This has, since the beginning of its making some years ago, been a favorite in my family. For gatherings big and small, this dish has been a household staple. Over the years, it’s seen a few changes, but the basic flavors have stayed the same- just some small modifications to make it more nutritious and to my liking. I’ve learned so much about nutrition and wellness over the last several years of blogging… each year becoming more immersed in a health-focused food-lovers culture. I’ve loved watching my own cooking change as a result… as new knowledge finds its way into my kitchen, my meals morph into better balanced bites of goodness.
This recipe has now had two official facelifts. One around two years ago or so, when I learned more about the benefits of fat and became a full-fat fan. Don’t even think about using light coconut milk in there 😉 I also began using coconut aminos instead of my old school Bragg’s aminos or soy, and began dabbling with nut butters other than peanut. Peanut is amazing, but not everyone’s body digs it, and I wanted this to be more universal. The second recipe-surgery was just this week, when I decided to add in grated ginger and messed with my spice levels a bit.
To be totally honest, I’ve loved it every time, no matter how it’s made it, but it’s fun to take a recipe I made years ago and keep refreshening it a bit. Bottom line is, you can’t really screw this one up. Make it with whatever you like and have. 🙂
There’s this little Thai restaurant in Missoula, Montana (for being so far removed from everything, Missoula has some pretty amazing food… oh how I miss it so). It’s called Sa-Wa-Dee. Every Wednesday afternoon, there’s Out to Lunch, an outdoor community event with booths set up from loads of local restaurants, live music, and lotsa good eating and yapping.. Did I mention it’s right downtown on the river? Sigh, so beautiful. Needless to say, it’s a great lunch-break escape! I’m not normally super ritualistic when it comes to dining- I like to switch things up- but when it comes to Out to Lunch (and it’s cousin Dinner in the Park), I am very ritualistic. I always go to Sa-Wa-Dee for their chicken peanut curry. Always. It’s so good. So, I am paying homage to that with this…
I was sitting around one day thinking of how I wanted something from the Crock Pot for dinner… ’cause nothing gets that soft, fall-apart texture like the Crock Pot. I suddenly thought of Sa-Wa-Dee’s chicken peanut curry, so off to the pantry I went hunting for Thai-like treasures. With a swiftness, I began crafting up the flavors I thought would create my Out to Lunch love. To my surprise, I actually nailed it pretty well… got just what I was craving. Topped it off with cilantro, basil, toasted cashews, lime, and some Sriracha…. I was in food heaven. It’s seriously melt-in-your-mouth good. So… I’ve been making this dish ever since, and every time it brings me back home to Montana, in both heart and belly. ♥
4 pieces chicken- boneless/skinless, breasts and/or thighs- approx 1.5 lb
1 14 0z can coconut milk (not light)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp red Thai curry paste
1/2 tsp honey (I prefer raw- omit for Whole30)
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp peanut, almond, or cashew butter
2 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 tbsp chopped basil leaves, preferably Thai
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup snap or snow peas
salt, pepper, and lime juice, to taste (see note below)
*for garnish- lime, cilantro, basil, scallions, and toasted cashews (or peanuts)
**Sriracha and/or red pepper flakes for an extra kick!
***about salt, the recipe doesn’t actually have any in it as it cooks- that’s because depending on whether you go with tamari or coconut aminos, the cut of chicken, and so forth, the flavors will vary once cooked- it will need salt, but add all that stuff (salt, pepper, lime) at the end to make sure your flavors are balanced how you like ’em.
Mix coconut milk, curry powder, curry paste, honey,
red pepper flakes, ginger, nut butter, and coconut aminos/tamari together in Crock Pot
Slice red pepper, onion, basil, and cilantro
If using ginger, grate it too
Add it all to the sauce
Stir until well mixed
Place chicken breasts/thighs into sauce…
They should be fully immersed so that liquid covers them
Cover and cook in high for 3 1/2 – 4 hours or on low for about 5 1/2 – 6
When done, gently stir it all together- the chicken will fall apart on the spot
Throw in peas just before serving
Serve over cooked rice
Get garnishes ready…
Top the chicken with all of the goodies you want, serve with lime, and enjoy!