Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce




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This recipe uses bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs that you sear on the stove before slow cooking. By the time they are done cooking, they are falling off the bone, and the caramelized flavor from the searing step has transformed the meat into something simply amazing. You could absolutely use chicken breasts in this recipe, but the meat won’t be quite as flavorful. You just can’t replace that dark meat. Make this soon! Slow cooking ftw!

If you make this curry, snap a photo and share on Instagram using #TheFoodCharlatan! I’d love to see it!
Ingredients
  •  6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed* (about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
  •  salt and pepper
  •  1 teaspoon oil
  •  2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk (lite coconut milk is great too)
  •  2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  3/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  1 and 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  •  1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  •  1 large red onion, chopped
  •  8 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  •  1 tablespoon cornstarch
  •  1 tablespoon COLD water
  •  1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
  •  1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken using your fingers and a serrated knife. Salt and pepper each thigh.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil (or you can use nonstick spray).
  3. When the oil is hot, add 3 chicken thighs. Don't put them too close together, you want to avoid steaming.
  4. Cook for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom. Then flip the chicken over to brown the other side for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  6. Repeat searing process with the other 3 chicken thighs. If there is still enough grease in the pan then you don't need to add more oil.
  7. Meanwhile, in a crock pot combine coconut milk, basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, yellow curry, and chili powder (to taste). Stir to combine.
  8. Add the chopped red onions, garlic, and jalapenos.
  9. Add the browned chicken and stir to combine.
  10. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
  11. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let cool for a couple minutes.
  12. Add the ginger to the slow cooker.
  13. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon COLD water. Stir until it's not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir.
  14. Shred the chicken, removing the bones and any tough bits. It should just be falling apart.
  15. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir. Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
  16. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro.
  17. Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or naan.
Recipe Notes
*I know the photos show that I seared the meat with the skin on. I tried it both ways and liked it better with the skin removed, but only got photos with the skin on.

You can replace the thighs in this recipe with chicken breasts. Use about 1 and 1/2 to 2 pounds. (Chicken breasts are less fatty and won't reduce as much while cooking, so you need less meat to start with.)

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