This dish is by far the most complicated dish I have made, so far because it called for more than just putting all of the ingredients in the crockpot and letting it sit for 6 – 8 hrs on low. In fact, this recipe called for much more than that.
From my previous posts you can tell that I am on a spice/non-American food kick, and this dish proves to be no exception, except for the fact that there was not as much kick as I would have liked.
– 4 gloves of garlic minced
– 2 “cubes” of ginger (I used the left over ginger from the chicken tikka masala, so I used about 2 inches of peeled ginger instead)
– 1/2 yellow onion
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp butter
– 2.5 lbs of chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
– 2 cup of coconut milk (I used the Silk brand)
– 2 tbsp corn starch
– 1 bag of a medley of frozen vegetables
(This part of the dish was made about 5 days before due to a travel schedule, so the spices had plenty of time to blend together.)
– 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
– 1 tsp of ground cumin
– 1 tsp of ground coriander
– 1 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
– 1 tsp of salt
The first step of the recipe called for the spice blend to be mixed together which I had done five days previously, so I could check that one off my list. Next came the more complicated part. The food processor. I had never used a food processor before unsupervised before, and for good reason. I find the food processor a complicated machine. I have no idea why, but putting it together feels like solving a Rubik’s Cube. After asking my sister, who was in another room, multiple questions, I put the food processor together and got to work making a paste of the garlic, onion and ginger. I should fully disclose that the original recipe called for one small sweet onion, but I could not find sweet onions so instead I used half a large yellow onion. The recipe called for the food processor to be in the “pulse” mode, but I have no idea how that works so instead I went with the puree setting and turned it on and off like a pulse mode. That seemed to work. Then I put the paste into a skillet with the butter and olive oil for about 2 – 3 minutes. This is the first time that a recipe I choose called for skillet work, so I was a little bit nervous, also because I didn’t have access to a cast iron skillet.
After the paste cooked for 2 – 3 minutes, came the addition of the spice blend. Another two minutes, I moved the paste to the side, and then put in the chicken and browned the sides of the chicken. This proved to be much harder than I thought, as the skillet did not provide enough space to really brown all of the chicken and keep the paste separate. In the end, the recipe says to mix the chicken and the paste together, so I gave up on letting all of the chicken brown and just mixed it all together. This worked out much better, for both browning the chicken and reducing my mess.
Next came the addition of the coconut milk, but I was unable to find the right coconut milk we needed. At most grocery stores, there are multiple options for coconut milk: cans or a carton. What I found at this grocery store was that there were no options, just the carton. The original recipe called for cans, which apparently have a cream at the top (I know nothing of this, as I did not have cans, which makes it creamer) and other juices at the bottom, which I believe are thicker than the coconut milk that comes out of a carton. Because I could not find the cans, I used the carton of coconut milk, which is less creamer and much more like skim milk. So at this point, I added a cup of coconut milk to the paste, spices and chicken and let that simmer for about 5 minutes before adding it to the slow cooker.
At this point, the last steps were supper easy. I simply put the slow cooker on low for four hours. After four hours, I added in the bag of frozen vegetables and the second cup of coconut milk whisked with cornstarch and cooked the mixture for another 30 minutes. I also made rice to go with this dish, as this seemed to be a great side.
My family really liked this dish, except for my sister and myself. We both found this dish to be a bit bland, and honestly I don’t really care for coconut. The fact that I used coconut milk instead of the coconut milk from the can, made the coconut taste less pronounced which I appreciated, but I also think made the dish blander. My brother suggested adding some lemon to make it stronger in taste, but I am not sure because as I think the point of this dish is to have it be fairly bland. I won’t be making this dish again, but it was a good first dish to add some challenge to cooking more than dropping the ingredients into the crock pot and turning it on.
The Nitty Gritty:
– Total Cost: $35.00
– Total time: 45 minutes prep, 4.5 hours cooking – 5.25 hrs
– Serving Size: 8 – 10 depending on how large of bowl