Monday, July 20, 2015

Sips + Bites | Crock Pot Lemon ChickenCurry

By Jess. You know that feeling that you get when you come home, open the door, and the smell of delicious cooked goodness greets you? Oh you don't? It's ok. It doesn't happen to me either unless I remember to put that ish in my crock pot early enough. Haha! But people let me tell you 'bout my best fraan...MY CROCK POT. Yaaas my crock pot. She always got me feelin' some type of way because no matter what, as long as I get her loaded up with all the right ingredients, she knows how to make a damn good meal for me and my family. And if good food doesn't get you feelin' some type of way, then something wrong witchu. Just kidding. ;)

But really. If you don't have a crock pot my friends, I strongly recommend that you invest in one. Be it brand new or second hand. My mom has found at least three great quality ones (we have a lot of parties) at yard sales and garage sales, and I've seen them in thrift stores too! Just make sure that you give it a good cleaning with hot, soapy water when you get it home and/or run it through your dishwasher under the sanitize setting if you can. The crock pot is my go-to several times a week when it comes to preparing dinner, and I am SO not ashamed of admitting it! Today I'm sharing with you a super-dee-duper easy lemon chicken curry recipe. I load it up with veggies and my little man puts away this curry like its his job. A lot of my mama friends have also prepped their ingredients beforehand, storing and freezing it in freezer bags until ready to be cooked! But it can also all be thrown in right before heading out to work or run errands. The beauty of the crock pot is if you're going to be at work all day, set it on low. But if you're like me and forget and then "oh sh*t I gotta get stuff into the crock pot!!" - then 4 hours on high will cook this dish up just as beautifully as if you had it in there all day. Your man/partner/family/kids will think you slaved over the stove for them with this dish. Unless they were the ones that bought you the crock pot. Ha! Let's get this crock party started, shall we?

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen 
^ Note that I have used both types of chicken, frozen when I am short on time! ^
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
15 oz can of tomato sauce
15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup of half & half
2 tablespoons of sour cream
2 tablespoons curry powder 
^ my favorite curry powders are from Trader Joe's, Archer Farms at Target, and Publix! ^
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Juice from one lemon (approx. 2 to 3 tablespoons)
Lemon zest from one lemon (approx. 1 tablespoon)
^ feel free to adjust how much lemon juice/lemon zest you prefer, we like it lemon-y! ^
Veggies! We add frozen peas, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and yellow squash. 
^ you don't have to add all of these veggies, just what you prefer! ^
- Optional Ingredients -
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - if you want a little heat!
Cilantro for garnish, or finely chopped to top on curry

Pour the chicken stock, half & half, tomato sauce, sour cream, onion and garlic into bottom of crock pot. Add curry powder, salt and pepper, and optional cayenne pepper and stir to mix. Add the chicken breasts, and make sure to coat the chicken with the mixture. Add the garbanzo beans, veggies, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Once chicken is cooked, shred the chicken. Serve curry over rice or quinoa! Top with fresh cilantro if you like! 

I always like to use low sodium or reduced sodium chicken stock. Start with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add more later to taste. Since we are a bunch of citrus fiends, we sometimes add a little more lemon than this recipe calls for, but you can always adjust that to your tastes. If you prefer your curry a little more on the creamier side, add more sour cream/half & half to your tastes/consistency. Coconut milk and plain greek yogurt are also great substitutes. We also heard that this chicken curry goes great with cauliflower rice! Enjoy! 

Lemon chicken curry part 1, for dinner, over quinoa!
Lemon chicken curry part 2, for lunch, over quinoa!

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