24 February 2011

Slow Cooker Curried Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole

From Diabetic Cooking magazine.  Jan/Feb issue.

1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T vegetable oil
1 t whole cumin seeds
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 t ginger, finely chopped
1/2 t turmeric
1 c plain fat-free yoghurt
1-2 t salt, divided (optional)
1/2 t garam masala
1-1/2 c uncooked brown basmati rice
2 c water
cilantro (optional)

1. Cut chicken into 1" pieces.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and bay leaves.  Cook and stir a few seconds until cumin seeds are golden brown.  Add sliced onions, garlic and ginger; cook 2 to 3 minutes until onions are are soft and transparent.  Add chicken pieces and cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken turns white, stirring occasionally.  Add turmeric and stir to mix.  Transfer to slow cooker.

3.  Whip yoghurt with a fork.  Pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, if desired, and garam masala.

4.  Add rice to slow cooker in an even layer.  Add remaining salt, if desired, and water.  Set slow cooker on HIGH 4 hours.  Removed and discard bay leaves and cinnamon stick.  Serve warm and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Makes 8 servings (1 cup per serving).

Notes: As per usual, I used olive oil.  I have no cinnamon sticks, so I just threw in some ground cinnamon.  And I nixed the bay leaves completely.  Next time, I would probably use two onions.

Also, when it says "four hours," it means FOUR hours.  Do not get distracted on the phone and go over or it will be dry (but other than being dry, it was VERY good).  This will lead to you experimenting by putting some yoghurt in the bowl and trying to moisten the bowl of leftovers in the microwave that way.  And getting heated curried chicken with crumbly yoghurt.  And then griping about it on the phone with your mom... while she laughs hysterically.  And then she'll tell you to put a tablespoon of water in the bowl and cover the bowl with a dampened paper towel and put it back in the micro for another minute.  And voil√†!  And then she'll make you say, "Gee, Mom, you were right for once!"  And then she'll say, "Boy, that's nice to hear once every thirty years.  I guess Brook doesn't know EVERYTHING after all, does she?"

That concludes my notes on this recipe.  Good luck.

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