Slow-Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables

Given as a wedding present nearly ten years ago, my slow-cooker hasn’t seen nearly enough use. I tend to reach for my cherry red Le Creuset French oven for braising and stewing. However, as our family is growing and appetites are expanding, I can see the practical side of having a large crock pot and keeping it busy.

Still, I could use some help. I’m no seasoned slow-cooker chef, and can count my fails up there with my winning dishes. That is one reason why I was happy to have Kelsey contact me to participate in her week-long Slow-Cooker Challenge.

January is the perfect month to give that slow-cooker a permanent place on the counter top and our challenge is sure to fuel you with plenty of inspiration. Don’t own a crock pot yet? Both The Naptime Chef and my friends at Big Girls, Small Kitchen are giving one away this week! So hurry over and enter.

Chicken and vegetables in the slow-cooker is pretty predictable, I admit, but thanks to a fragrant spice blend and a good dose of aromatics such as ginger root and garlic, this dish sings with flavor. It’s mellowed out with rich coconut milk and served over steamed rice; comfort food at its finest.

Note: This dish is not overly spicy as I serve it up to my kids. If you’d like a little more kick, double the ginger and add a 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes.

Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables
3.9 from 54 reviews
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Recipe type: Main
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6-8 servings
Serve this creamy and fragrant stew over Jasmine or brown rice. I like to top mine with a few chopped scallions. NOTE: My slow cooker bowl can be used on a burner which can then be transferred to its electric base to cook further, but if you have a different type, then simply prepare the first few steps of this recipe in a heavy bottomed pot or skillet and transfer the ingredients to the slow cooker when the liquids are added.
Ingredients
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 inch cube of ginger (about 30 grams), roughly chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into four
  • 2 cans coconut milk, not shaken
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 can of baby corn cobs
  • 1 cup peas or frozen vegetables of your choice
For the spice blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients from the spice blend together and set aside.
  2. In a mini food processor, combine garlic, ginger and onion and pulse until it forms a paste.
  3. In the bottom of a slow-cooker placed on a burner (see IMPORTANT note above), heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Move aromatics to one side of the pot and add chicken pieces to the pot. Cook chicken slightly on all sides, using a sturdy wooden spoon to move it around the pot. It should get thoroughly coated with the spice mixture.
  5. Open the cans of coconut milk and remove the cream from the top using a soup spoon. You should have about 1 cup. Pour the coconut milk over the chicken and with both cans, it should just barely cover the chicken.
  6. Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the slow-cooker.
  7. Place the slow cooker in the base and cook on low for 4 hours.
  8. Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream until smooth and add to the chicken. Stir well. Add frozen peas or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another half an hour or until you deem the chicken cooked and the vegetables hot.
Notes
You can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the thighs, but I prefer the dark meat and find it to have more flavor than the breast. It’s more affordable, too! In the recipe I call for peas, but you can use any cooked or frozen vegetables you have on hand. In the version photographed above I tossed in a bag of my homemade stir fry packages of vegetables, which worked perfectly with the dish. My slow cooker bowl can be used on a burner which can then be transferred to its electric base to cook further, but if you have a different type, then simply prepare the first few steps of this recipe in a heavy bottomed pot or skillet and transfer the ingredients to the slow cooker when the liquids are added. Finally, this dish is not overly spicy as I serve it up to my kids. If you'd like a little more kick, double the ginger and add a 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes.

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What is your go-to slow-cooker favorite? Feel free to leave a link to a recipe in the comments.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been AimΓ©e's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Crock pot bbq is one of my favorites. You add some spices or a rub to some chicken (or pork or beef or whatever meat you want) and put into the crock pot. Then add some liquid smoke (usually a full bottle for big batches and a half for smaller batches) and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken, shred, and enjoy on a fresh bun with a side of veggies. Easy and tastes good.

    • Sounds awesome! I’ve never tried the liquid smoke; what is in it exactly?

