Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slow Cooker Spicy Curried Chicken...Featuring Cuisinart's 4-Quart 3-In-1 Multicooker

I've got some exciting news to share with you today. Every month, starting today, I'll be sharing a slow cooker recipe with you thanks to a new partnership with Cuisinart! For this series, I'll be featuring their amazing 4-Quart 3-in-1 Multicooker! I've wanted to incorporate more slow cooker recipes here, but never had much motivation to use my previous slow cooker. The insert was heavy, it was hard to clean the cooked-on food, and it was always "out of sight...out of mind" in one of my cabinets. Then, I received this versatile appliance and became a convert. This cooker features a lightweight non-stick insert that cleans up in seconds after dinner. I love that! A bonus is that this unit is so pretty that it has a place of honor on my kitchen counter so I can use it when the mood hits. This unit features three cooking modes: Brown/Saute (up to 400 degrees), Slow Cook and Steam. That means you can sear a roast to seal in juices, then switch to Slow Cook mode to complete the cooking process -- all in the same pan! You can also use it to steam rice or veggies, roast a whole chicken, or make soups and stews. Its modern design features a 24-hour timer and a Keep Warm function via an easy-to-use touchpad.

I am in love with this appliance!! I've used it three times so far just this month: for my San Antonio Chicken Stew, to cook a pork roast...and for today's recipe. My Slow Cooker Spicy Curried Chicken comes together in about 15 minutes, then it cooks in the multicooker until the chicken is juicy and tender and all of the spices blend together into a flavorful sauce! I wanted to make something new to me using ingredients I had in my kitchen during yesterday's "ice event" here in Texas. I used a chicken curry recipe I found in Real Simple as my starting off point. I swapped out lean chicken breast for the thighs called for in their recipe, and I used chicken stock in place of the water the recipe called for. I also added a few extra ingredients I had on hand, including: chopped tomato, cinnamon sticks and a diced red chile. This recipe was easy to make and so delicious!

Slow Cooker Spicy Curried Chicken
adapted from Real Simple

  • 2 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup 
  • 2 tbs. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 red chile pepper, chopped -- remove seeds to reduce heat
  • 1 tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or broth)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small onion, halved and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 lbs. chicken breast [NOTE: I used 1 lb. chicken tenders and 2 skinned bone-in breast for richness]
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • For serving: cooked brown rice and dried chives and/or cilantro
Step 1: Add ingredients through the chicken stock to the slow cooker insert. Whisk together until the spices and other ingredients are thoroughly combined into the stock. Add the cinnamon sticks, sliced onion and chopped tomato. Stir to combine.
Step 2: Place the chicken on top of the veggie and liquid mixture. I placed the whole breasts in the middle and the tenders -- diced into thirds -- around the sides. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cover and turn the slow cooker to High; cook for 1 hour. Then, lower the cooker to Low and cook for 3 additional hours. If you're going to start this in the morning for a weeknight dinner, cook on Low for 6 hours and set the timer to switch to Keep Warm mode until you're back home.
Step 3: Thirty minutes before serving, cook a pot of rice according to package directions. For Lighten Up Month, I used a quick-cook brown rice to increase the fiber. While the rice cooks, remove the whole chicken breasts from the cooker. Remove the meat and add it back to the sauce. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup of light sour cream or Greek yogurt to the dish. Stir to combine. To serve, spoon some of the rice onto a plate and top with the chicken. Sprinkle with dried chives or cilantro. Don't skimp on the flavorful is so good with the rice!

We don't eat a lot of curry-based dishes, but we absolutely LOVED this dish! The kitchen smells heavenly as it bakes as the exotic spices in the curry combined with the chicken. The chicken breast chunks were tender and juicy, and the sauce was so flavorful. It had a spicy kick from the red chile, and a warmth from the cinnamon...the sour cream took the edge off the heat and provided a silky texture to the sauce. I liked the earthy nuttiness of the brown rice, but I do think fragrant jasmine or basmati would work very nicely here too!

Stay tuned in the coming months to see what other uses I find for my Cuisinart 3-in-1 Multicooker! Feel free to leave a comment below telling me what kind of recipes you'd like to see me feature to showcase this cooker's versatility. In the meantime, make this delicious chicken curry the next time you want to warm up on a cold day. This will definitely do the trick!!

Disclosure: Cuisinart provided me with a 4-Quart 3-in-1 Multicooker to facilitate this feature...and the ongoing series of slow cooker recipes. I received no further compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own. 

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