cream to the slow cooker.
  7. Place the lid on and cook for 4 hours, 6 hours if using a low setting.
  8. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to slightly thicken the sauce.
  9. The chicken fillets will have fallen apart slightly.
  10. Ladle chicken and sauce into bowls with basmati rice, Naan bread and vegetables.
Notes
  1. For vegetarians, try using eggplant, cauliflower or other vegetables instead of chicken.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Homemade Chicken Burgers

The storm had just started as I was busy trying to finish and serve dinner.

Our 4 yr old hates storms, so as he was getting more and more upset, I was frantically trying to come up with some helpful and calming words for him.

As each new bolt of lightning lit up the sky and the big boys ran to the window with excitement, our little man’s screams would just go up a notch.

“Sshhh….it’s okay… you don’t need to scream…” as I am trying not to burn the burger patties in the frying pan and I am signalling to another child to start setting the table, while my little boy is wrapped around my legs.

“Um..just picture Lightning McQueen up in the clouds….he’s.. um.. trying to race… um….Mater and (insert sound of thunder here) LOOK…that’s just them having a BIG CRASH… but.. um… everyone’s really okay…shhh…. it’s okay… please stop screaming”

Then it’s my turn…”Can someone PLEASE set the table, dinner’s almost ready!” I yell.

I do sometimes wonder if I walked calmly around the house at this point, quietly gesturing for people to come to the table, if they in fact, would actually come? Let me know if this works for you in your house…

Probably more than I should, after a few quieter mutterings, I usually end up yelling something like “If you don’t come to the table NOW, you can’t touch your iPad for a MONTH.” That usually gets people there pretty quick.

Anyway, back to the storm.

Thanks to the quick-thinking of my eldest, he put some music on, hoping to calm our little man down.

He chose UPTOWN FUNK…not quite the calming, background dinner music I had in mind, but it worked.

Our little man started his moves and singing along….”UPTOWN FUNKY DUCK, UPTOWN FUNKY DUCK” he yelled over and over again.

At this point, I am placing things on the STILL UNSET TABLE (to which I decided to let go)… Who needs a set table when eating burgers anyway?

“I know, let’s have a DANCE competition. Everyone gets to choose one song and dance, and mum can score us out of 10” suggested one of my sons.

“How about we eat our dinner?” I suggest

To say spirits were a little high and there was lots of energy buzzing in our house that night, is an understatement. I quickly realised no-one was going to sit down and eat anytime soon, so embracing the ‘fun mum’ somewhere inside of me (she’s often not around at 6pm on a weeknight) I agreed to said Dance Competition.

Everything from here on in went well…until it didn’t.

The dance floor kept getting crashed by the now over-tired and over-excited 4 year old. Everyone wanted one more turn when their song ended and no-one was happy, when I declared all their scores were the same – 8.5 out of 10! I am all for fairness…..

The burgers were cold, but still tasted great. The highlight of actually eating dinner was reminding one of my children that we don’t use our whole hand and fingers to get the rest of the BBQ sauce out of the container, but maybe we try using a spoon or knife instead?

After cleaning up said sauce, breaking up another fight over a rumbling incident and heading back to the kitchen to realise I still had more burger patties to cook, I stood at the kitchen sink and looked out at the stormy sky.

‘Try and find the beauty, joy and adventure right where you are,’ were words I had read earlier that day.

Oh boy…I am trying.

Slowly the kitchen was cleaned and I started getting the kids ready for bed.

I was a little frazzled, but it had actually been quite a fun night, I thought to myself as I headed to our little man’s room to tuck him into bed.

And all over his floor and in his bed were hundreds of little beads…..from who knows where… and I just started to laugh.

You know that laugh? The slightly-crazy-person, could start-crying at any minute laugh?

Beauty, Joy and Adventure… right where I am…..

Back to the Burgers….one thing I do when I clean out my freezer and find leftovers of loaves of bread, crusts or the ends of breadsticks, I pop the lot in my food processor and make a big batch of fresh breadcrumbs.

I pop the breadcrumbs into smaller portions in snack size freezer bags and freeze them for a day like this when I want to quickly make some burgers or another day when I want to make some meatballs. It’s a great way of using up leftover bread you otherwise might have thrown away.

