It’s National Slow Cooking Month, and it’s time to celebrate. I have heralded the slow cooker, aka crock pot, for many years. I even devoted a radio segment for 12 years on B98.5 every Wednesday to it called “Crock Pot Wednesday.” Clever, huh?
Well, I saw this little jewel today and thought I had to share. I love coconut; I love curry. I adore the crock pot. And the key to good food in the slow cooker is browning the meats first.
Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
Adapted from www.thefoodcharlatan.com
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed (about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
- ½ bunch of basil finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
- 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon COLD water
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Remove the skin from the chicken using your fingers and a serrated knife. Salt and pepper each thigh.
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil (or you can use nonstick spray).
- When the oil is hot, add 3 chicken thighs. Don’t put them too close together, you want to avoid steaming.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom. Then flip the chicken over to brown the other side for about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Repeat searing process with the other 3 chicken thighs. If there is still enough grease in the pan then you don’t need to add more oil.
- Meanwhile, in a crockpot combine coconut milk, basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, yellow curry, and chili powder (to taste). Stir to combine.
- Add the chopped red onions, garlic, and jalapenos.
- Add the browned chicken and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let cool for a couple minutes.
- Add the ginger to the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon COLD water. Stir until it’s not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir.
- Shred the chicken, removing the bones and any tough bits. It should just be falling apart.
- Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir. Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro.
- Serve with rice.