Weekly Winner: Chasing the Chill with Comforting Basil Chicken

Last week it was near 80 here in Chicago.  These past few days it hasn’t hit 50.  You simply can’t adjust in that short of a time. I usually handle the cold very well, however this week I simply can’t warm up.  Last night’s dinner definitely helped.

Slow-Cooker Basil Chicken took care of all of that. It’s super easy to make – after searing the chicken all you need to do is dump the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and walk away.  The smell that wafts out of the kitchen as the day goes on is totally intoxicating.  It’s also different from most of my crock pot chicken recipes or, for that matter, any of my chicken recipes, regardless of preparation.  The recipe comes from the website 12 Tomatoes.  I usually don’t collect recipes from other blogs or websites (ironic, I know!), and I haven’t even read this site before. I got the link from some email that touted unique chicken recipes or something like that.  I guess I’ll be checking in on 12 Tomatoes a bit more, now. One addition I made on my own was the dollop of yogurt on top.  I was afraid it would be too spicy and that the yogurt would help. It was not too hot but had nice heat. I will keep the yogurt as it adds a nice creamy touch.

Slow Cooker Basil Chicken

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

3 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

2 (13.5 oz) cans coconut milk

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp dried basil

1-1/2 Tbsp yellow curry powder

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 cup fresh Thai basil, or basil, chopped as garnish

Whole milk yogurt for garnish

Naan, white rice or coconut rice for serving

Procedure:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and, once oil is shimmering, sear both sides of (seasoned) chicken thighs in batches, making sure to let oil heat up again before searing the next batch.
  2. Combine coconut milk, dried basil, curry powder, chili powder, and salt and pepper to the slow cooker, stir together to incorporate.
  3. Place seared chicken, red onions, jalapeños and garlic to the slow cooker, and stir everything together.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours, until chicken is cooked through
  5. Remove chicken and shred with two forks
  6. Create a slurry by whisking cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water in a small bowl or glass.  Pour slurry and fresh ginger into the slow cooker
  7. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker, then stir everything together. Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until mixture has thickened.
  8. Stir in fresh basil and cilantro (if using)
  9. Serve with naan or rice

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