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The only limit to how you eat your burger is your imagination…so knock yourself out! This was our family edition – with un-toasted soft white buns and all! If I had my way, it may have had a few more fancy trimmings….but that being said, it tasted pretty good  just like this.

Homemade Chicken Burgers

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 20m
  • Serves: 5
  • Yield: 8-10 small patties or 5 large ones
  • Category:

Ingredients

  • 500 grams chicken mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, mint and chives

Method

  1. Place all ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly until well combined.
  2. Using your hands, form into the size patties you want to cook.
  3. If you have time, let them sit, covered in the fridge for up to half an hour - this just helps them bind well together.
  4. Heat olive oil in large non stick pan over medium heat and cook the patties on both sides, until golden and cooked through.
  5. Drain on paper towel while assembling your other ingredients.
  6. Serve on hamburger buns or bread of your choice with any fillings you like! We used lettuce, tomato, beetroot, store-bought beetroot relish, cheese, cucumber and pineapple. Avocado, hummus, Aioli (garlic mayonnaise) all work beautifully as toppings.
  7. These patties also taste great on their own with salad, if you want a carb-free meal.

 

 

 

 

 

Not-Too Spicy Beef and Rice Noodles with Cashews

So when I say the words ‘beef mince’ your mind goes straight to Spaghetti Bolognese? Thought so….

Well, it’s time my friend, to start exploring other ways to use beef mince in your meal plans!

We love this super easy, quick and fresh noodle dish using regular old beef mince.

Loaded with asian flavours and finished off with lots of fresh coriander, mint, and a generous handful of toasted cashews, it is a perfect mid-week meal for you and your family. You can increase or reduce the amount of curry paste or chilli based on how spicy your family likes their food.

The original recipe idea came from DELICIOUS magazine, September 2008.

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

250gm rice vermicelli noodles (very very thin rice noddles found in the asian ingredients isle of your supermarket)

1 tablespoon of peanut or sesame oil

2 tablespoons lemongrass, pale part of stem, finely chopped

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ginger paste

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

500gm beef mince

2 heaped teaspoons of Thai red curry paste (more if your family likes it more spicy, this was quite mild)

1 red capsicum, de-seeded and finely chopped

100gm of fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

a handful of fresh coriander leaves

a handful of fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup roasted cashews or peanuts, chopped

Method

Soak the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain, refresh under cold water and divide among serving bowls.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then add lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chilli flakes and stir-fry for a minute.

Add the beef mince, and cook, breaking up the clumps until well-browned.

Add the curry paste, beans and capsicum and mix thoroughly.

Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the veggies are a little softer.

Add fish sauce and lime juice and give a big stir.

Remove from heat and divide amongst the serving bowls.

Garnish each dish with fresh coriander, mint and chopped toasted cashews.

 

 

Soft-Centred Chocolate Puddings

Easter. This is one of our favourite times of the year.

We step away from the busyness of our normal schedule and head away to the country for a few days. The boys will make cubbies, race billy carts and play countless hours of soccer and cricket. One of my favourite things to do on this weekend every year, is to start a new 1000 piece puzzle with my eldest son. My middle son will challenge me to games of Bocce, and will beat me every time, and our littlest man will spend hours moving a pile of rocks from one place to the next with a Tonka Truck.

They will wear themselves out in the day and crash at night. As parents everywhere will know, this is a win win for everyone.

Night time descends. The fire is lit and I dust off that book that has been on my bedside table for far too long, or the board game cupboard is raided and I battle it out till my husband wins or one of us is asleep!

It’s simple and quiet and we all feel ourselves breathe deep again.

As comforting as all that sounds, it’s actually not the reason why it’s one of our favourite times of the year.

The fact is we start off this weekend of rest and reflection in church, remembering the ‘Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me.’  The enormity of what Jesus did for me by dying on the cross, hits me every time. I am overwhelmed, with gratitude, that He would rather die than live without me.

As Easter Sunday rolls around, our boys will wake to find an Easter egg waiting for them and this time the conversation will be around why we use eggs to represent New Life at Easter. New Life, New Hope, Forgiveness and New Beginnings.  A fun Easter egg hunt always follows.

Whatever this weekend holds for you, I hope you get a chance to reflect on God’s Amazing Grace in sending Jesus. You may also find some extra time to cook and if so, these Soft-Centred Chocolate Puddings are the perfect Autumn dessert to cook for your family and friends. Enjoy!