      • It’s basically water with the essence of the wood chip’s smoke (e.g. hickory). Depending on the brand, the wood chips are burned and the smoke is either condensed with water, or passed through, to make the smokey-flavored water. Some brands add vinegar or molasses for more flavoring, but I’ve never tried those.

  2. This looks great! Like you, I don’t pull out my slow cooker nearly enough, and I really should with two tween boys in the house. I’m sure it would help me in the battle against those voracious appetites.

  3. This looks so delicious! I definitely don’t use my crock-pot as much as I should.

    My go-to recipe is Shredded Crock Pot Mexican Chicken t’s a great basic recipe to have on hand in your freezer for use in Quesadillas, Soft Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Tortilla Soup, or Chimichangas. Really, you can put this chicken in anything you want to give a Mexican or Tex-Mex flair to.

  4. This looks absolutely wonderful! I’ll be making it one of these wintry days.

  5. I really like the idea of crockpots: minimal efforts in the morning and viola dinner is ready when you need it while being available during the “witching hour” but I don’t like anything I make in the crockpot. Even pulled pork gets finished in the oven for a crisper texture so it ends up not really being the time saver I want it to be.

    • It’s not always as simple as it sounds, is it, Monica? I’m almost never happy with the final textures or consistency of a dish when I cook in the crock-pot. Perhaps I need more practice. πŸ™‚

  6. This sounds divine! I’ll definitely be making this. I use my slow cooker all the time and am always on the look-out for new recipes to use in it.

  7. I’ve pinned this for later consumption! I must make this dish!! πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Aimee,
    Can you check the print link for me? It doesn’t appear to be working.
    Thanks & great recipe!

  9. This sounds delicious! I love using my slow cooker…one of my favorites is Autumn Herbed Chicken with Fennel and Squas.

  10. I haven’t used my crockpot as much over the past few years, but need to learn to do so! I am learning to cook more “real” foods and less convenience and processed foods and using the crockpot can help me simplify that a bit.
    Hmm, think I’ll make some crockpot chili tonight!
    Bernice

  11. I absolutely love this. It’s simple, fresh, and looks amazingly flavorful, something I often find lacking in crockpot dishes. I need to bring mine out more often as well. It’s so perfect for a busy day!

  12. Like you, I’m always grabbing my Dutch oven instead of using the slow cooker to do my work for me, but the slow cooker pork shoulder I served for New Year’s is making me rethink my strategy. I adore the combo of coconut milk and ginger!

  13. Yum! My family’s favorite slow cooker dish is also an Asian inspired chicken dish–Vietnamese Roasted Chicken. It contains fish sauce, so be forewarned about the aroma. But it’s ever so simple to make and all 5 of us (ages and up) love it.

    The link:
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/06/crockpot-vietnamese-roasted-chicken.html

  14. We love soups in our slow cooker. But I also use it a lot for cooking dried beans – soak overnight, and then pop them in the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours and they’re ready.

    And I also love doing veggie broth: Save all the carrot peels and tops, celery stems, squash peels, etc. in a freezer ziploc or larger covered bowl. When it’s full, dump it in the crockpot and cover them with water. Season how you want – I usually do garlic powder, dill, pepper, and sometimes a bit of oregano or red pepper flakes. Ccook on low all day long, then strain out the veggie bits.

    Both cooked beans and the broth are freezable, so I’ll make a big batch and freeze in smaller portions.

    And we’re eating vegetarian now, but when we ate chicken, I would buy lots when it was on sale, and cook that up in big batches in the crockpot too, and then freeze the cooked shredded chicken in meal size portions.

    • Great idea for vegetable broth! I make my own, but this way it doesn’t have to occupy the stove for hours.

      • I HATE the idea of saving “tops, peelings, and stems” for stock. As a chef, this is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I would NEVER implement this practice in my kitchen. Stock is something that should be just as flavorful and carefully made as any other recipe; this is the equivalent of using a cheap wine to cook with when you don’t like the flavor.

