I have a bone to pick with Mother Nature. (I know, who doesn’t?) But seriously, I was trudging along, dealing with the snow and cold, venting a little here and there but honestly mostly unbothered by it. And then there was last weekend. First we had this ridiculously warm (63 F), cloudy, humid day. Then a torrential downpour followed by a wind advisory. And then, on Sunday, this:
This was cruel and unusual. In the sub-arctic days since this gorgeous spring outing, I cannot stop shivering and have darn near frozen to death. Sending us a day like that and following it with a return to the bitter cold? Honestly, I prefer the snow. Now we just have dead grass on display, frozen everywhere, and the memories of this day reminding us of just how cold it is–as opposed to the numb acceptance we had all settled into by early February, with occasional peeks out the window to admire the glittering white. Now we don’t even have that–and the numbness thawed, leaving our systems in a state of shock at the cold.
But the cold has given us one thing, I admit. More days in which slow cooker meals are the perfect solution to the harried pace of everyday life. Sadly, John’s birthday this year fell victim to that harried pace. Not so sadly, the solution was this Thai curry, which was dead simple to make and absolutely delicious. Did I feel guilty serving something so simple for his birthday dinner? Yes. Did he even remotely notice its simplicity while he was inhaling it? Nope.
This is not a super authentic Thai curry. Now having said that, it is mostly definitely authentic in the origin of its flavors–I used a homemade red curry paste that I had in the freezer and seasoned with fish sauce. But the method uses a slow cooker and the fruits and veggies in the curry are basically what I had around. Well that and I am still craving pineapple! So I confess I did ask John to bring me home a pineapple the night before. Because this dish has an entire pineapple in it, I recommend more fish sauce and less palm sugar.
- 2 T extra virgin coconut oil, more if needed
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3-4 lbs)
- 1/3 cup red curry paste
- 1 15-oz can coconut milk (full fat)
- 2-6 t palm sugar, to taste
- 2-4 T fish sauce, to taste
- 1 medium-large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 small-medium pineapple, cored and cut into chunks
Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat in either a stovetop-safe slow cooker insert or in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and brown it, in batches if need be to avoid steaming. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add a little more coconut oil if need be to fry the paste. Add the red curry paste and stir it into the oil. Let it fry for a few minutes, until the oil separates out from the paste.
Add the coconut milk with 2 teaspoons of palm sugar and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Stir it into the paste.
Return the slow cooker insert to the slow cooker base or pour the sauce into the slow cooker insert. Add the browned chicken with accumulated juices and stir to cover a bit with the sauce.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-6 hours (it will be ready after 3 hours but can go longer if you need it to).
Add the onions, bell peppers and pineapple chunks. Cook on low for another 2 hours on low or on high for 1 hour.
Before serving, taste for more fish sauce (likely) and sugar (totally to taste).
Serve with jasmine rice.
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