Monday, June 22, 2009

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

I am going to let you into a little secret love of mine... nothing romantic, not a fettish, just something simple I love to experience whenever I read a cookbook or a cooking magazine!!


I love it when you turn over a page and there is a dish looking at you that you just want to eat right there and then. You know that dish, that meal, that looks so good you know it must taste good even without reading the ingredients. That picture that remains in your memory for ages and one that you think about cooking over and over again!

There you have it, do you ever felt the same?

This happened when I first bought Noel the cookbook, Essentials of Slow Cooking, for his recent birthday. Firstly I have to say that all of the photos in this book are amazing but this one just caught my eye and I have been thinking of making this recipe since April.

WARNING: My photo will not have this affect on you!!! LOL!!

A few years ago Noel and I would not have even considered making this dish as we were not big fans on coconut milk based anything let alone main meals.... nothing against coconuts as we both like shredded coconut etc but there is just something about the milk that we have disliked. But as we mature, and as our tastebuds are changing over the years, we have recently enjoyed a few meals that have been centred around using coconut milk.

The flavours in this dish are quite intense from the lemon grass and ginger. There is a little heat in the taste but it is by no means as hot as a vindaloo!! Like many curries of South East Asia, the Vietnames curries show a strong tropical influence, evident with the use of coconut milk as the primary cooking liquid.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry
(recipe adapted from Essentials of Slow Cooking)

Serves: 4

cooking spray
8 skinless chicken chops (bone in chicken thighs)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 shallots, finely sliced
3 tablespoons Madras curry powder
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 slices
1 cup chicken broth
1 x 420ml can lite coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 carrots, cut into 2.5cm chunks
1 sweet potato, approx 375grams, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium - high heat. Working in batches cook the chicken thighs until nicely browned on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and saute over medium - high heat just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the curry powder, brown sugar, chilli flakes, pepper, lemon grass and ginger. Saute until the spices are fragrant and well blended with the garlic and shallots, also about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottome of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the coconut milk and fish sauce, bring to the boil.

Add the chicken thighs, carrots, and sweet potato to the slow cooker. Cover with the coconute milk mixture. Cover and cook until the for 3 hours on high setting or 6 hours on low setting. Chicken and vegetables should be tender.

Transfer the chicken, vegetables and sauce to a warmed platter. Garnish with the basil and serve with steamed rice if desired.


finsmom said...

What a flavorful sounding slow cooker dish! I am always looking for new ways to use this helpful appliance. Thanks for sharing :)

Denise said...

Always looking for new slowcooker recipes, thanks, this sounds really delicious