        While SOMEtimes this is acceptable, (celery top or mushroom stem, for example), some of the things I’ve seen make me cringe. Carrot peelings, really? Make your stocks with the same careful selection you use for anything else, and you’ll end up with a quality product… Not the aftermath of stewing your compost bin.

  15. We do a really simple crock pot stew with:

    1lb cubed beef, 2 cubed sweet potatoes, 2 large carrots, 1 chopped onion, 2 cups beef broth, tomato paste, 1 cup water, 3 bay leaves, .5 t chili powder, .5 t thyme, salt and pepper.

    I actually put it on this morning and the whole house smells wonderful.

  16. Wow this looks great. I use my crock pot all winter long…after a long day, coming home to the house smelling of delicious food that’s been cooking all day is the best feeling. One of my fav recipes is a good old pot of chili.

  17. Just got a new crock pot for Christmas that lets me brown things in it, and I am loving it! One of our favorites is Thai pork wraps made in the crock pot: seasoned pork roast or tenderloin with a peanut sauce added at the end and served in tortillas with lettuce, cucumbers and chopped peanuts.

    http://noemptychairs.me/2010/04/21/crock-pot-thai-pork-wraps/

  18. Ok, this is SO simple, but we love it!
    Pork Loin Tacos:
    1 pork loin
    the equivalent of canned ranch style beans: i used leftover pinto beans (that I also soaked and made in the crockpot, and seasoned with s & p, cumin, and some paprika)
    canned tomatoes (if you want extra spice, use Rotel)
    Cook on low for about 8 hours. The meat will fall apart. We shred it up, and then serve it on warmed tortillas that are a mixture of white corn and wheat, with homemade guac, salsa, cheese, and sour cream.
    So good!! πŸ™‚

  19. I have a crock pot built for two and have never used it. In college my husband cooked by crock pot a lot. My favorite crock pot meal would be his apricot chicken.

    I love this recipe by the way!

  20. This looks like a good recipe. Also so glad to see something without cow milk. I have allergies to look out for and this recipe takes no tweeking. I can’t wait to try it!

  21. delicious looking combination looks wonderful

  22. This looks great…and there are so many new ones in the comments. Yeah, just in time since winter finally arrived in Boston.

  23. Can you put your ceramic slow cooker insert over an open flame? I know in your recipe you said to put it on the burner but I’ve never tried it. Is it okay?

  24. I’ve heard that for chicken it’s sometimes better to cook on high in a crock pot- is 4 hours on low enough?

  25. I bought all the ingredients I’ll need today… This is tomorrow’s dinner!

  26. Looks great. I’ll be cooking this soon. Question – if using the sliced/dried ginger – such as McCormicks or other brand in this recipe, what would the measurement be? I realize fresh is best….I’ve never used ginger in a recipe before.

    • You can still get great flavor out of dried ginger, as long as it is under a year old. Try the recipe with 1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered ginger, or a tablespoon of dried sliced ginger. Happy Cooking!

  27. YUM! I am in love with slow cooker meals. I constantly have mine going – so much so that I order a second one for bone broths. Three of my favorites: Pork and Sauerkraut, easy Chicken Soup with Roasted Veggies, and Carnitas.

    http://www.holistickid.com/pork-and-sauerkraut-over-mash-gaps-friendly/
    http://www.holistickid.com/easy-crock-pot-chicken-soup-with-roasted-veggies/
    http://www.holistickid.com/carnitas-gifting-you-with-my-labor-of-love/

  28. Looks amazing!

  29. lasagna! I make the sauce. We’re vegetarians almost vegan so I don’t use meat. I make a cashew cheese. Then I layer everything, pour the cashew cheese on top and pour water over the whole thing. I don’t even cook the noodles first. The extra water cooks the noodles. I put it on for at least four hours and it’s done. It’s so good too.

    • I imagine it stays nice and moist, right, Dena? I’m not a fan of dry lasagne, so I’ll have to give your method a try. Thanks for sharing!

