Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

I remember the first time I smelled curry. Growing up, I'd never had the fragrant spice blend because apparently (I've come to learn as an adult), it's one of the few flavors my mom actually doesn't like, and so our family never cooked with it. When I arrived for a summer study abroad in Jerusalem as a fresh, young 20-year-old I'd walk the Old City, and every time I passed an open spice market I was always struck by a particular aroma that felt as old as the stone walls and streets that I was walking along. I never could place exactly what the smell was, and for me it became the fragrance of travel and foreign lands. The mystery of curry lasted for me until I met my husband, who began introducing me to his love of Indian and other Middle Eastern and South Asian foods. Now, I use curry regularly in my cooking, and love experimenting with all the different directions you can go depending on what it's combined with.

This particular curry recipe is one of my absolute favorites. The slow cooking really allows the rich curry flavor to settle into the dish, without making it too strong or spicy. Plus, it is surprisingly easy and flexible - I can prep it in advance with the slow cooker, during nap time so that it's ready to go on a busy evening, or right at dinner time. It is basically one of those "throw it all in the pot and let it sit" recipes, and it always seems to come out well, no matter what. I've shared it several times with friends and family, and each time they've asked for the recipe afterward. One of these days maybe I'll share it with my mom in hopes of converting her to curry, also!

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
6 SERVINGS 
PREP: 20-25 minutes   COOK: 6-8 hours in slow cooker or 40 minutes on stove top                            READY IN: 60 minutes

  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (I never have cinnamon sticks, so I just add in several shakes of powdered cinnamon)
  • 3 whole cardamom pods or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (3-4 medium), unpeeled, cut bite-size 
  • 2-3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or light coconut milk (depending on what flavor you're going for)
  • 1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas

DIRECTIONS


  1. Heat oil in pan, add onion and saute until soft and golden. Add garlic and spices, stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant, then stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. If cooking in a crockpot, put potatoes on the bottom, then top with chicken and the tomato sauce. Set cooker to low for 6-8 hours. 
  3. Half hour before serving, remove the cooked chicken pieces and shred with a fork. Add the chicken back in, fold in yogurt and peas, and add more seasonings to taste. 
  4. OR without a slow cooker ... Follow directions above, but use a large pot over the stove top. Add chicken, spices, and tomatoes, cover and let simmer on medium-low for 40 minutes. Shred the chicken, then fold in yogurt and peas, and simmer for another 10 minutes. 
  5. Serve over rice.

SIMPLE TIP


If I'm short on prep time, I honestly skip the whole sauce prep, and just throw this all (minus the yogurt and peas) into the pot, give it a stir, then let it do it's magic until I'm ready to shred the chicken and then add the peas and yogurt before serving. The spices and everything cook together into a delicious dish even when I shortcut it this way.

NUTRITION FACTS



 Serving size: about 1 to 1 1/2 cups   286 calories   4.6 g fat   35.7 g carbs    26.1 g protein    7.8 g sugar

Enjoy!
Recipe Adapted from The Family Dinner Cookbook.

1 comment:

Heather Webb said...
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