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Friday, November 14, 2008

Slow Cooker Masala Chicken

 This has been one of the most searched and viewed recipes on my blog...and for good reason! It's ridiculously simple to throw together and the flavor will blow your mind. Tender chicken breast, soft veggies, caramelized onions and a creamy spiced sauce make this the ultimate comfort meal on a busy weeknight or as the star of a dinner party! Like many slow cooked meals, this tastes even BETTER the next day, so leftovers are a plus :)

If preparing in advance, you can place everything in your pot to marinate until the next day and cook fresh for your meal. Alternatively, you can cook it all the day before and reheat in your slow cooker. Of course you can also make this on a stove and it will be ready in about 30 minutes (perfect for those of us who don't always plan ahead!). Customize the flavors to your preference. For a strong flavor of Indian spices, use less (or none) of the half and half. For a creamier sauce and subtle spice flavor, use more!

A huge thank you to my sister Hanna for taking all these beautiful photos :) She's recently become quite the talented chef and photographer...just look at her plated presentation of this dish!

Serves 4-5 adults

-2 large onions, cut into thin strips
-1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
-3 or 4 medium sized potatoes, cubed (peeled or not, I chose to peel)
-1/2 cup chopped carrots
-1 jar (15 oz) Masala simmer sauce (I got mine from Trader Joe's, but it is available in different markets)
-1 cup water
-1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger (or 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons dried ginger)
-2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
-salt to taste

-1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (1 bunch)
-1/2-1 cup half and half (or heavy cream). If using heavy cream use less. The more half+half/cream you use, the more it will dilute the flavor of the spices, but it tastes really delicious! 

To make

-Saute your sliced onions in oil until they are soft and browned. Set aside 1/2 of the onions for garnish at the end. Do NOT skip sauteing the onions, they add a lot of flavor! 
-Place  the other 1/2 of the sauteed onions, chicken, chopped potatoes, chopped carrots, Masala simmer sauce, water, ginger, garlic and a dash of salt into your slow cooker. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low, or 3 hours on high. (Stovetop cooking time is about 30-40 minutes on medium high heat, until the chicken is tender and the veggies are soft).
-In the last 30 minutes of cooking, uncover lid and taste the salt, adjust to your liking. Add the chopped cilantro, and half +half. 
-When ready to serve, plate and garnish with reserved sauteed onions and additional cilantro. 
-Serve with Pea Ginger Rice

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Try these other popular meals!

Musakhan: Middle Eastern Chicken Rolls

One Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken and Potatoes
Sheesh Tawooq: Lemon Garlic Chicken and Roasted Potatoes


  1. I will try this, however from my experiance I find that different brand names of spices have different spice mixes which one did you try!!

  2. I purchased the Masala Simmer Sauce from Trader Joes. It is not a powder, it is a sauce in a jar. It is very inexpensive, it only costs $2.29!

  3. I just had a question from a friend regarding this recipe, and I wanted to share it with the readers. She was wondering if this would be ok on the stove top, and the answer is yes! Slow cooking always provides tender, juicer and more flavor induced chicken or meat, but it can still be done on the stove.

    Honestly, with the addition of the sauteed onions, cilantro and half and half, I think it won't make a big difference to stove cook it. Keep in mind though, that if you do have time to prepare early, it is easier to slowcook!

  4. I stove top cooked it and you're right it still tasted AMAZING! I was hesitent to serve it to guests because I didn't know how it would come out, but I took the chance anyway (because I was craving a flavorful rice dish) and everyone raved about it. It was so easy to make stove toping it, I can't wait to see how easy it'll be using the slowcooker! Thanks for the receipe! Keep 'em coming =)

  5. I just tried this recipe last night and let me just say, this is going to be a staple in my kitchen! My husband and I love Indian food, and this was soooo tasty! It is the opposite of bland food. I cooked it on the stove top, and once you get the technique down, it's soo easy to do over and over again! I also served this with the ginger rice (which I'm going to do more often instead of regular rice), but left out the peas..not much of a fan of peas. Also, I served a yogurt and cilantro sauce that a lot of Indian main dishes are accompanied by. It's pretty much just that- FINELY chopped cilantro, yogurt, garlic,jalepeno, lemon and salt- straight forward.

  6. I just tried this recipe today and it was awesome!!! To enhance the flavor i threw the ingredients together with the sauce and let them marinate over night before setting them on the slow cooker. Make sure to add salt to the vegetables and salt before cooking b/c i didn't and the veggies came out a little bland. The fried onions add the best flavor, its a perfect topping for this dish. Great job Savvy Chef, my guests loved it :)

  7. I finally tried this recipe after I had the jar for more than a month. Its really good, I made it stove top and it didn't take time at all I eliminated the half and half cuz we don't like it and its still came out very good(a good way to cut on the fat). I am having my sister in law next week and I will for sure impress her with this recipe. good job chef.

  8. I made this dish last night on the stove top and my family loved it. It had that great Indian flavor but without the excessive spicyness (although some said they would have liked it more spicy). Next time, I would sautee the onions in the same pot I was going to make the rest of the dish in, take out half of them for garnish, then add and sautee the potatos and carrots a bit, then finally add the chicken. When the chicken is almost thoroughly cooked, add the masala sauce and water and let simmer for 30 minutes. I added the half and half and cilantro 10 minutes before serving. I made it with the ginger rice, it was all great!!

  9. I used a non stick skillet which has a lid for the last step and fried the onions 'til golden brown (carmalize), drained. Then I fried the potatoes and drained. I removed access oil and just left about 2 tblsp and sauted the chicken with garlic,ginger salt and chilli powder. Then I proceeded with the above steps. I used two cooking spoonfuls of heavy cream since I didn't have half and half. The first time around it went so well this dish. I just served with plain rice since I had no time for pea giger rice. this recipe goes well even with breads. I used canola oil for this recipe as olive oil and Indian cooking don't go well together for authentic Indian recipes. And I left out the carrots since I didn't have them.

    This was an excellent recipe. Sister I can't belive you, your recipe does turn out to be like an Indian authentic one. Your original posted one is 99.9%.

    I used stovetop and worked out fine. Very simple and time saving recipe.Especially for having guests.

    You thought like an authentic Indian to saute the onions and add all the other ingredients and steps as the jar of the masala simmer sauce says to just add little water and chicken and cook.

    It was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I love this recipe. DEAD ON for authenticity!

  11. Okay so I always make this because it's SO easy! I love that I can just throw everything into the slow cooker and that's it. I've realized that I like just a little half & half (2 oz to be exact). I once accidentally added too much and it ended up tasting like a Thai curry... Which was great, too!

  12. I make this all the time. It is included in the menu for EVERY dinner I have, and if by chance I leave it out the guests always ask where it is! I always layer everything in my crockpot the night before, and the next morning I take it out and turn it on to cook. No matter how hectic things get, I know 1 dish is set. I use a lot of the recipes on your blog, thank you.