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Who doesn’t love swinging by their local Thai place for some yellow curry after work? No one. It’s delicious. We used to live two houses down from a Thai restaurant. I was pregnant with our first daughter, and we could smell the fried spring rolls and curry when the wind blew to the North. Let’s just say we took the occasional walk down the street for some Thai delicacies. Would it make you happy to know that you can make a yellow curry just as good or better than your neighborhood spot’s at home? Would it make you even happier if you could make it in the Crockpot? Today’s your lucky day.
Two Problems With Yellow Curry
Now, I like Thai takeout very much, but I do have two issues with restaurant yellow chicken curry. First, the vegetables are often not cooked through. I don’t particularly enjoy crunching through a piece of potato, you know? Second, the chicken is very often dry, tough, and lacking flavor.
I solved these grievances in two ways. First, by using the Crockpot so that the vegetables get nice and tender. Add the onions and peppers later in the cooking time so they don’t get mushy. I want toothsome, tender carrots and potatoes, and this recipe delivers.
Second, using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts ensures tender, flavorful, perfect chicken. Chicken thighs can withstand much more heat without drying out. In fact, they get more tender at a much higher temperature than chicken breasts can handle. This is why roasting a whole chicken can be tricky, and don’t even get me started on a whole turkey.
Let’s Talk About Curry Paste and Coconut Milk
Yellow Curry Paste
Curry paste can vary wildly in taste and spiciness from brand to brand. I used this brand and was happy with it. I would start with the three tablespoons of curry paste listed in the recipe. Then if you want more potent curry flavor, you can add more paste when you cut the chicken up and add the onions and peppers. Also, don’t taste the sauce until this point, raw chicken being what it is.
For the love, do not use “lite” coconut milk. It’s basically water in a can. Don’t do it. You will be sad. You need the fat in coconut milk for creaminess and flavor.
Coconut milk is another product whose quality varies wildly between brands. Use a full fat coconut milk, the more fat the better in this case.
Can I Make This In My Instant Pot?
You can make this in the Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting. Just know that the Instant Pot slow cooker setting cooks higher than “high” on a Crockpot. Watch the cook time, and stir so nothing burns on the bottom. I would not pressure cook this recipe. Pressure cooking does not allow any steam to escape. That means that sauces do not reduce. Your curry will be watery and thin.
Sharing is Caring
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family! Everyone needs some Crockpot yellow curry love. Also, please tag me on Instagram @gracious.cooking. I can’t wait to see the curry you create! Let’s cook.
Crockpot Yellow Chicken Curry
- Slow cooker
- 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 3 Tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 1 stalk lemongrass 1 stalk
- 3-4 kaffir lime leaves dried or fresh
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk don't use lite.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- salt to taste
- squeeze of lime
- cooked jasmine rice for serving
- Trim any fat you'd like to off of the chicken thighs.
- Peel your potatoes and carrots. Slice the carrots on a diagonal into about 1/3 inch slices. Quarter the potatoes, then slice into 1/3 inch slices.
- Add the chicken to the Crockpot and rub the curry paste all over the chicken.
- If the ends of your lemongrass look questionable, cut them off. Then press the lemongrass onto a cutting board with your knife, slightly crushing it. This will let it release its flavor.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk to the Crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Cook for 5 hours on low, or 3 hours on high, stirring occasionally.
- Check a potato and a carrot by cutting them in half with a fork. If they seem like they have a decent amount of give to them, proceed. If not, let everything cook for another 30 minutes before moving on.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Cut it into bite sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pot.
- Add the turmeric, onions, bell peppers, brown sugar and fish sauce to the Crockpot. Stir to combine. Let the flavors hang out together for a few minutes, and then check the sauce for seasoning. Add more salt or sugar as desired.
- Let the curry cook for one more hour (maybe half an hour on high).
- When the potatoes and carrots are done to your liking, turn off the heat. Squeeze a fresh lime over the top to brighten the sauce. Serve with jasmine rice.