Monday, September 8, 2014

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken

Green tomatoes, buttercup squash, and chicken in the slow cooker results in a tasty curry the whole family enjoyed. Have you cooked with green tomatoes yet? I've got ideas!

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

I'm going to start off with a bit of behind the scenes--I used (with my left hand) a piece of black foam core board to decrease the light coming in from the window to take the photo in the upper left corner of the collage below. My first attempt, with just the white foam core reflector (yes, held up by my right foot) is in the lower left corner. You can see how bright it is--blown out and missing detail on the buttercup squash. You can also see how athletic it is to be a food blogger.

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

Buttercup squash are kind of homely looking, aren't they? Compared to the smooth unblemished skin of a butternut, they end up looking like the barnacle-covered whales of the winter squash family. No matter what a buttercup squash looks like on the outside, on the inside it's a thing of beauty. Rich orange flesh that can be peeled and cubed or roasted whole and pureed. Use it like you would most of the winter squash family (exception:  spaghetti squash). This recipe combines a buttercup squash with green tomatoes and chicken in a slow cooker curry.

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

When I was digging around Google to determine the best time to post my Green Tomato Bacon Jam recipe, I learned that September is the busiest month folks search for "green tomato recipes". Since I'm racking and stacking the green tomato recipes (see my Clickable Collage of Green Tomato Recipes below) I thought a curry would be a great addition to my 'everything but a fried green tomato' group of recipes.

I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut or buttercup squash, click here. For more recipes using green tomatoes (none of them fried) please see my Green Tomato Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating up the farm share, the garden abundance, and what's ripe at the local farmer's market. Want to know How to Use this Blog? Click here.

Rebecca's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is my Mother Recipe for a whole host of curries that my family enjoys.  It started when I first tried it on the road, visiting my in-laws.  That version, shown here, uses less chicken and adds chick peas for protein.  I've made beef versions using yellow summer squash with red tomatoes and again with green tomatoes. Each variation I make results in a flavorful meal that my whole family enjoys. If you're not into chicken, this vegan green tomato stew looks pretty tasty.
This recipe starts the night before with marinating the chicken.

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts
Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken 

This recipe starts the night before with marinating the chicken, or first thing in the morning if you're able to cook the chicken then fire up the slow cooker at lunchtime.

1 large chicken breast
¾ cup (6 ounces) plain yogurt (could use Greek yogurt here)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoon coriander
2¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 Tablespoons butter
1½ cups chopped onion
4 cups peeled cubed buttercup squash (or substitute butternut)
1 roasted green chile (I have Hatch chiles, approximately ½ cup chopped)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
3 Tablespoons Garam Masala
4 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 Tablespoon raw sugar
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
fresh cilantro, hot cooked Basmati rice, apple fig chutney and warm naan for serving

Chop chicken into bite sized pieces, combine with yogurt, cumin, coriander,  ¾ teaspoon salt, and marinate in the refrigerator 6 hours or overnight. In a very large skillet (mine's 12 inches) over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons butter. Sauté the chicken in butter until browned, then transfer the chicken to a slow cooker. Add the remaining butter to the skillet and sauté the onion and squash until the onion begins to soften--about 5 to 8 minutes for me. Add the chopped chile, garlic, ginger, remaining 2 teaspoons salt and garam masala to the skillet and sauté until fragrant. Stir the green tomatoes and sugar into the skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes before transferring everything into the slow cooker on top of the chicken. Cover, plug in the darn thing, turn it to LOW and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Start the Basmati rice at some point (I burn rice so I use my rice cooker and have my minion get the rice going) and preheat the oven to warm some naan. Don't forget the Apple Fig Chutney from the door of the fridge!
About 15-30 minutes before you're ready to serve, combine the coconut milk with cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir into the curry in the slow cooker and heat until it begins to bubble and thicken.

More behind the scenes:

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

It was wintertime when I made this curry. I had my lights set up with my minions keeping everything on my skinny table and holding the diffuser.  First I used my trusty little point and shoot camera, the one I said was less important than the person pushing the button. Then, since I had it, I grabbed my spouse's new camera and took the same photo.  I have to say that, in the hands of someone who has taken the time to learn a teeny tiny bit, a better camera can give you better results. See for yourself--old, then new: 

Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts
Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken | Farm Fresh Feasts

Ok, now for the collage (click on the link to go to each recipe):

Green Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Green Tomato Bacon Jam Green Tomato Garlic Chili Green Tomato, Pork and White Bean Chili Green Tomato Bacon Jam Burgers Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken Image Map

This post is shared with Fresh Foods Wednesday and What's Cookin' Wednesday, Food on Friday, Tasty TuesdaysClever Chicks Blog HopMotivation Mondays

6 comments:

  1. Oh my, this looks great, such a nice flavor combination.

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    Replies
    1. Jamie,
      It's hard to make a curry look good, so thanks!

      Delete
  2. I love the idea of a green tomato curry. Perhaps even enough to give up the notion of them fried.

    Thanks for all the behind the scenes stuff. It certainly is helpful for me.

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    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Behind the scenes works for me too-I'm such a visual learner.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Kirsten your photos are looking downright scrumptious!! I love the behind the scenes photos. I'm thinking I am going to break down and go buy a lightbox this Fall. I have pretty good light now that I have a balcony again but I'm a wee bit worried for when the rainy season starts and it's dark for 6 months. haha... I'd love to hear more about the class you took!

    Also, I ADORE the look of buttercup squash! I think they're ugly little fuggles. But totally cute and real. Like Pugs. Or feet. And now I'd like you to please dish me up a bowl o fthis green tomato curry business. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristy,
      Pugs. Snort. In April 2013 I did the free 30 Days to Better Food Photography class at Learn Food Photography.com which gave me a brief assignment each day and at the end I'd learned a ton. Neel repeated the course in the fall, reminding me again of some of the aspects I'd overlooked the first go 'round.
      I have a light box, but it could double as a camping tent because it's so big it fills up the table!

      Delete