Jan 05 2011
I love bold, flavorful food that incorporates lots of spices, aromatics, and ingredients you don’t find yourself using on a daily basis. Because of this, I find myself reaching out to other cultures fairly often: Japan (curry), China (exotic meat), Thailand (curry and noodle dishes), Korea (kimchee), and India (curry and exciting chicken dishes). You may have noticed a theme there – curry. This Sri Lankan chicken dish is pretty similar to a curry as it has many of the same ingredients: common curry spices and coconut milk. Normally in this dish you would want to use Pandan leaves or curry leaves, but since I had neither I decided to be lazy and just use curry powder which is great in a pinch.
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 knob of ginger, grated (about 2 tbsp)
- 4 thai chilis (I used two jalapenos and two serranos) – thinly sliced
- garlic – 4 cloves or lazy mans jarred garlic
- coriander – 1tbsp
- turmeric – 1tsp
- cayenne – a pinch if you like it mild up to 1/2tbs to get it pretty fiery
- curry powder – 1tbsp (Or 1/4 cup fresh curry leaves or 1 pandan leaf)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2tsp coconut oil
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 5 chicken breasts
1) Let’s assemble all of our ingredients so that we are not scrambling around the kitchen trying to find what we need (chicken breasts not pictured, they were too busy thawing at the last minute).
2) Let’s go ahead and microplane our ginger. Pro-tip: You can freeze the ginger and then grate it with a cheese grater if you have no microplane. Frozen ginger will also keep in the freezer for pretty much forever. Use a vegetable peeler to get the tough skin off the outside of your ginger.
3) Let’s get our mise en place setup. Dice the onion, slice the peppers, get your garlic ready, and measure out all of your spices.
4) Get a large skillet going over medium-high heat (I am using cast iron) and saute your onions, peppers, and garlic in 2tsp of coconut oil until the onion starts to become translucent. Now add your spices and keep cooking until it becomes very aromatic and gets a little bit of a toasted smell – this will greatly enhance the flavor and strength of the spices.
5) Take your vegetable and spice mixture and scrape it into your slowcooker. Pour in one can of coconut milk and your lemon juice. Mix well. Place your chicken breasts in the mixture and ladle a bit of the sauce over the tops.
6) Cook on low in your slowcooker for 6 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
Note: You can also make this on the stove in about 2 hours, but it won’t have the same depth of flavor as a long, slow-simmered dish.
7) Observe your delicious meal once it has finished cooking. Server over rice or even just as a soup.