Monday, January 17, 2011

Last Week: Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

It turns out that if you tell people you're going to start blogging, some of those people will pay attention. And they'll subscribe to your blog. Better yet they'll tell other people they've subscribed to your blog. All of this is nice and all, but, um, hello pressure. I feel like I went to an open mic night and it turned out people actually came to listen.

But I'm glad you're here. No really, you'll keep me honest! It's a good thing.

Now on to the food! I confess that I started the project before I had the guts to jump in and start blogging, so we're already a little bit behind here. Secondary confession, I also made my resolution about a week after New Year's Day. And then didn't do anything about it for a few days. That means we are exactly one week behind. Easy peasy catch-up I say! (This is a food blog, I should say easy peasy ketchup instead?)

Last week I made a curried chicken recipe in the slow cooker. I started with Wasabi Prime 's recipe and then kind of wandered down my own path from there.  I don't have any pictures this time because, like I said, I didn't know at the time I was going to start blogging. And I don't have any pictures of the finished results because, well, I ate them. I ate all of them. Because this was so good. I hope this turns out to be a good omen for this project!

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
1 chopped onion
1 jar pre-made curry sauce (I recommend something with a strong-to-spicy flavor)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can lite coconut milk
1 bag frozen peas
Rice for serving over

I love my slow cooker. If you have a slow cooker you don't need me to explain why I love it. If you don't have a slow cooker, get one.  I have this one, and it has done very good things for me. The slow cooker has saved me on days when I have no time to cook and on days when I completely forget to take something out of the freezer and I have no time to wait for anything to thaw. The latter was the case on the day I decided to make this curry chicken.

So long as you can make sure most of the fat and juices are drained away, you are ok to put frozen chicken into the crock pot. Frozen or not, take care to make sure the chicken is the first thing to go in, then cover with the veggies, then the sauce and coconut milk. I know that in the original recipe, Wasabi advised not adding the garbanzo beans until the end, but I found them to actually be too firm that way. If you prefer a softer texture, go ahead and add them in with the other vegetables.

Set your slow cooker to low for 4 to five hours. If you can, about halfway through the cooking time, take two forks and start pulling at the chicken to shred it. This will also help mix up the sauces and vegetables as they cook, as well as really getting the meat fully sauced. If you can't be there to do this, don't worry- just shred the chicken at the end of the process and let it stay in the pot over warm for about half an hour to absorb the sauce. Alternatively, you can put the chicken in all chopped up at the beginning of the process, presuming you remembered to thaw it out or are using fresh.

About the sauce: we used a korma sauce on this originally. While I love Indian food, I'm a sissy when it comes to hot spices. I usually love a korma sauce because it's got a lot of flavor, but is just enough sweet to take any heat off. What I didn't take into account was the coconut milk. Between the coconut sweetness and the natural sweetness of the curry, it was actually a little too sweet. Next time I'm going spicier, like a Rogan Josh (which is quite adventurous for me!).

About the veggies: I truly think most vegetables and beans will do well in this curry. Maybe not broccoli, but cauliflower? Heck yes. I also can't imagine there not being some anchoring starch, but any potato should do, from sweet to red to white- or all! Just remember, the more vegetables you put in, the more servings you'll get out in the end.

About serving: I served this over a simple steamed white rice on the first try. That being said, I'm going with a garlic or a saffron rice next time around. This dish is all about flavor, so find your favorite complimentary rice and dig in. If you have some naan available (or better yet, if you make some on your own) you'll want it with this meal because the sauce is just too good to waste once it's been infused for hours with the flavors of the meats and vegetables. If you don't have any good Indian bread, just lick the bowl. I won't tell!

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