The first time I made this, when checking out the finished product in the slow cooker towards the end, I noticed it definitely needed more color and “crunch”. I added in some veggies that I cooked really quickly over the stove. I use organic chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work really well, and some people actually prefer them. I cut down the calories in this dish by using lower fat coconut milk. I used a slow cooker for this but you can cook it for a long time over gentle heat as well. But, keep in mind, the intense Thai flavors really infuse into the Shiitakes and the chicken when cooked in the slow cooker!
- 3 Tablespoons grape-seed oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts or chicken thighs
- 1 small jar of Thai Red Curry Paste
- 1 cup of homemade chicken stock or store bought non fat chicken broth/stock
- 8 ounces fresh Shiitake mushrooms (less expensive mushrooms are OK as well), stems trimmed and halved
- 1 can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
- 2 to 3 cups fresh cut up veggies (i.e. broccoli, snap peas, red and yellow peppers, red onion, etc.)
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1/3 cup basil leaves
- optional steamed brown to serve it over, but I just eat it on its own
- Cut chicken into thirds
- Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in frying pan over medium heat.
- Brown chicken in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Reduce heat in frying pan to low. Add 1 more Tablespoon oil to pan, add curry paste and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic.
- Add stock and stir until curry paste has dissolved.
- Add mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
- Pour mixture over chicken and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on medium in slow cooker for 3 1/2 hours.
- At 3 1/2 hours: Combine fish sauce, brown sugar and coconut milk in a bowl and then stir into curry. Reduce heat in slow cooker to low and set timer for 30 minutes.
- Heat remaining oil in large frying pan over medium high heat and add chopped fresh veggies and stir fry for a couple of minutes, to just cook through, yet still “al dente” and set aside
- At 4 hours: Add the fresh veggies to the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.
- Stir in the basil, and serve over rice or alone. Enjoy!
* Source: Adapted from Super Food Ideas – August 2006, page 67