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Slow cooker curried chicken is the solution to an easy dinner that helps build palates. Golden raisins add sweetness to this family-friendly dish.
I remember the days of my own childhood, when I would turn up my nose at practically everything on the table. Of course, I’m forced to confront that history as I feed my own kids.
Our pediatrician has told us it takes 10-14 times of eating a new food before you can really decide if you like it, so we use the baby steps method to introduce new foods and flavors.
While I love to experiment in the kitchen, we also have a roundup of familiar dishes we can return to.
This slow cooker curried chicken recipe is a great “baby step.” With minimal hands-on work required, the mild seasoning helps introduce young or inexperienced palates to other cuisines and flavor profiles.
Plump raisins star in this dish. I used a mix of jumbo raisins, which plump beautifully as they cook with the chicken and add a lovely sweetness that pairs well with the spice.
Finished with coconut milk to give body to the sauce, the dish is topped off with crunchy cashews for a texture contrast between the starchy rice and tender chicken.
Spices for this chicken curry recipe
Curry is not one single dish, so there is not a single spice that defines it.
Packaged “curry seasoning” you might find at a grocery store could be a blend of any number of ingredients. It can do in a pinch, as can garam masala, but I like using my own mix of spices.
The spices I use in this dish are:
- Ground coriander seed, which comes from what we know as cilantro
- Black pepper
- Ground chile pepper, not chili seasoning! I use ancho chile.
- Ground cumin
- Ground ginger
- Ground cayenne pepper if you like heat
Remember that ground spices lose their potency over time, so if it’s been a while since you cracked open that jar of turmeric or cumin, you might need to add more to the dish. Taste and adjust as needed.
How to cook
I love slow cookers because you really just need to dump everything in, turn it on, and walk away.
For this recipe, I use chicken thighs, which have so much more flavor than breast meat. You can use bone-in, but I prefer to use boneless.
When chopping the vegetables, try to make them close to the same size. This ensures they will cook uniformly, and helps them meld into the dish.
Add your veggies and chicken to the cooker. Don’t bother cutting the chicken into pieces; it will shred beautifully after it cooks. Pour in the broth.
Mix the spices together, then sprinkle over the top. I let it cook for a while this way before I stir, to make sure the chicken is seasoned well.
Cook it on low for 8-9 hours.
Wondering how long to cook curried chicken in a slow cooker on high? It will take 3-4 hours. This is a great option if you work from home.
I add the coconut milk toward the very end of cooking. Remember that this is canned coconut milk, not the kind you might find in the refrigerated dairy aisle!
How to turn coconut cream into milk
If you don’t have coconut milk on hand, but do have coconut cream, you can easily convert it!
Simply whisk together 2 tablespoons of coconut cream and 3/4 cup water until smooth.
This will give you about 1 cup coconut milk.
Slow cooker dishes taste even better the next day!
You can store crockpot chicken curry in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make extra rice and store that in the fridge too, for serving.
To freeze, portion into individual containers, leaving a little space at the top to allow for expansion. Let cool completely, then store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or tuck into your lunch tote. Warm in the microwave or on the stovetop in a small saucepan until heated through.
You can make this dish as spicy as you like with added cayenne or jalapeño pepper.
I like to serve it with my favorite hot sauce on the side so I can turn up the heat on my own bowl and leave the main pot mild. Try this slow cooker chicken curry for your next dinner.
Slow Cooker Curried Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup golden raisins, or a mix of raisin varieties
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground chile powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, from a can
- 3/4 cup lightly salted cashews, coarsely chopped
- In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker combine all ingredients except coconut milk and cashews. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 1/2 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
- Stir coconut milk into chicken mixture. If cooking on low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Cover; cook 15 to 20 minutes more or until slightly thickened. Serve with cashews sprinkled over the top, with rice and naan.