14/03/2009

Vietnamese coconut chicken for the crockpot


To serve about 6-8:

2 tblsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
about 1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small thin green chillies, finely chopped
100g creamed coconut
500ml water
salt and pepper

Method:
Stir-fry the onions, garlic and chicken pieces in the oil for about five minutes or until the onions is softened, and the chicken starting to change colour. Put in the slow-cooker pot (crockpot). Next, put all the spices and the chillies in the same pan, with the coconut and water. Heat, stirring gently, until the coconut has dissolved, the pour over the chicken. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Cover, then cook for about three hours on High, or 6 hours on Low, stirring about half-way through, as the chicken thighs break up into smaller pieces.

Serve with rice or naan, thick yogurt, cashews, chopped cucumber, raisins, etc.

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This recipe was adapted from the excellent book 'Slow Cooking Curries and Spicy Dishes ' by Carolyn Humphries). Although the recipe claims to be sufficient for a 6.5 litre crockpot (which mine is) I felt the quantities were on the small side; for this recipe I have doubled the amount of chicken, and increased one or two other ingredients. It would be fine for a smaller crockpot; however, next time I make this, I will double everything, using 2kg chicken.

This would probably work in a conventional oven, cooked on low heat for about two or three hours, or even on the stove-top, although chicken thighs tend to be much more tender when cooked in a slow-cooker.

The original recipes uses a stalk of lemongrass, something I am unable to find, and fresh coriander which I don't like - so I left both out. It also uses cream, but I always prefer to use Greek yogurt.

The aroma while cooking is incredible!