Indian curry is just what the doctor ordered. It's been much slower around the grey cottage the past couple weeks, as I have been laid up with a severely sprained ankle. My leg up with an ice pack and ankle wrap securely wound snug, I've used the time to research and browse for slow cookers. There is a pork butt and some short ribs that are in need of a slooow braising. But first, I require a chicken curry ... my favorite crockpot dinner.
At last I have found a slow cooker that is a bit larger than my 1970's Rival vintage model ... I have been shopping Ebay, folks! The good people at Wolfgang Puck Bistro have produced a whiz bang model (IMHO) that has a non-stick insert with a six quart capacity, an insulated housing with handles, an easy-to-see digital display with a couple timer options, and two different cooking options - all with push buttons that do what they say without confusion. One can roast at temperatures from 275 to 400 degrees F or slow cook at two different settings ( Low or High). There's also a 'Warm' option for keeping things toasty. The insert has a two level rack for placing meats or other baking vessels in the insert (for water baths, roasting or braising above the actual surface of the pan insert, etc.). There's a glass cover so you can see the progress of the bubble without breaking the seal and releasing heat. It is a 'cadillac' compared to my old claypot slow cooker. I got it for a steal in an Ebay auction and received it, plus a cookbook that the previous owner knew she wouldn't be using ... a bonus! It came by mail right to the back door ... good thing, as I am not going far these days.
To boot, it arrived in the mail just as we have gone into a chilly, raw, rainy cycle of weather. So, today ... I've made a big pot of chicken curry. It's simmering away and making the house smell warm and spicy and cozy. Later, I will make some steamed caraway rice and a big pan of wilted kale with garlic, red pepper flakes, and a bit of ghee. I'd love to also make flatbreads and have some chutney to slather, but my diet just can't go there and I can't be on my feet that long in the kitchen ... you can do that! I'll be happy with the curry, kale, and rice - with some yogurt and lime wedges for flavour punches. Yum, can't wait!
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
Serves 2 with leftovers
3 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. peanut oil
2 tbsp. minced ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chunked
3 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 tbsp. red curry paste
1 ½ c. strong hot chicken broth
1 – 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
¼ c. prunes, cut in half
1 – 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1 lime, cut into wedgesPlain yogurt
Making the Curry:
- Wash, dry, and salt and pepper the chicken pieces.
- Heat the peanut oil in the bottom of the slow cooker (if you have a sear option) or in a fry pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
- Sear the chicken on all sides.
- When the chicken has browned, add the ginger and garlic and continue to sear for one minute.
- Set your slow cooker to a ‘High’ setting. Place the onions and carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker and position the meat above, scrape the garlic and ginger over and among everything.
- Sprinkle on the curry powder, cumin, curry paste.
- Plop the coconut milk into the cooker. If you used a fry pan for searing the chicken, pour the hot broth into the fry pan and swirl to get all the juices and sticky bits, then pour the broth over the vegetables and meat.
- Swish the ingredients to combine the broth and the coconut milk and add the tomatoes, prunes, and potatoes. Swish again to let the potatoes settle down into the curry liquid.
- Cover and cook for 2 hours on ‘High’ setting, then lower the setting to ‘Low’ and continue cooking for 2 hours. If you plan to make this and leave it all day, cook the curry on a ‘Low’ setting for six hours.
- Serve the curry with steamed rice, lime wedges, and a small bowl of cold, plain yogurt.
Here's to showers and flowers !
Note: Some of the reviews of this appliance state that the insert unit has had problems with the non-stick surface bubbling and peeling. I'll just pray that it was a poor production lot or inappropriate care of the insert by the users, as I am really liking the inital performance of the pot. If I rant in the future ... you'll know.