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 Soft-Centred Chocolate Puddings

Recipe from Skye Gyngell’s cook book ‘My Favourite Ingredients.’

A few extra tidbits:

*  These puddings could be made with a dairy free spread instead of butter and dairy free chocolate or 70% dark chocolate that contains no milk.

*  Quinoa flour can be substituted for the plain flour to make these gluten free.

* They can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated, uncooked. If you make them in advance, make sure you bring them to room temperature before cooking, or, if cooking straight from the fridge, you’ll need to add at least 5 minutes to the cooking time.

Ingredients

150gm unsalted butter, chopped

300gm dark chocolate, chopped

4 eggs

3 egg yolks (place egg whites in a small snap lock bag and throw in the freezer. I have a recipe coming soon to use these!)

150gm castor sugar

50gm (approx 1/4 cup) plain flour

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius

Lightly butter and dust with cocoa, 6 x oven proof tea cups or individual pudding moulds, approx 200ml in size.

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Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If it is still not melted, put back in to the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each time until melted. (This process is important, as burning the chocolate in the microwave is very easy. It’s best to melt it 80% of the way and finish off stirring it till completely smooth)

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Place sugar, eggs and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed until it’s pale, thick and mousse like.

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Gently fold chocolate mixture into the egg mixture till combined.

Sift the flour into the mixture from a height, and gently fold through.

Place into pudding moulds and either refrigerate if you are preparing in advance or place onto a baking tray and put straight into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. You are looking for a just- cooked and puffed up top, but if you press lightly, you know it’s gooey underneath. You are best to start off cooking it for less time and add a few minutes. If you overcook, they will still be beautiful chocolate puddings, but won’t have a soft centre.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s that time of year when our family and many, many around us are unwell. A change of season almost always guarantees someone getting sick in our home and I know we are not alone.

When the kids were little and seemed to always have one thing or another (3 asthmatics = lots of respiratory issues), I use to really struggle with it. The sleeplessness, fights to get medicine in and just seeing them so sick and struggling to breath would have my husband and I weary with worry.

And to be honest, I struggled with the lack of control when sickness would descend upon my kids. I couldn’t ‘fix’ it myself and life invariably got thrown into chaos. For this planning freak, weeks of sickness, meant lots of cancelled plans, missed opportunities and life just not going the way I saw it.

It’s funny what life teaches you along the way though. 11 years of parenting have taught me that I’m not in control, I don’t always know what I’m doing and I can’t fix every sickness or problem that comes my kids way. Tough lessons for a control freak to learn.

I’m a little more chilled these days. Life does that to you. I’m not sure when it was that I realised that I may as well just not fight the stuff I can’t change.

So, kids get sick, I cancel plans, we medicate, cuddle, love, lie in the dark and listen to their breathing, make worried phone calls or trips to doctors, read, watch TV, cuddle, force fluids down, cuddle, watch TV, medicate, love, read and so it goes on.

Even as I type this though, and we are still bunkered down with various flus, ear infections and pneumonia, I feel blessed. Blessed knowing we’ll all be well again soon. Blessed no-one is in hospital this time. Blessed my boys have always received the treatment they need. Not everyone can testify to that.

So, in the midst of panadol and puffers, I count my blessings….. and make Chicken Noodle Soup.

It’s like a warm hug from your mum.

With the family sick these last weeks, this is all we’ve wanted.

We actually picked up the bowls and drank the liquid it felt so good.

For those of you who have made my Sticky Cinnamon Chicken, you will be pleased to see you get another chance to use your Chinese cooking wine and Star Anise in this recipe.

Chicken Noodle Soup

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(recipe adapted from Donna Hay’s Fresh and Light cookbook)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1.5 litres chicken stock

1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine

2 whole star anise

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

a few dried chilli flakes, if you want some added heat (otherwise leave it out)

2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1 x 440gm packet of Udon noodles, rinsed

1 bunch of bok choy, washed and thickly sliced

1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

Place soy, stock, Chinese cooking wine, star anise, sugar, garlic, chilli in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat to low and place sliced chicken breasts in and simmer for 5 or so minutes until chicken is cooked.

Add the bok choy and noodles and cook for 3 minutes or until bok choy is tender, but still has a slight crunch.

Place in bowls and serve with coriander.