This Slow Cooker Chinese Curry Chicken is pure comfort food. Cooked in a slow cooker, the meat falls right off the bone.
I’ve been making this Chinese Chicken Curry Chicken for years and it continues to be our family favorite. My mom used to make curry chicken when I was growing up, but hers was different. She used coconut milk and it had a different taste to it. Although I loved my mom’s curry chicken, I remember being intrigued by this recipe that had oyster sauce and ketchup in it. Originally from Rhoda Yee’s Dim Sum cookbook, it is a Cantonese version.
My copy of Dim Sum is so worn – it’s got masking tape holding the binding together and the pages have long fallen out. But, it remains one of my most treasured cookbooks. As a beginner cook many years ago, I referred to it often and made many recipes from it. Some have stayed in my recipe repertoire, including this Chinese Curry Chicken.
It’s a little sweet from the oyster sauce, ketchup and sugar, which is why I think my kids like it. Even my youngest who has recently vowed that he doesn’t like Asian food cleaned his plate. His only complaint was that there were bones on his dinner plate. I like using chicken on the bone for more flavor, but you can certainly use boneless chicken.
Serve this with steamed rice for a one pot meal.
Slow Cooker Chinese Curry Chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 piece ginger the size of a quarter, smashed
- 3 pounds chicken on the bone cut up (I used thighs and drumsticks)
- 5 carrots peeled, cut into 2" chunks
- 4 medium red potatoes halved or cut into thirds depending on size
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon organic sugar
- 2 scallions chopped
Heat olive oil in large skillet; add onion, garlic, and ginger; saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer to slow cooker. Add curry powder to skillet and stir a minute or two until fragrant. Add chicken broth to skillet and scrape up brown bits. Transfer to slow cooker. Add oyster sauce, rice wine, ketchup and sugar to slow cooker and toss until chicken is coated with sauce. Cover and cook on high 4 hours. Stir in scallions before serving.
NOTE: Nutrition Facts based on 8 servings.
Christina @ Eatwell101 says
Looks delicious and comforting. Oyster sauce is a nice surprise here and makes me curious! Cheers
Oyster sauce adds some nice flavor to this curry Christina. I hope you like it.
I noticed on the bottle of oyster sauce there were the words “wheat derivative”. I’m gluten free and was wondering what other ingredient I could use in place of the oyster sauce. Thanks!
Hi Pat, there are a few brands of gluten-free oyster sauce. Here’s a post a friend wrote that includes gluten-free Asian ingredients: http://theasiangrandmotherscookbook.com/2011/07/06/gluten-free-asian-pantry/
If you don’t want to buy oyster sauce, you could use soy sauce – it won’t taste quite the same but it’s definitely a feasible alternative. I use the Lee Kum Kee’s Panda Brand Green Label Oyster Flavored Sauce which is gluten-free and has no MSG. It can be found at Asian grocery stores and I think I’ve seen it at Whole Foods too.
Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch says
This dish looks fantastic! It looks simple to make, yet so many delicious flavors and ingredients! Thanks for sharing such a tried and true family recipe!
Thanks Robyn – this has been a family favorite for many many years. I don’t know why I never thought to share it, so I hope you enjoy it!
rachel@ atheltic avocado says
another great idea using a slow cooker! I actually just bought chicken and was think about what I should do with it! If I have the other ingredients on hand I shall make this!
Cookin Canuck says
This sounds fantastic, Jeanette! We adore curry of any kind and I’m intrigued by the adding of adding oyster sauce. I’m saving this to make very soon.
Thanks Dara – I know you’ll like this recipe. Oyster sauce adds some great flavor and some sweetness to this curry.
Cookin Canuck says
We made this for dinner last night and really enjoyed it! And let me tell you…the house smelled so good. I added a bit more salt (because I’m a salt hound) and a shake of cayenne because my family likes extra spice. Besides that, we didn’t change a thing and we’ll definitely be making this again.
Elizabeth @ Enjoy Every Bite says
This looks delicious! I’ve never been able to make a good Chinese dish at home.. I just don’t have the touch. Can’t wait to try this one though!
Thanks Elizabeth – I hope you give this a try. It’s easy and has never failed us.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Time to break out the slow cooker!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Oh wow – my mouth is watering! This looks so good! I love using bone-in chicken too – such amazing flavoring!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
Jeanette, I love that this is a recipe that your mom made for you and now you make it for your family. . I’m hoping the same things happens with my kids. . 🙂 love the idea of making a Chinese curry chicken in the slow cooker!! Bonus!!! love this!
Jenny Flake says
Loving all of these flavors! Mmmmm!!!
Thanks so much Jenny – it’s a long time family favorite!
I bet there’s nothing better than a home cooked curry. Jeanette, your recipes are always nice to read. I’ve not made this version, and I will be doing this soon. First, gotto buy a slow cooker, it’s the best right?.:)
Thanks so much Ash – I love my slow cooker – they’re very reasonably priced and great for making meals earlier in the day or for reheating. I also love it for keeping food warm for parties.
genevieve @ gratitude & greens says
I am Cantonese and seriously, Cantonese people LOVE putting oyster sauce in their food! I don’t eat meat, but I can only imagine how tasty this curry chicken is. Yum!
I love oyster sauce Genevieve – I think I could put it on just about anything.
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
I love curries made in a slow cooker but never made a Chinese style one- Dad always made it over the stove! Pinning to try! Thanks Jeanette!
My Mom always made it on the stove top but I find the slow cooker makes it easier for me when I want to get a head start on dinner.
Can this be cooked on the low setting? I am typically gone from 7:30 to 6 most nights.
Linda, this recipe can be cooked on low – I think 8 hours on low is about equivalent to 4 hours on high.
Thank you Jeanette for the nice recipe. Have a Wonderful Weekend. They come and go so quickly.
Do you skin the chicken first? I assume you would because wouldn’t the skin be all flabby and yuck after hours in the slow cooker… I’m looking forward to trying this!
Beth, you can definitely remove the skin before cooking. If you plan on making this ahead of time, you can leave it on during cooking, then remove it after cooking (it comes off easily) and refrigerate it. I use a spoon to scoop off the excess fat after it’s chilled and then reheat.
Thanks so much for the tip!!
Chinese Indian looks as interesting as Indian Chinese. I have this earmarked to try when it is cooler here.
Have a look at the page heading, “never fails to disappoint”? You might want to change that, as the dish looks anything but disappointing!
Thanks for your suggestion Polly – I just changed it ;). Hope you enjoy it when the weather turns cooler.
John T. says
Looks fantastic! Just what my slow cooker and my belly have been waiting for.
Thanks John – hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s a family favorite.
John T. says
This definitely is a come home to mama dinner. Everyone loved it. I made it in a Dutch oven at 325 degrees for two hours or so. The meat just falls of the bones and the carrots/potatoes cooked perfectly. Really satisfying! ????
John – so glad you enjoyed this recipe. It’s been one of our family favorites for years 🙂
Looks amazing! Unfortunately I would prefer to leave out the sugar… would it taste horrible if I leave it out?
And wouldn’t it be nice to put a wider range of veggies in there? What about mushrooms and cauliflower? Would they be alright after all that slow cooking? 🙂
Irene – you could definitely leave out the sugar, and adding a wider variety of vegetables is a fantastic idea. Mushrooms would be great as well as other root vegetables. If you use cauliflower or other vegetables that cook more quickly (e.g., zucchini, bell peppers), it might turn mushy if cooked too long, so maybe add them halfway through the cooking time?