I realize two days before Thanksgiving is not exactly the ideal time to post a Thai chicken recipe, not when the majority of cooking America is, at this very moment, abuzz with turkey, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. But, forgive me, I have this habit of assuming all of you out there aren’t so different from me, and so I figure maybe you’re also two days away from attending a delicious Thanksgiving meal in another state, one that’s so completely out of your hands, you already know all that will be expected of you is to show up, maybe chop a vegetable or two. In that case, finding another Thanksgiving recipe is not the pressing issue on your mind, but, what to make for dinner tonight, the night before you fly home, is—and so here’s something easy and quick.
The truth is, even if I were in charge of the meal on Thursday, that would only mean remaking a dozen or so of the same dishes my family eats every year: turkey and potatoes and green beans, maybe a gelatin mold and some homemade cranberry sauce. Can you relate to this, too? Last year, my mom added sprouted dinner rolls she found at her natural grocery store, and I’ve heard stuffing has been taken off this year’s list, but, overall, our Thanksgiving meals are pretty predictable. In this social media world of the latest and greatest and newest and best, predictable can sometimes seem like a bad thing, but, in truth, when it comes to the holidays, predictable means the stability and security of annually gathering around the table to do the same thing we’ve done every year—and that’s something I find as comforting as looking through old baby albums or hearing my dad make his coffee in the mornings when we’re home.
Whether you relate to our routine or not, whether Thai chicken must stay off your radar until at least Friday or whether Thanksgiving isn’t even on your calendar, let me offer this recipe today anyway. If you’re leaving town tomorrow and want something foolproof for dinner tonight, this is the recipe. If you’re shopping all day Friday and want something easy to come home to, just have someone turn this on two hours before you do.
But mostly, if you’re that kindred soul I always write to, the one who has also tasted Thai chicken curry—and maybe, like me, for the first time with friends this summer—and found it to be so good, so just-the-right-amount-of-heat, that you regularly find yourself craving it, remembering the slight burn on your throat, you’re going to love this.
The recipe comes from one of my old Nashville roommates, Sara (not to be confused with my other old Nashville roommate, Sarah), who posted a picture of it on Instagram recently, and, in response to my comment, emailed me the ingredients and directions with a, “I hope you make this. like now! It’s AMAZING!” added on.
Tim and I ate it last week, shared some with a friend, and, then, ate the remainder for lunch the next day: every time, it had us reaching for water glasses with smiles on our faces. Quick and simple, with the fire of the curry paste, the kick of the ginger and the cool splash of lime squeezed on top, it’s going to be my go-to Thai curry recipe every time the craving hits from now on (and, Thanksgiving week or not, that’s always now).
Happy holiday weekend, friends! Hope you know how thankful we are for each of you.
Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry
Serves four to five
From my old roommate Sara, who adapted it from here.
(Also, PS, Sara’s a local photographer and has been blowing me away lately. Check out her work here.)
The only downside I see with this recipe is you have to go out and buy Thai curry paste, which, at my grocery store, was a little over $4 for a small bottle, and expensive ingredients like that don’t often find their way into my shopping cart. HOWEVER, the curry paste really makes this recipe, so don’t skip it.
Also, note that, as written, this recipe calls for onion and peppers as the vegetables, but you can feel free to substitute them with what you have on hand or what is seasonally appropriate: chopped sweet potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, etc. Loads of possibilities!
1 13.5-ounce can regular organic coconut milk
1 tablespoon organic soy sauce
2-3 tablespoon Thai red or green chili/curry paste, or more or less to taste
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2-3 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Salt, to taste
The only real project with this recipe is chopping/prepping all the ingredients. Once everything’s ready, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry paste, cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic, chicken, onion and peppers in the crockpot. Toss to coat. Throw in one quarter of the lime (use the rest for squeezing onto chicken when you serve it).
Cook mixture on HIGH for 2 hours. When finished, salt to taste. Serve over rice.