Slow and Spicy Chicken
A few weeks ago I bought a slow cooker and am now left wondering how I have survived four years of student life without one. The benefits are twofold. Firstly, slow cookers allow you to haphazardly throw a selection of ingredients together and leave them gently simmering for half a day or longer – the absolute opposite of high maintenance. Secondly, if you choose to cook meat, you can transform cheap cuts of beef (such as blade or chuck steak) into unbelievably succulent morsels. For those who want the science, slow cooking softens the connective tissue, without allowing the meat to become tough or dry. Liquid is a necessary element, but remember that most of it will not escape from the vessel, so don’t use more than necessary and don’t be tempted to water a sauce down if you have otherwise achieved the right balance of flavours. This recipe takes chicken and makes it as tender as the likes of pulled pork. The sriracha chilli sauce can be found in most supermarkets and specialty grocers, is cheap and adds both heat and a tang. Use extra if you’re a spice demon.
Ingredients3 TBS mussaman/matsaman curry paste – try the Exotic Foods version
3 TBS sriracha chilli sauce
2 TBS tomato paste
2 tsp white sugar
400ml coconut milk
500g chicken breast or thighs
400g tinned tomatoes
Method1. Mix the curry paste, chilli sauce, tomato paste, sugar and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk together until smooth.
2. Slowly add the remaining coconut milk, stirring constantly until completely incorporated.
3. Chop the chicken into large chunks. (If using breast, chop it into thirds but try and buy thicker pieces to begin with. If using thighs, chop them in half.)
4. Place the chicken in a slow cooker dish and pour over the sauce. Give it a stir, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight.
5. The following morning, stir the tinned tomatoes through the chicken. Pop in the slow cooker and set to low. Cook for six to eight hours with the lid on.
6. You can serve the chicken on rice, like a curry. Some finely sliced fresh chilli on top works a treat. Alternatively, shred the chicken and pile it into soft tortillas with plenty of the sauce, shredded lettuce, cucumber, and grated carrot.
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2013
Posted 6:30pm Sunday 24th March 2013 by Ines Shennan