Monday, May 17, 2010

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 1

Several months after making Crock Pot Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew) and then Crock Pot Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup), I experimented with cooking other Vietnamese dishes in the Crock Pot. Actually, I'm surprised it didn't occur to me to make Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) in the Crock Pot first since the thick stew was perfect for the slow cooker.

I didn't make very many changes to the recipe since, as I said, it's pretty much made for tossing all together in a slow cooker. I used a 4.5-quart Crock Pot, so I reduced portions a bit and changed the sequence of some steps. But mostly, just let it all simmer on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours, and you've got a meal by the time you walk in the door after work. I didn't even defrost the chicken beforehand and the curry came out just fine. My guests even had seconds. And thirds.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 2

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
Adapted from my recipe for Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)

For a 4.5-quart Crock Pot, about four to six servings, you'll need:
2 chicken breasts or 4 thighs, about 1.5 to 2 lbs total meat, cut into 2-inch pieces if you'd like
1 tsp salt 
1 2-inch knob of ginger, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised to release fragrance
1 or 2 14-oz cans Coconut Milk
1 1/2 tblsps Ca Ri Ni An Do (Vietnamese Indian Madras Curry Powder)
2 bay leaves
2 tsps Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
2 large potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 small onion, diced
Vietnamese French bread, rice, or flat rice noodles for serving

Clean and chop the chicken. I took the chicken straight from the freezer and cut it into big chunks and it turned out fine. If you're using thighs or drumsticks, you can also leave the pieces whole if you wish. Put the chicken into the Crock Pot.

Mince garlic and shallots, and slice the ginger. Bruise 2 lemongrass stalks to release fragrance. Put the aromatics into the pot.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 3

Add 1 14-oz can of coconut milk and 1 can of water. Just use the same can and swirl water around to get the last of the coconut milk. If you want the curry to be especially thick, then use two cans of coconut milk instead of a second can of water.

Add 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tblsps Madras curry powder and 2 bay leaves. Stir to evenly mix the salt and curry powder, cover the Crock Pot and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 4

After 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low heat, taste the curry and add curry powder, salt, or fish sauce if necessary.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 5

Then peel and dice the potatoes and carrots and add them to the pot. Dice a small onion and add that too. Cover and let simmer for another hour on high or 2 hours on low heat.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 6

Another hour of simmering and the Vietnamese chicken curry was perfect.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 7

I had invited Christine of Folie a Choisauce, who said she was craving Vietnamese chicken curry, and since I owed her a dinner, it seemed a good time for me to revamp the recipe. Julian of Jewelz, What Are We Doing Today? came too. They had seconds. And thirds. Although, I have to admit, I served the curry in shallow pasta bowls.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 8

Easier to mop up with toasted French bread. Although, you can serve Ca Ri Ga with rice or rice noodles if you wish.

Crock Pot Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) 9

After dinner, Christine mentioned wanting Class 302 Taiwanese Cuisine - Rowland Heights shaved snow for dessert. I said there wasn't any need to drive so far, that ID Cha House - San Gabriel has the best mango shaved snowflake and has been serving it for years, when it used to be 85 Degrees C Tea House - San Gabriel. So that's what we did. Warm chicken curry for dinner and cold sweet mango shaved snow for dessert.

Other braised chicken dishes you might like:
Coq Au Vin (French Chicken with Wine)
Malaysian Mango Chicken Curry
Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

*****
1 year ago today, Baked Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Lemon, and Rosemary.
2 years ago today, the lone peony that grew in my garden.
3 years ago today, Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa Vietnamese Restaurant - Rosemead.

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