Curry chicken & rice is a hearty recipe that’s full of flavor. Make this chicken & rice dish in your slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
Curry powder is a spice I love but don’t use often enough. Countries around the world have their own signature recipes using curry powder. I wanted this recipe to have East African flavors so in addition to curry, I added spices like cardamom & ginger and I used ingredients like coconut oil & golden raisins. I understand some people are finicky about raisins. If they’re not your thing simply omit them. This isn’t a true one-pot recipe because there’s no vegetable. But it’s close. I like to pair this chicken & rice dish with a small salad or side of vegetables for an easy, chicken dinner.
Curry powder is a mixture of spices. Most people think that curry powder is a popular Indian spice but it’s not. Curry powder was created by the British, kind of like chicken tikka masala. The main ingredient in curry powder is turmeric which is where it gets its yellow hue. Outside of turmeric, the other spices in curry will differ based on the manufacturer but they usually include spices like cayenne, chili peppers, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and/or ginger. I wanted to keep things simple so I used a generic yellow curry powder that you can find at your local grocery or online.
Other rice recipes you might enjoy:
What Type Of Chicken To Use
You can use between two to three pounds of chicken thighs or breasts. I used a little under 3 pounds of bone-in, skinless chicken thighs. I used dark meat with this recipe because I prefer chicken thighs in general. You can use white meat without changing the cook time. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you use the slow cooker and chicken breasts, lower the cook time by 30 minutes. White meat cooks faster than dark meat so this will help keep the chicken from overcooking & drying out.
- If you use the pressure cooker and skinless chicken, you don’t need to brown the chicken beforehand.
- If you use boneless chicken (breasts or thighs), when it’s done cooking you can remove the chicken, shred it, and mix it back in with the rice.
What Type Of Rice To Use
Long-grain brown rice. Not instant and not white rice. This recipe was created to use brown rice regardless of if you’re cooking it in the slow cooker or electric pressure cooker. Rinse the rice before adding it to the appliance to wash away any dirt or film. Since you’re using long-grain brown rice, it’s added at the beginning with the rest of the food, not stirred in at the end. Occasionally when I make this recipe, the rice comes out slightly under-cooked. I don’t why for certain; I guess different types of brown rice can have slightly different cook times. If this happens to you, cooking it a few minute longer should do the trick. If rice is left on a stove-top burner too long, even at a low heat, it will overcook & burn. Using a slow cooker or pressure cooker is no different. Because of this, this isn’t a recipe that should sit on the warm setting for too long. The rice will continue to cook and possibly burn.
Slow Cooker vs Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
Since the slow cooker and pressure cooker function differently, the rice/broth ratio changes depending on which appliance you use. If you’re using the slow cooker, you will need more broth than rice. With the electric pressure cooker, the ratio is the same.
After cook time has completed, if you find that your rice it too wet (excess liquid), the solution is simple – take the lid off. Seriously, uncover whichever appliance you used to cook the chicken & rice and cook it on WARM heat to evaporate the water. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t want to let the dish sit on the warm setting for too long.
Broiling The Chicken (Optional)
If you’re using skin-on chicken & you want crispy skin, you will need to broil the chicken when it’s done cooking. You do this regardless of if you’re using the slow cooker or pressure cooker. Remove the chicken from the appliance and place it on a baking sheet. Broil the chicken 3-5 minutes or until the skin is crisp to your liking.
- 2–3 pounds chicken
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups long-grain brown rice, rinsed
- 2–4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see below)
- 1/3 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or more)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tbsp oil (for pressure cooker)
- Add rice, broth, golden raisins, onion, curry powder, cardamom, salt, pepper, paprika, and ginger to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.
- Add the chicken on top.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6.
Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute. Once hot, add the oil and if you’re using skin on chicken, add the chicken skin-side down and cook until the skin is lightly browned. Approximately 3-5 minutes. If you’re using boneless, skinless chicken, go straight to the next step.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook a few minutes until soft. Add the broth, and deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker by scraping all the bits off with a wooden spoon.
- Add the curry powder, cardamom, salt, pepper, paprika, ginger, brown rice. Stir to mix well.
- Add the chicken on top. Do not mix.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook 23 minutes. Quick release pressure.
Slow Cooker – 2 cups brown rice, 4 cups broth
Pressure Cooker – 2 cups brown rice, 2.5 cups broth
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