Hot Food, Cool House
As many of you know around the country, we are all sweltering out here. The midwest is extremely hot and now it's headed to the east coast. I really didn't want to turn on the oven to bake chicken so I dragged out my trust crockpot. My crockpot has become my best weapon against heating up my house and getting in some extra knitting time. I love to grill more but hubby isn't getting home at a decent time these days and I am not the grilling queen. So I take the easy way out.
Hubby bought some skinless chicken thighs because I had thought about grilling them out on the weekend. I changed my mind when the sky opened up last weekend and just poured and poured. So I had to be flexable and find something that didn't need to be grilled. I got out my Slow Cooker Bible and thumbed through it. Most of the recipes are very simple with basic pantry ingredients.
I stumbled upon Thai-Style Chicken Thighs. That was just up my alley! The directions give you ways to cook on low for 6-7 hours or fast (HA!) 3-4 hours. I chose the fast method. It would give me enough time to do some serious knitting. 6-7 hours of knitting is just way too much and besides the guilt would eat me alive!
Thai-Style Chicken Thighs
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt (I always use Kosher)
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
6 bone-in chicken thighs (I had skinless and the chicken was still both tender and moist)
1 med. onion, chopped (a medium rough chop worked well)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 peanut butter (I used what I had left of my reduced fat peanut butter and then the full fat stuff)
2 TBS. soy sauce
1 TBS. cornstarch
2 TBS. water (cold because you are going to make a slurry with it)
3 cups hot cooked couscous or yellow rice
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine ginger, salt and pepper; sprinkle over meaty sides of chicken. Place onion and garlic in slow cooker; top with chicken. Whisk together coconut milk, peanut butter and soy sauce; pour over chicken. Cover, and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until chicken is tender.
With slotted spoon, transfer chicken to serving bowl; cover with foil to keep warm. Turn slow cooker to HIGH. Combine cornstarch with water until smooth (this is called a slurry). Stir into juices; cover and cook 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve chicken over couscous; top with cilantro. Garnish with lim wedges, if desired.
As many of you know who read my blog, I never follow as directions. Sadly that also follows through to my knitting. So here is my "not following the directions" account of how I did the chicken. I did not want to have to make the slurry and have to wait until it thickened in the crockpot while my chicken sits on a platter cooking off foil or no foil. So I mixed all the ingredients for the sauce part, and threw it all in. After doing that I see why you need to use some non-stick spray. The sauce gets really thick and starts to get dark, if not burned, around the top edges. Lesson learned? None, I will do it that way again, use some hot water and dish detergent and let the crockpot soak overnight.
Since we have the garden going strong, I needed to use some of the bounty. I sauteed some Kentucky Wonder green beans and cut them into 1/2" pieces. I used zucchini that we had picked that weekend. The carrots and mushrooms came from the grocery store. The chicken and sauce were over Jasmine rice I needed to use up. The recipe is good and you can add more heat to it by adding more cayenne pepper.