This Coconut Ginger Chicken in the crock pot is just what is called for while the spring weather beckons us outside or our to-do lists pull us between cooking dinner or tackling spring cleaning. Crock pots aren’t just for winter! This is a bit like a curry but does not have curry in it. Dinner becomes as fast as making rice (or pasta) to pair with it and maybe a side of colorful veggies. Coconut and ginger add an exotic flair.
The original recipe is from Simple Bites. I adapted it to use frozen chicken breasts, so it takes less prep time, which I’m a big fan of since prep time often overlaps with “get ready for work” time and I don’t want to get up earlier than I have to. Actually, most of the prep work can be done the night before. There is plenty of room for variation on the vegetables. Potatoes make it feel a bit more stew-like, so if you want the focus to be on the chicken, leave out the potatoes. If you do add these, make sure to use Russets, which hold together better with the long cooking time; Yukon Golds turn to mush. For a vegetarian option, add potatoes, leave out the chicken, and check after a few hours to see when the potatoes are ready.
Are you ready for some comfort food?
- 6 frozen chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
- 2 cans of coconut milk, NOT shaken
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2" to 4" piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Small handful of peanuts or cashews (optional)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter (use vegan or leave this out for dairy-free version)
- 3 lbs Russet potatoes, cut to bite-sized (optional)
- 6 medium carrots, cut to bite-sized
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 bag (16 oz) frozen peas
- Jasmine rice (for serving)
- Spice Mix:
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- Mix spices together
- Puree onion, ginger, garlic, and nuts in a food processor until they form a paste.
- In a frying pan, saute the paste with the oil, butter, and spices, until warmed and well mixed.
- Open the cans of coconut milk and spoon the thick cream from the top into a separate container.
- Layer chicken breasts in crock pot. Pour the clear liquid from the cans and the ginger paste over the chicken. Add potatoes and carrots.
- Cook on high for 5-6 hours, then stir and cut up the chicken. Do this carefully, turmeric stains and likes to splash.
- Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream and a few spoonfuls of hot broth until smooth and add to the chicken. Stir well. Add peas. Cook for another half an hour to heat up the veggies while preparing rice.
- Serve with rice. I recommend mangoes for dessert.