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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thai curry spices up slow-cooker repertoire

 •  Southern comfort


By Elaine Magee

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Coconut curry chicken casserole, made in the slow cooker, offers a one-pot meal of lean meat, veggies and brown rice.

Elaine Magee

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Q. I have been using my slow cooker lately and would love to know if you have a fun, new slow cooker recipe to share with us.

A. I too have resurrected my Crock-Pot recently. I love that you can invest some time on the front end and then reap major rewards when you need it the most dinnertime!

I threw this recipe together after being inspired by a dish I tasted from a Thai restaurant. You get your veggies, whole grains and lean meat all in one delicious dish. While the chicken is browning on the skillet, you can be adding the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and everything cooks, including the dry brown rice, over the next 4 to 6 hours.

If you choose, you can use light coconut milk instead of fat-free half and half and coconut extract. You could also use Chinese long beans instead of standard green beans.

CROCK-POT COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or canola oil)

• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

• Ground pepper

• Salt to taste (optional)

• 2 cups fat-free half and half

• 2 teaspoons coconut extract

• 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

• 1 1/4 to 2 teaspoons red curry powder

• 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

• 2 small red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed) cut into thin strips or 1-inch pieces

• 3 cups fresh or frozen green beans (stem ends removed), cut into 1-inch-long pieces

• Garnish: 2 tablespoons toasted coconut, natural unsweetened or flaked (optional)

Begin heating olive oil in large, nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with pepper and salt (to taste) and place in skillet to brown well on both sides (about 3 minutes a side).

While chicken is browning, in slow cooker dish combine fat-free half and half, coconut extract, chicken broth, red curry and brown rice. Add browned chicken on top and arrange bell pepper and green beans over the top of the chicken. Cover slow cooker and heat on low for 4 to 6 hours (or until rice is tender).

Serve chicken with some of the rice, vegetables and curry coconut sauce and sprinkle some toasted coconut over the chicken if desired (toast coconut by spreading the shredded coconut in the bottom of a nonstick skillet or frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the coconut is golden brown

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 371 calories, 36 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 7.5 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 5.5 g fiber, 271 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 18 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .1 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.3 grams. Weight Watchers POINTS = 7