Here’s a new one.
I recently purchased two movie tickets online (so far, so normal).
My husband and I make our way to the theater and are unable to print our tickets from the dispensing machine (so far, so normal).
We walk over to the live body behind the ticket booth, explain the situation and show proof of purchase on our phone. The clerk is also unable to print the tickets but assures us that our confirmation is valid and to simply make our way into the theater and enjoy the movie. Will do.
We head into the theater and shuffle over to our seats (now a bit behind with the trailers starting – my favorite part) only to discover another couple comfortably installed in our seats. No problem. We politely explain that these are our seats and quietly but confidently pull out our phone to show proof of purchase. The couple then quietly and more confidently produce the actual tickets. Checkmate.
But how did they get our tickets?
45 minutes later, the manager struggles to explain that unbeknownst to us and without any action on our part, our tickets were auto-refunded and put back into the pool of availability for someone else to scoop up. We’ve paid for the tickets, someone else got them, the theater is now full and we are, to paraphrase my Dad’s best Irish, SOL on seeing the movie.
Of course in the big picture of things, it wasn’t much of a hardship – the financial stuff got sorted out and my husband and I went on to enjoy an evening of craft beer and sweet potato fries at one of our favorite pubs. It does make you think about technology though and all the more important things that can go wrong. [We also cooked up some spicy conspiracy theories – we live in Silicon Valley after all – maybe someone really wanted those tickets and found a way to get them – almost certainly not the case but we still managed to have some great fun speculating about it].
For today’s post it was between this creamy slow cooker peanut chicken and salmon. Did I choose right for January? I thought so (but I will get that salmon up soon because it’s also delicious and has mood boosting benefits of its own).
For today’s recipe, the slow cooker does most of the work. Easily prepared and oh-so-satisfying, it is one of the most requested meals in our home right now. The recipe usually feeds up to six (especially when served accompanied by sides) so you can enjoy any leftovers you have for lunch (love that). And if you like sauce, this one delivers in abundance and the chicken (be sure to use thighs) is supremely tender and well infused with flavor from the low and slow cooking process. A beaut of a dish.
Vegetarians/vegans you can absolutely use this delicious Thai-inspired sauce with a plant protein of choice. Here is another warming recipe you might also enjoy that was featured last winter.
As always, be sure to read the Notes in the recipe card below for best results and options. Enjoy and stay warm.
- The Chicken:
- 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds/900 grams), cut into bite-sized pieces
For the Peanut Curry Sauce:
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (13.5 fl oz/400 mL)
- 1 heaping Tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce (or to taste)
- 4 tsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 Tbsp tangy tamarind sauce
- 2 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 heaping Tbsp all natural (unsweetened) peanut butter
- 1 heaping Tbsp grated fresh ginger root (or more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 flat Tbsp tapioca starch
- squeeze of fresh lime juice
- chopped green onion
- chopped cilantro
- chopped peanuts
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, place: coconut milk, chili garlic sauce, red curry paste, soy or tamari sauce, tamarind sauce, tomato paste, peanut butter, ginger and sugar - whisking well to combine.
- Taste the sauce and make any flavor adjustments.
- Add tapioca starch to the sauce and whisk again to combine, making sure it is fully broken down and integrated.
- Place sauce in a slow cooker set to low heat.
- Add chicken pieces to the sauce and stir to combine such that the chicken pieces end up being fully submerged in the sauce.
- Cover the slow cooker and allow the chicken to cook for 4-6 hours on low heat the whole time.
- Carefully remove lid and stir the chicken in the sauce (breaking up any pieces that have buddied up).
- Serve peanut chicken with as much or as little sauce as desired and top with your choice of nuts, cilantro, onion, etc. and season with salt & pepper as you wish.
- I accompanied the chicken with some steamed veggies and a side of grains (a mixture of white/red quinoa, millet and buckwheat sold together under the label "super grains" at Whole Foods).
Tapioca Starch - tapioca starch (also sometimes called tapioca flour) is a gluten-free plant based starch that is used as a thickening agent in this recipe. You can find tapioca starch in the baking section of any grocery store. If you omit it, you will end up with a soupy consistency rather than a sauce (still delicious just runny).
Spicy Factor - while this peanut sauce has plenty of flavor it is not, to my taste anyway, particularly spicy. Be sure to taste the sauce before transferring it into the slow cooker to make any seasoning adjustments desired.
Sides - you can serve this peanut chicken with any side/s desired - grains absorb the sauce nicely and are nourishing on a cold winter's day but I personally enjoy this meal on a bed of crunchy cabbage too. As you wish.
Peanut Substitutions - while it's difficult to replicate the precise taste of peanut, if there are allergies present, some alternate suggestions would be: sunflower seed butter, cashew butter and tahini (sesame seed paste). If you make this recipe using one of these alternates, I would love to hear from you in the comment section.