When I was in college, if you asked me what I’d like to eat, the answer was always “Thai food”.
There was a little restaurant in the corner of a strip mall that was tucked behind the highway, with a big sign on the front window that boasted “The Best Thai Cuisine in Town”– rightfully so, I might add. I don’t remember how found out about it, but that hidden gem became my obsession for the 3 remaining years I lived in the area. I loved the bowls brimming with jasmine rice, the savory peanut sauces, and the spicy dishes that had so much heat that it made your nose run. I loved the music they played that sounded like a mix between Thai pop and elevator music. I loved the mismatched decor, and the waiter who topped off my water every few minutes despite being the only waiter who was ever on-shift. But most of all, I loved their chicken and rice noodles.
3 years after finding that restaurant, I graduated and I moved home, far away from my favorite Thai place. “I’ll find another”, I thought, but I was wrong. I never found a local restaurant that made even decent Thai food. So, of course, I decided to try making my own.
I have made a lot of Thai dishes in a bunch of different ways since then, but my favorite thus far has been simply tossing everything in my slow cooker. It’s easy, it’s consistent, the ingredients have time to meld in the sauce, and the chicken comes out fall-apart tender. I still miss my favorite Thai restaurant’s peculiar atmosphere, but Slow Cooker Thai Chicken and Noodles more than satisfies my flavor cravings. I have a new obsession, and it doesn’t require me to dine out!
Oh, and since we’re on the subject of obsessions, can I just say that I’ll never get tired of making those curly green onion garnishes? They take just a few minutes and they instantly make everything look fancy. When you make this recipe, make sure you top it off with the curly green onions– I explain how to make them in this Spicy Fried Shrimp post!
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 14 oz light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ white onion, sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 6 thai chili peppers, seeded
- 8 oz dry rice noodles
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 sprigs green onion, to top
- ¼ cup bean sprouts, to top
- ¼ cup cilantro, to top
- 1 handful dry roasted peanuts, chopped, to top
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and saute until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
- Add in the coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Give the pot a light stir. Then, add in the onion, garlic, ginger, green pepper, and thai chili peppers, and stir once more. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
- About an hour before you've finished cooking (at the 3 hour mark), add the rice noodles to the crock pot and mix well. Continue to cook for another hour, or until sauce has thickened and the noodles have softened.
- While you wait for the noodles to cook, slice your green onions in half, longways. Keep slicing until you have thin strips. Place the green onions in a bowl of ice water and let sit-- this will make them curl up.
- When the Thai Chicken and Noodles has finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and divide into bowls. Squeeze lime juice over them and garnish with the curled green onions, been sprouts, cilantro, and dry roasted peanuts. Serve warm.
Make sure to also take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram and/or Twitter so I can check it out! I love seeing what you come up with!
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