Easy and delicious, this Slow Cooked Chicken Bhuna is perfect busy days. Only 10 mins prep and then let your oven or slow cooker do the rest. Make double, then freeze half, and you’ll have an even easier meal next time!
Slow Cooked Chicken Bhuna
This Slow Cooked Chicken Bhuna is a wonderfully easy peasy, low effort, recipe. Simply fry up some onions, garlic and a few spices. Next, throw in some chicken and tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. And finally, transfer to your oven or slow cooker to do the rest. Couldn’t be simpler!
This recipe can be done in either the slow cooker or a conventional oven, giving ultimate flexibility depending on what equipment you have and how much time you’ve got.
How this recipe came about…
There are all sorts of ways recipes get onto Easy Peasy Foodie. Some are old family favourites, others come from reader’s requests, others from flashes of inspiration… this one came a little differently.
I have had a Slow Cooked Lamb Bhuna on here for quite a while, and recently I have had a flurry of questions about that recipe, all asking the same thing: ‘Can I make this with chicken?’
Well, you can, and I helped all those readers out, but it made me wonder why so many people were asking the same question… so I did a quick Google search for ‘Slow Cooked Chicken Bhuna’ and, lo and behold, the very first result in my Slow Cooked CHICKEN Bhuna search was my Slow Cooked LAMB Bhuna!
Well, I know a thing or two about Google searches (in fact, I have authored an entire course on the subject!) If Google was delivering my LAMB bhuna in searches for CHICKEN bhuna… that’s not a good search result for anyone looking for a CHICKEN bhuna!
Yes, it’s true that my lamb bhuna is very easy to adapt, but that’s not really the point. If people are searching for CHICKEN bhuna, they should get CHICKEN bhuna… and so that is why I have created this recipe for you 😀
Adapting a classic to make it easy peasy
Whenever I create my easy peasy versions of classic dishes, I always do a little research first into traditional recipes for the dish – in this case chicken bhuna.
Of course (as nearly always happens) I discovered a huge variation in recipes and techniques… but most of the recipes had similar spices and other ingredients. I have simply taken the most popular ingredients to use in my Slow Cooked Chicken Bhuna.
What really sets the bhuna style of curry apart from other curries, however, is the way it is usually cooked – the meat is first slow cooked in the sauce until tender, then the curry is fried on a high heat to reduce the sauce and intensify the flavour. The result is a rich, spicy curry with soft tender chunks of meat and a fairly dry sauce that clings to the meat.
In order to make my chicken bhuna recipe as easy peasy as possible, I have skipped out this last step of frying the slow cooked curry over a high heat. Instead, I have tried to use the smallest amount of liquid possible in this curry and plenty of spices to achieve a similar style, without the added hassle!
If you have more time and patience than me, and want a slightly more authentic bhuna, then simply reinstate this last step: take the slow cooked curry, tip it into a hot frying pan or wok and fry it, stirring regularly, until the sauce has reduced to your liking.
Personally, I think this is a very delicious curry without the hassle of that final step, so I always skip it!
What to serve with Chicken Bhuna?
I like to serve this slow cooked chicken bhuna with simply cooked basmati rice, plain naan breads, mango chutney and lime pickle.
But this easy peasy curry is very adaptable and will go with all your favourites: brown rice, white rice, pilau rice, cauliflower rice, any kind of naan bread, chapatis, dhal, kachumbar salad… and all your favourite pickles and chutneys!
What to drink with Chicken Bhuna?
This slow cooked chicken bhuna pairs very well with aromatic white wines, such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Fruity rosé wines also go surprisingly well with chicken bhuna.
Alternatively chicken bhuna goes very well with a crisp, refreshing lager – for example Kingfisher – or a mango lassi!
Can you reheat Chicken Bhuna?
Absolutely! And, in fact, I think it tastes even better the next day! Place any leftover Chicken Bhuna in a plastic lidded container and pop it into the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days.
To reheat, simply tip the curry into a saucepan and heat until piping hot all the way through, adding a splash of water if it gets too dry.
Alternatively, you can reheat this curry in the microwave – again do make sure it is piping hot all the way through before serving.
Can you freeze Chicken Bhuna?
This Chicken Bhuna freezes beautifully. Simply cool the curry to room temperature and place it in a plastic lidded container. Pop the curry into the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month.
Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Slow Cooked Chicken Bhuna
- 1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil
- 2 onions sliced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- 2 cm ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 600 g diced chicken thigh
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander cilantro plus extra for garnish
- Basmati rice and / or naans to serve
- Preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3/325F (or use your slow cooker – see below).
- Place the oil and sliced onions in a medium pan and fry on a low heat, with the lid on, for 5 minutes until softened.
- Remove the lid and add the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
- Next add the cumin, coriander and garam masala and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring regularly – add a small splash of water if the pan gets too dry, to ensure your spices don’t burn.
- Next add the diced chicken, tomatoes and salt and bring to the boil.
- Transfer the curry to an oven proof dish with a lid, and place it in your preheated oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Alternatively transfer the curry in your slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- When your curry is ready, stir in the fresh coriander and serve with rice and/or naan breads and all your favourite accompaniments.
- For greater authenticity, take the slow cooked curry and place it into a hot frying pan or wok and fry it, stirring regularly, until the sauce has reduced to your liking.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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Cat | Curly's Cooking says
I’ve not tried a bhuna before but this sounds right up my street!
Eb Gargano says
Thanks Cat! Let me know what you think if you try it 😀
Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery says
Love the look of this slow cooked chicken bhuna! We eat a lot of curry in this house, The Peas LOVE them. This is definitely one we will be trying! Love how easy it would be to make a veggie version! Reckon it would be perfect with whole baby mushrooms or big chunks of sweet potato if you didn’t want the chicken! #CookBlogShare
Eb Gargano says
Thanks Midge – love your ideas to make this meat free! Eb x
Louise Fairweather says
This looks lovely, think I will give it a go later in the week #cookblogshare
Eb Gargano says
Thanks Louise! Let me know what you think if you try it 😀 Eb x
Love your chicken and lamb Bhuna. Make them again and again and they always are amazing.
Do you have a similar recipe for vegetable bhuna?
Eb Gargano says
Thanks for this lovely feedback, Linda! So happy to hear you like my bhunas so much. I am sorry I don’t currently have a recipe for vegetable bhuna, but I will put it on my list of recipes to work on! In the meantime, you might like to try some of my other vegetable curries, for example my vegetable biryani >>> https://www.easypeasyfoodie.com/easy-vegetable-biryani-vegan/ or my vegetable korma >>> https://www.easypeasyfoodie.com/easy-vegetable-korma-vegan/ You can find all my other curries here >>> https://www.easypeasyfoodie.com/tag/curry/ Eb 🙂