I am often to be found cooking quite large amounts so that I can stock up my freezer with ‘ready’ meals for my husband whilst I am away. Knowing how much he loves spicy food I decided to play around with a pack of chicken thighs which my butcher was selling. I like using chicken thighs in the slow cooker as the meat falls apart with tenderness and stays beautifully moist.
I have had to guess at the amount of spice I added as I was a bit slap-dash when adding them – a bit here, a bit there, but I would imagine the following is a close reckoning of what I used. I added green lentils for a bit of body, coconut milk for a lovely creamy texture and baby tomatoes at the end so that the tomatoes retained their sweetness whilst being surrounded by the spicy chicken mix.
My husband announced it was a winner! It made two bowlfuls and six individual ‘large’ portions for the freezer.
INGREDIENTS: to serve 6 – 8
12 chicken thighs
Small glug of olive oil (or oil of choice)
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot paprika
Good pinch of salt
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1 x 400g carton chopped tomatoes
1 cup green lentils
½ cup sultanas
1 pint+ chicken stock
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
500g baby tomatoes
2 heaped teaspoons cornflour or arrowroot (if necessary)
Heat a small glug of olive oil in a fry pan and brown the chicken thighs on each side – four at a time. Place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.
Add onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes until soft. Add all the spices and stir to combine. Fry for one minute.
Add the sultanas, tin of tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock and mango chutney and stir continuously until simmering. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. The liquid should almost reach the top of the chicken. Add more stock if necessary.
Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
Add the tin of coconut milk and stir through. If the chicken needs thickening at this stage, add some cornflour or arrowroot mixed with a little water and stir into the mix. Add the whole baby tomatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Serve in bowls and enjoy.
NB: All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.