This simple slow cooked apple and chicken curry is the best fall comfort food, and is a great way to use up some of those extra apples! Just toss all of the ingredients in the crock pot for a few hours and you’re done! The warm spices of curry, turmeric, garam masala and cinnamon compliment the soft sweetness of the apple. It’s comforting, hearty and absolutely delicious!
Apples in the autumn
I am a huge fan of seasonal eating. I wish I could tell you its coming from a sustainability stand point, but to be honest, its more the nostalgia I get from introducing seasonal ingredients at the right moments. The regions of the brain that process taste and smell are the same regions that store our memories and emotions. So there is no wonder why the savory sweet earthy smell of baking apples triggers an olfactory memory of cinnamon and brown sugar delights I used to enjoy as a child, while curled up with a warm blanket watching the leaves pile up. I think many of us associate apples with fall, not only because they are harvested this time of year, but also because they trigger memories of pleasant and enjoyable family activities, such as apple picking or learning how to bake your first apple pie!
How to make slow cooked apple and chicken curry
I started this recipe by adding the coconut milk and vegetable broth to the crock pot, and turning it on high. The coconut milk will be very chunky, and this allows it to begin to heat up, and essentially melt, while you prepare the spices. I recommend peeling the skin off of the apples before cutting them into chunks. Although it is perfectly fine to eat the skin, I find the texture takes away from the smoothness of this dish. As for the vegetables, you have two options:
- Cut them up and add them to the crock pot to cook with the curry.
- Wait until about 45 minutes before the curry is finished cooking, and bake the chopped vegetables in the oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes to provide a charred element to the dish.
I chose to bake my vegetables. Slow cooking them is perfectly fine, and is the best option if you are busy at night. I just personally love the bite of baked vegetables and the bitterness of the slightly burnt ends. But that is just me! Let me know which option you chose in the comments!
If you are in need of a great slow cooker, this is the one I use! Casserol Crock Pot Manual Slow Cooker
Can I make this vegan or vegetarian?
Yes! Do you want to know how simple it is to make this dish completely vegan?….OMIT THE CHICKEN! Simple as that! That makes this recipe a great ‘meatless Monday‘ dinner option. This recipe can also be gluten free, just make sure to substitute out the barley side for rice or gluten free pasta!
My favorite part about cooking is getting creative with the ingredients! As I preach all over my website, if you don’t have a specific ingredient, DO NOT LEAVE THE PAGE! There are hundreds, if not thousands of variations that any one recipe can have, so open up your fridge and pantry and use what you have!
Chicken: As I mentioned, to make this vegan/vegetarian, omit the chicken. You an easily substitute tofu. I recommend adding drained extra-firm tofu to the crock pot one hour before the dish is done cooking. If you are craving meat, try swapping the chicken out for chuck beef!
Coconut Milk: If you can get your hands on a can of unsweetened coconut milk, I highly recommend this over any other options. The fat content helps make this dish extra creamy, and helps gives it that curry texture we love. But if you are in a pinch, you can use regular milk or soy/almond milk. Just note that you will need more corn starch at the end to thicken it up.
Vegetables: I used red and orange bell peppers, broccoli and white onion, but you can use ANY vegetables you want! Zucchini, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, green beans…the list goes on. Just make sure to note that the softer the vegetable, the larger you want to chop it. Since it will be cooking for up to 8 hours, you don’t want the vegetables to turn to mush!
Spices: It is okay to omit a few of the spices if you do not have them. The only spice you definitely need, is of course, CURRY! Everything else just adds to the dimension of the flavors. The rest of the spices are recommended, but not needed.
Soy Sauce Paste: This is one of those obscure ingredients that 9/10 people wont have. It is a thicker consistency than regular soy sauce (you have to squeeze it out of a tube), and the flavor is much more condensed. If you do not have this ingredient, substitute it out with 3 tbsp of regular soy sauce or coconut aminos.
Slow Cooked Apple and Chicken Curry
- slow cooker
- crock pot
- 1 13.5oz can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp curry paste (if you don't have, add an extra tsp of curry powder)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1/2 of a cinnamon stick (about 1 inch)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp soy sauce paste (or 3 tbsp soy sauce)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch thick strips
- 3 medium apples, whatever kind you like
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- What ever vegetables you like (I used 1 head of broccoli, 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper and one white onion) chopped into pieces
- 1/4 tsp salt, black pepper to taste (I used smoked apple wood salt for a little extra flavor!)
- Whatever side you would like to serve the curry with. I used quick cooking barley, but rice is great too!
- Turn your slow cooker to high. Pour in the unsweetened coconut milk and vegetable broth. Note that the coconut milk will appear 'chunky' until it warms up.
- Peel your apples and chop them into 1/2 inch pieces (does not need to be perfect). Add them to the slow cooker.
- Not add all of the spices, minced garlic, curry paste and soy sauce paste. Stir to combine.
- Place chicken strips in the slow cooker. At this time, if you are choosing to cook your vegetables in the curry, add them to the slow cooker. If you are choosing to cook them in the oven before the curry is finished cooking, wait.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours.
- If you are baking the vegetables in the oven, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees about 45 minutes prior to the curry being finished cooking. Toss the veggies with olive oil and salt, and spread over a foil lined baking sheet. Bake without touching for 30 minutes to allow a few ends to char. Remove from the oven and add to the curry.
- While the vegetables are cooking in the oven, now is the time to start your side. Cook according to package instructions (I made quick cooking barley, 2 cups of water to 1 cup barley).
- 15 minutes before your curry is finished cooking, scoop 4 tbsp into a small bowl. Mix it together with 2 tbsp of corn starch until there are no clumps, then add it back to the slow cooker. Stir to combine, and place the lid back on and cook for an additional 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Pour over barley or rice, and enjoy!
Did you enjoy my ‘Slow Cooked Apple and Chicken Curry‘ recipe? If so, go check out my ‘Instant Pot Vegan Tikka Masala‘ recipe!
Instant pot cauliflower tikka masala is a quick and easy Indian dish that yields a creamy and developed sauce, perfect for serving with naan, rice or pasta. This vegan tikka masala sauce is strong flavored, with hints of ginger and curry, making it a comforting meal for any occasion. And with everything being done in …