This is a perfect rainy day or lazy Sunday afternoon recipe. It requires a little bit of effort because we brown the chicken and sauté the vegetables first which ultimately adds a depth of flavor. However, if that sounds like too much work then you may skip those steps (but do try it out some other time) and go straight into making a roux, a French technique to thicken stews and sauces. I paired this coconut flavored chicken stew with homemade biscuits, but you can try it with rice, quinoa, couscous, or on its own!
2 Chicken Breasts, skinless and boneless
3 Cup Celery, sliced
1½ Cup Carrots, sliced
1 Cup Shallots, sliced
1 Bay Leaf
1 T Dried Tarragon
1 Can of Light Coconut Milk (14oz)
1 T All-purpose flour
1 T Butter
1 T Salt
Few turns of Fresh ground pepper
1. In a large pan, add a touch of olive oil and brown chicken breasts on medium to high heat (more towards high). You should hear a sizzling sound as soon as the meat touches the pan. If you don’t then wait for another minute for the oil to become hot enough but not smoky. Brown both sides for about 3-4 minutes. If the chicken is resistant to turn over it means it’s not ready yet. Therefore, leave it alone for another minute or so and you should be able to easily flip it. Remember we are not cooking the chicken, only browning it to add more flavor in the dish.
2. Remove chicken and place it on a plate lined with paper towel. Next, add all the vegetables, bay leaf, tarragon and salt and pepper. If need be, add touch of water to get all the brown bits from browning the chicken. Sauté for couple of minutes and place everything into the crockpot.
3. Keep the heat on medium and add flour and butter into that pan and mix it until it becomes paste like consistency, in French this process is called “roux”. It helps thicken the sauce. Now, add light coconut milk and stir continuously with a whisk until the sauce begins to become thick.
4. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken and cook on low for about 4 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Tips: You can certainly use chicken breast with bone-in, it’s cost effective and it turns out even more juicer vs without bone. Just take out the chicken when it’s done to remove bones and place it back into the crock pot.