Brilliant Brindian Chicken Curry

In a hurry for a curry? This British version of the quintessential Indian dish will leave your tastebuds gobsmacked!

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Cook this brilliant British Indian chicken curry in your slow cooker

I am super jazzed about my new huge slow cooker because I’ve been missing my roast chicken dinners with the not-oven-friendly sunny weather

In an attempt to be kind to my budget and the environment, I always opt for whole chickens rather than chicken pieces (plus the meat tastes so much better when cooked with skin and bones).

I found a kindred spirit after reading a great article, The Whole Beast philosophy, by Vancouver writer Michael Robertson, that delves deeper into the pros of using the whole bird.

This is probably my all-time-favourite of my mom’s recipes (although, as usual, I’ve sped up the preparation and in the process been left with something not nearly as great as hers but still ridiculously tasty). I call it Brindian because it’s a Briticized version of a traditional Indian curry with the addition of the apricot jam (the Brits love their jam, my family included).


  • 1 chicken, butterflied
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bulbs garlic, broken into clumps of about 3 cloves with outer skins removed
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water (1 cup hot)
  • ¼ cup apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper)
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • ½ cup plain yogurt


  1. Combine one cup hot water with jam, hot sauce, garam masala, curry powder, vinegar, flour, salt and pepper. I prefer to use a large container with a very secure lid, like a large Ziploc Twist ‘n Loc Container. Shake like billyo (British for crazy) so there are no lumps. Add to large bowl with remaining water and stock, and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour rice into slow cooker and spread evenly over the bottom. Place butterflied chicken on top of rice.
  3. Add onion and garlic around chicken. Pour sauce over everything. Stir well so that all of the rice is coated in sauce.
  4. Cook on low (or 250F if your slow cooker has a temperature gauge) for about 8 hours (don’t worry about over-cooking it a little bit – I left it on for 9 hours and the meat was fall-off-the-bone-melt-in-your-mouth good).
  5. Prepare peas at the last minute. You can boil them the old-fashioned way or try my hot-weather trick – put the peas in a saucepan and pour a kettle of boiling water over top. Put the lid on and drain after about a minute or two. Voila!
  6. Before serving, remove chicken from pan and add yogurt to remaining rice mixture, stirring well to combine.
  7. Wash down with my favourite beer (of the week), Okanagan 1516 Bavarian Lager.

Iechyd Da! (that’s Welsh for cheers, pronounced “Yucky Dah”, with the “ck” having a phlegmy/guttural sound).