This dish is as good as any you will find in your favorite Thai restaurant. And, it makes for great leftovers — I actually liked it just as much cold from the fridge later in the week. This recipe made way more food than I needed and when I put the leftovers in a container in the fridge, I thought it was a shame that it tasted so good but that I would likely be wasting a lot of it. Wrong! It was so good cold, that it was all gone in a matter of days. But, then again, I have a weird loving kind of relationship with cold pizza and leftover Chinese food too…
And another confession… I am not a noodle eater, so I sat there and picked out all of the chicken and left the noodles for the others. Anyway, whether you eat it hot out of a beautiful bowl, or cold straight out of the fridge when no one is looking, or whether you slurp up the deliciously saucy noodles or chew on the wonderfully spiced chicken, this dish is a winner. And, the slow cooker does most of the work.
I love boneless chicken thighs. Yeah, I know, I’ve said it before, but it’s worth explaining. When I was in cooking school I learned that the best tasting chicken is cooked on the bone. And, I agree with this. Most of the time. Chicken thighs, however, are very different from chicken breasts. Even though they are boneless, they still have so much flavor and they stay moist and juicy. I buy packages of organic ones whenever I see them and I keep them in the freezer. (Costco and Whole Foods sell vacuum-sealed packs of organic boneless thighs… if you want more info, just ask me!) Chicken is good for energy, something I could always use more of… maybe that’s why chicken is one of the most popular proteins; sometimes a body just knows what it needs. Chicken is especially good for elderly people, postpartum women and for people who are weak after an illness or surgery.
Whenever I cook anything in the slow cooker, I add whole, raw Chinese herbs to the pot. The long, slow cooking process is perfect for infusing the food with the powers of the herbs. In this batch I added a few pieces of Huang Qi (astragalus). This is one of my favorite Chinese herbs. It strengthens your whole body, so if you often feel fatigued, this might be a good herb for you. It can help you if you have chronic diarrhea, frequent colds and general weakness. Just make sure you buy any herb from a reputable company. I use whole, raw Huang Qi slices in my soups and stews, and I sometimes take a powdered form when I feel like I need it.
Brown the chicken in a skillet and then toss it into the slow cooker…
Add in coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter, chicken broth, coconut aminos and coconut sugar…
Stir in onion, garlic, ginger, bell peppers, and hot peppers…
Let it cook for awhile and then add the rice noodles…
Serve in individual bowls topped with bean sprouts, lime wedges, and additional hot peppers if you like it extra spicy. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken With Rice Noodles
recipe adapted from: Host The Toast
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
8 boneless chicken thighs (preferably organic), cut into 1-inch pieces
sea salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 Tbs red curry paste
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
3 tsp grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced (any color)
1 long hot pepper, seeded and sliced (use more or less depending on your tolerance for spice)
8 oz rice noodles
2 cups bean sprouts
1 lime, cut into wedges
extra red hot peppers (jarred or fresh), sliced, if desired
Heat oil in a large saute pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides in the oil. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. Add onion, coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter, broth, aminos, ginger, bell pepper, and hot pepper to the slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low heat for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, stir in the noodles and cook for 1 more hour on low heat.
Spoon the chicken and noodles into individual bowls and top with bean sprouts and extra hot peppers if desired. Serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!