Cooking With Karl: Use That Crockpot!
Posted On May 17, 2020
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Throw-Together Crockpot Chicken Curry
For a cheap and tasty meal, if you are home or can leave one going, crockpots are the way to go. Using one allows flexibility in choice of meats (cheaper, tougher cuts become flavorful and tender). You can even make a vegetarian one if you wish. For the usual add-ins, I like to cut up any spare carrots, celery, onions and peppers I have left in the produce drawer of the refrigerator.
After that it’s anyone’s guess, whatever is available is fair game for vegetables. I have used beets, potatoes, mushrooms, squashes, garlic, tomatoes, and beans of all types (you can usually even add dry beans if you add water for them to hydrate). Look in your cupboard for cans you haven’t used, toss it in if room. The freezer is a source for a bag or two of vegetables too. Garden scallions or chives work fine. Be creative, a curry can be whatever you want it to be. This is a chicken Curry, but just as good with beef, pork, goat, whatever you have.
“HAVE YOU EVER BITTEN REDHOT ICE CUBE? THAT’S CURRY.”― Terry Pratchett
- 1 lb. Chicken (Breasts or Thighs), cubed into 1/2” to 3/4” chunks
- 4 or 5 Large Carrots, chopped
- 4 or 5 Stalks Celery, chopped
- 1 Large Onion, chopped (or a couple smaller ones)
- 2 Bell Peppers, chopped
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 4 Tbs. Curry Powder (I add at least this)
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper
- 4 Tsp. Salt (none if sodium is an issue)
- Garlic Cloves to taste, chopped (I like a few, you might want less)
(pick and choose as you like):
- Hot Peppers, chopped (I like a few, you might not want any)
- Additional Vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned – the only limit is crockpot size), Chopped if needed
- 1 Cup Dried Beans + 1 Cup Water to hydrate them
- 1 cup Raisins
- 1 cup Dried, Flaked Coconut
- 1 Tsp. (or more!) Cardamom (if you can find it, brings take-out flavor to Indian foods)
- 1 Tsp. Cayenne (I use more, but that’s me)
- 1 Tbsp. Crushed Red Pepper (see above)
Cut all your pre-washed (and peeled in the case of carrots and/or potatoes) vegetables first. Then cube up the meat. This saves you from cross-contamination. You then can sear-off the cubes in a pan a few minutes if desired. It does add some flavor, but the meat will still cook in the crockpot. Toss all Basic Ingredients vegetables into the crockpot as you chop things up. Then add Coconut milk with the salt/pepper/curry powder/optional spices.
Wait until last to add Additional Vegetables. Add the most desired ones first, making sure to leave at least an inch or so of space under the lid. It will cook down some as well. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to mix things up well. Put on “LOW” for 6-8 Hours, or “High” for at least 4 Hrs.
After the cooking you can then set to “WARM” until served. It can go with separately prepared Rice and store-bought Poppodoms (not hard to make, but I don’t have the ingredients required or the desire to make them). Top with raw scallions, cilantro, or cashews. This is a tasty, simple, and flexible dish. It makes the most of any ingredients you may have on-hand. It is not fast of course, but that is another recipe.
Karl Donaldson is an editor and writer for NRN. Partial to his two cats, he lives in New Hampshire with his wife and a veritable menagerie of his wife's creatures.