  30. I never thought to cook the meat in my slow cooker base first. And I use this ding dang slow cooker almost every other day, for something or other. This could revolutionize my meals! The soup looks awesome!

  31. This looks so delicious! I have been wanting to make more recipes in my slow cooker, and this one looks like a great option – yum! πŸ™‚

  32. Krista (@kristahouse) says

    What kinds of slow cookers can be used on a burner? I know… I’m so clueless πŸ˜‰

  33. Slow cookers are one of the best things in the world! Especially for the busy person. Chili has always been my slow cooker go to, but I might have to try this. BTW, I just stumbled upon your site today, and I must say, your photos are amazing! Thanks for the post.

  34. That looks absolutely divine! Wonderful for entertaining a crowd – I am thinking two slow cookers and the meal is done! Thanks for the recipe!

  35. This food looks really delicious..Thank you for sharing the recipe I will add to my collection..

  36. I am going to make your recipe for dinner tonight. I know I am going to love it by just looking at the ingredients. I hope that my little Missy likes it too. Thank you very much for sharing your recipes.
    Here is my go to slow cooker recipe. I skip the vino and taragon, and shred the chicken after it cooked. Delicious every time. A hit with my toddler too.
    http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-tarragon-leeks-00000000011463/index.html

  37. All I can is that looks amazing! My MIL form British Guiana will love this recipe πŸ˜€

  38. Timing is perfect! It’s about -20 outside, and I was hunting for something like this. Going to bookmark this one and make it on the weekend! Thanks!

  39. This sounds delicious! What size crockpot is this recipe for? I have a 2 quart little one and find that I often have to alter the measurements… but it’s helpful to know what I’m altering from πŸ™‚

  40. Crock Pot recipes are really hit or miss for me. This one, though, sounds amazing!!

  41. I hate to be a pain, but I’m not sure if coconut milk comes in various size containers, but I was hoping you could confirm what size cans of coconut milk you used.

    Thanks!

  42. This year, I fell in love with soup in the crock pot. I can toss in everything frozen in the morning and have dinner ready when I walk in the door after work. Frozen chicken breast, frozen stock, diced carrot-onion-celery = easy chicken soup. Or, add cumin, garlic, and oregano in the morning and a can of white beans at the end for east White Chicken Chili.

    Just got a bigger crock pot for Christmas and am already loving it. Rick Bayless has tons of awesome mexican dishes that are made in the crock pot. None of the bland meals I mentally associated with the slow cooker for some unknown reason!

  43. I built the recipe in my weight watchers e-tools. By reducing the butter to 1 Tbls., and using LIte Coconut milk, the POINTS PLUS VALUE is 7 points and 8 servings.

  44. Just made this and will be making it again. I’m a vegetarian so I used mushrooms instead of chicken and added some snow peas and red bell pepper slices. Thought it needed a little something so I added a tbs of raw sugar. Perfect over basamatti rice.

  45. This looks like such a great idea. My hubby and I love Thai food so we will have to give something like this a try. I just started a Sunday Slow Cooker Linky party on my blog a few weeks back and I would love for you to link up your recipe this Sunday!
    http://www.doggieatthedinnertable.blogspot.com

  46. I love this recipe! I printed it to try with my family this week.

    My favorite slow cooker recipe is potato chowder. It’s so very easy, and my kids LOVE it. http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/2010/02/slow-cooker-potato-chowder/

  47. What happens if you use light coconut milk?

  48. I just tried this recipe, but my ceramic snapped on top of the stove. Any idea why?

    • Oh no! In my note above the recipe I stated that not all crock pot bowls can be placed on direct heat. It is always best to read the manufacturer’s instructions first. The insert to my slow cooker is stoneware, and designed to go from stove top to slow cooker. Perhaps yours wasn’t designed to do the same.

  49. This is perfect for weekend, one family’s favorite dish, my children will surely love this.

  50. Making this tomorrow! Looks delicious! Can you freeze the left overs??

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