Friday, September 19, 2008
Crock-Pot: Thai-Style Sweet and Sour Chicken
I have a love-hate relationship with my crock-pot. I love it's energy efficiency and convenience, but I hate what it does to the texture of food. This recipe sidesteps the texture problem and produces an unusual sweet and sour chicken designed to please slightly more sophisticated palates. It will garner rave reviews - it actually got "two thumbs up" from my grandsons! If you like the classic flavors of Thai food and are a bit adventurous, you'll love this recipe. It's easy to assemble, inexpensive and delicious. Give it a try.
Thai-Style Sweet and Sour Chicken
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided use
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (5-oz.) can sliced, peeled water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (divided use)
1) To make sauce, combine ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil in a small microwavable bowl; microwave on HIGH power for 1 minute, or until mixture sizzles and is fragrant. Stir in sugar, vinegar, ketchup, lime juice, red pepper flakes and fish sauce.
2) Spray insert of a 5 to 6-quart crock-pot with nonstick spray. Cut each chicken thigh into 4 pieces. Place chicken, cornstarch, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt in crock-pot. Toss to coat chicken. Add tomatoes and sauce; stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours. Mix reserved 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into crock-pot. Stir in water chestnuts and 1/2 cup cilantro. Cover and cook until sauce thickens. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle with reserved 2 tablespoons cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.