Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spicy Slow Cooker Peanut Chicken

A few nights ago, Michael made dinner for me, using one of his favorite cookbooks:  The Healthy Slow Cooker: More than 100 Recipes for Wellness and Health, by Judith Finlayson.

I have a sort of default leeriness of cookbooks that bill themselves as 'healthy'.  I have a few of them, but all too often, 'healthy' translates to making limp versions of otherwise good recipes by switching to low fat dairy products and various chemical fake sugars, neither of which I regard as 'healthy'.

The Healthy Slow Cooker is not like that at all - doing a random flip through the recipes, the ingredients are composed of real food, very little in the way of processed foods at all, and the couple that Michael's made from me with it have been very good.

This time, it was the Spicy Peanut Chicken, with a couple small modifications, and the result was delicious and satisfying in a comfort-food way.  I will be making use of this cookbook often - the recipes really do work well.

Spicy Peanut Chicken
serves 6

1 Tblsp olive oil or coconut oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tblsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
3 lb bone-in chicken thighs (approx. 12 thighs)
3 Tblsp smooth natural peanut butter
3 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tblsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tblsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups sweet green peas (defrosted, if frozen)
1 red bell pepper, diced (I don't eat bells - we substituted a couple poblanos and 1 jalepeno pepper)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a skillet, heat oil and add onions, carrots and celery, stirring and cooking about 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, and black pepper, cooking and stirring another minute.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Arrange chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and add vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours, until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

In a bowl, combine peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, and red curry paste, and mix well.  Add to slow cooker and still well.  Add coconut milk, peas, and peppers and stir well. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes, or until peppers are tender and mixture is hot.

Serve over cooked rice (or cauliflower 'rice') with a garnish of peanuts and chopped cilantro.

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