Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crockpot Thai Chicken

About 15 years ago I bought a crockpot. Not to cook with, but to anneal glass beads because I had taken a class and the process of glass bead making was my creative distraction for a few years. Annealing is the process of cooling glass slowly. I would form the beads on metal rods over a flame, then push them into a crockpot of warm vermiculite for a day to very slowly cool. But eventually life took over and I found less and less time to make glass beads (I was also never terribly comfortable with lighting the gas torch, always being afraid that something would explode or I would catch my clothes on fire…).

A few years ago I dug out the crockpot again to make a pulled barbequed chicken. It was a great recipe, but I never think to use the crockpot because I have a mindset that these slow-cooker recipes are for busy Moms who are at work or shuttling children around and need to make easy meals for their families.

I am reconsidering that stand.

A few days ago Jack cracked a tooth and it will be a few weeks until he can have it repaired, so I have been making “soft meals”. Most of said meals featured ground turkey (meatloaf, chili, spaghetti w/ meat sauce, etc.) and, although I was able to fill in around these with macaroni & cheese, Indian veggie curry, broiled tilapia, etc., I wanted chicken. I came across a crockpot recipe describing the chicken as “falling-apart tender” and decided to give it a try. In my inbox had recently received a recipe for Crockpot Pad Thai and used this recipe as a base to make Crockpot Thai Chicken.

Falling-apart tender is a perfect description of how this chicken in this dish turned out. I cut some vegetables and placed them in the slow cooker, then added browned chicken breasts that had been cut into large pieces (about 2-3 ounces each, since I have a bag of monster 10-12 ounce chicken breasts in the freezer). Over this I poured a sauce comprised of a very good mixture of chicken stock, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and garlic. The chicken and vegetables cooked in this, on high, for 4 hours and the result was utterly delicious. I served it on steamed basmati rice, then squeezed some lime juice over and chopped peanuts. Cilantro would have made a great addition, but I had none. :(

I have to admit that the sweet potatoes and the bell peppers became very soft, but the carrot and white potatoes stayed nice and firm. I’ll just have to play with the types of vegetables used, but I really enjoyed the flavor of the sweet potatoes (even though they somewhat disintegrated) so I’ll keep them in. As I was preparing the vegetables, I only weighed them instead of measuring. I figured that I would be adjusting the recipe, not posting it yet, but it turned out so well that I’ll just come back in the future and add the measurements in addition to the ounces.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Crockpot Thai Chicken

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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1 tablespoon olive oil

20 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- cut in large hunks, about 8 total

12 ounces sweet potato -- cut into 1 1/2" pieces

10 ounces white potato -- cut into 1 1/2" pieces

6 ounces onion -- cut into 1" pieces

6 ounces carrot -- cut into 1" pieces

10 ounces bell pepper -- cut into 1" pieces

1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 large garlic cloves -- minced

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce -- optional

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Heat the olive on in a large skillet and brown the chicken pieces on top only.

Mix the vegetables in the crockpot. Place the chicken pieces on top.

In a small saucepan, bring the broth through optional Sriracha sauce to a boil. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours.

Note: If you want a thicker sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of water and 1-1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small cup and add, stirring, to the crockpot mixture when there is about 5 minutes or so of cooking time remaining.

Before serving, stir in lime juice. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

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Per serving: 402 Calories (kcal); 8g Total Fat (1g Saturated); (17% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 82mg Cholesterol; 1067mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates