This post is sponsored by Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™. The opinions and text are all mine.
School is back in session and that means we're easing back into a routine that includes hectic weeknights of afterschool activities and practices. With two school-age kids to haul around to different clubs and sports, I'm often short on time to cook and prepare extravagant meals at the end of the day. This is precisely the reason why I love slow cookers. They make having a hot, hearty meal so much easier, and when you can pair a slow cooker meal with a ready-made side like Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™ you'll be golden.
My favorite ready-made sides are Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™. These handy pouches are available right at Publix and come in a variety of different flavors. My favorite is Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™ Jasmine Rice but I also always keep Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™ Basmati and Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™ Long Grain White on hand for quick and easy lunch and dinner options. You can visit http://www.bensoriginal.com/ to learn more. They offer the same great taste and quality as traditional rice preparations but are ready in just minutes. They're also great for on-the-go meal solutions.
One of my favorite dishes to make, especially in the fall, is curry. I've tried to make this dish several different ways but preparing it in the slow cooker is definitely the easiest and saves me so much time. The version I like the most is based on a recipe that I found courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen, but I've tweaked it a little and wanted to share that with you. I grabbed all of the ingredients from my local Publix and whipped up my slow cooker curry chicken in the morning so it would have time to cook throughout the day while I worked and then ran errands with the kids.
Slow Cooker Curry Chicken
1 15-ounce can of coconut milk
¼ cup chicken broth (or water) to thin out the coconut milk (if you use lite coconut milk you can omit this)
2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (can substitute soy sauce)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more or less depending on how spicy you'd like your dish)
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can also substitute thighs if preferred)
2 medium sweet potatoes (or substitute butternut squash), cut into cubes
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 head of broccoli, florets only
1 red bell pepper, chopped
The first thing I like to do is brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. This really helps keep the chicken together if you prefer it cubed, otherwise it shreds a little too easily. I used my 2-in-1 pressure cooker / slow cooker that has a saute feature to do this. That means one less pan for me to wash. If you don't have an appliance like this then just brown them off in a saute pan on the stovetop.
Once the chicken is lightly browned, remove it from the pot. Next, add in your wet ingredients to make the curry sauce. Add coconut milk (with broth if you're using full-fat coconut milk), coconut aminos, peanut butter, and ginger. Whisk them all together and then add curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
The spices in this dish are pretty mild so feel free to tweak them as you see fit. Once your sauce is whisked together, add in the sweet potatoes or squash, carrots, and onions.
Stir the ingredients well to coat everything in the curry sauce and then cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Once done, take the chicken breasts and cube them into chunks.
Once cubed, place the chicken back into the slow cooker. This gives the chicken a chance to get coated in all of that fabulous curry flavor.
Once your chicken has been cubed and added back to the slow-cooker, add the red bell peppers and broccoli and stir to coat all ingredients. Cook on high for another hour. I like to do this step as soon as we walk in the door so everything has time to cook while we finish homework and clean up for dinner.
When there are just a few minutes left for your chicken curry to cook, prepare your Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™ Jasmine Rice. It's as easy as squeezing the pouch to separate the rice, tearing the bag open two inches, then cooking in the microwave for just 90 seconds.
I love to serve this dish with Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™ Jasmine Rice because it's ready in just minutes yet it still delivers that delicious taste of traditional Thai Jasmine rice. It also helps soak up all of that yummy curry sauce.
This dish is the perfect solution for busy nights thanks to the slow cooker and Ben’s Original™ Ready Rice™. I'd love to hear what you think about it in the comments!