crockpot Thai chicken curry | foodloveswriting.com

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.

chopping vegetables | foodloveswriting.com

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.

crockpot Thai chicken curry | foodloveswriting.com

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.

Thai chicken curry | foodloveswriting.com

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!

Ingredients:
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
Lime, quartered
Salt, to taste

Directions:
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.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Kathryn

    As we have over a month until our turkey day here in the UK, I’m excited to see something a bit different! And I always find that I crave something spicy the day after a big and heavy meal anyway so this looks perfectly seasonally appropriate to me, not to mention completely delicious.

    I hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Abby

    Yum! I have some leftover curry paste that I’ve been trying to use up, and this looks like a great recipe to try. I don’t have a crockpot, though, so I might adjust it to cook in a Dutch oven.

  3. Sharmila

    I’m going to pretend you wrote this just for me. I didn’t grow up here, or ever take a liking to turkey. So any TG celebrations around here involve lots of food but not necessarily everything traditional.
    I have some sweet potatoes that would go great in this.

  4. Jacqui

    I don’t think I’ve had Thai curry — I usually go for the noodle dishes when it comes to Thai. I’m always looking for a good “throw-in-the-Crockpot-and-leave-for-the-day” meal, though, so I’m trying this one. I’ll probably sub the breasts for thighs, and do you think I can get curry paste at Trader Joe’s? And would it be OK to cook this for 8 hours on low, or is that too much?

    Also: If you’re in the Chicago area this weekend and have time for a quick coffee on Saturday, let me know. :)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I think the thighs will work beautifully (actually, they make more sense, given that it’s a slow-cooked recipe and slow cooking is so perfect for thighs and, hello, thighs are cheaper!). As far as TJ’s, I really don’t know. Maybe? Would love to hear how both ideas go.

      And as far as eight hours… I would test it out on a day when you’re nearby, if that makes sense. Worst case scenario is the liquid would all cook out? Buuuut, for what it’s worth, I did high for two hours, warm for another hour, turned it off for several, then back on to warm up, before we ever ate.

      Long story short = I’m not sure, but please let me know what happens.

      also: Saturday!

  5. Lan | angry asian

    if you can find yourself an asian market, the amount and variety of curries (thai, indian etc) will boggle your mind. i think some whole foods and trader joes have them in their international/asian aisles. a really good trick is if you section small amounts in ice cube trays, freeze, then keep covered in the freezer, the paste should keep for a long time and you can just grab a few cubes as you need them.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      There is an AWESOME Asian market here in Nashville that is super clean and slick and close, but I hardly ever remember to stop in. We bought this version at Whole Foods, and I liked that I could check all the ingredients in it. Great tip about freezing some! I doubt ours will last that long since I see this happening again soon, but I’ll def keep that in mind. : )

  6. Rachel

    I agree with you on the comfort of traditional Thanksgiving standbys. My family has always made the same dishes every year, and once in a while we change something slightly, but all in all, it is the same– and I wouldn’t change that for the world. This looks delicious, also–I have been looking for more meals that sound appealing for the crockpot, and this looks like a great contender! Thank you for sharing with us!

  7. Michelle

    Chicken curry is my go-to meal all of the time. Will probably end up having it tonight, too! Putting it in the crock makes things super easy!

    I like having the staples of Turkey day, and then injecting a little bit of spice and flair in a salad or other side.

  8. Kim

    So we actually have that exact same crockpot, which was a gift from the in-laws last Christmas. We also have a larger crockpot, that comes with a timer (so for example, you could set something to cook on high for 6 hours, and then switch to the “keep warm” setting until you come home and turn it off).

    I rarely use the one you have because of the no-timer thing…if a recipe needs to crock pot cook for less than 8-10 hours, I need it to know when to turn on and off while I’m at work!

    Do you think this is a recipe that could cook on low for 8 hours instead of on high for 2? Should I just make it in the bigger crock pot and let it auto-shut off to the “keep warm” setting? I haven’t quite learned yet how to deal with crock pot recipes that don’t require ALL DAY cooking. :)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Ha, Kim! Good question and, honestly, I don’t know (although, PS, love that you have a timer crockpot!) Jacqui wondered the same thing above, and all I can say is I’d love to hear what happens if you adapt the recipe to an all-day one. Please report back if you try it!

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  10. Susan

    This looks much like the curry I make on from the recipe on the curry paste bottle. I don’t see the point of a crockpot recipe that takes 2 hours to cook. The whole point of a crock pot recipe (in my estimation) is that you put it in before going to work and when you come home 8-9 hours later, dinner is ready. So…what good is this when you can make it fresh on the stove in 30 min??

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Hi Susan, Yes, that’s the way the recipe was originally written, and I had no reason to do otherwise… however, several people in the comments here have expressed similar concerns. You’re, of course, welcome to adapt the recipe to your timing needs. Best wishes!

  11. Sara M.

    Thank you for this receipe. We made this for dinner last night. We ran into some issues but will try again. After 2hrs on high in the crockpot the veggies (we used onion and green/red pepper) were still completely raw. The pepper was OK but raw onion was really overwhelming. We moved everything to the stovetop and cooked until the onion was soft(er). If we do this again we’ll probably cook the veggies ahead of time, and maybe skip the onion or use a lot less as it really took over the dish.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I’m sorry to hear that, Sara! We didn’t run into those problems when we did it, and no one else who’s tried it has reported something similar, so I don’t know what happened — glad you were able to troubleshoot by moving it to the stove.

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