Here’s a fun new one to try! I was in the mood for Indian tonight, and wanted something that I could let stew away in the Crock Pot all afternoon so that I’d be able to smell it while I got ready for the week ahead (truth be told I will probably be smelling curry for about 3 days… our house has abnormally good insulation of heat AND smells, for better or for worse!). I decided to dream up this chicken curry and sweet potato casserole with onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms, spiced with curry, cilantro, and a heap of other Indian spices, and spread in a casserole dish over a medley of lentils, brown rice, and veggies.
It was definitely a hit! I topped it with some feta cheese (I don’t know if that really counts as “Indian,” but what the heck- it was what I had on hand), more cilantro, and a dollop of plain greek yogurt, as well as some chopped dates and a handful of sliced muscadine grapes that I’d gotten fresh from the farmers’ market yesterday morning (muscadines are apparently native to North Carolina, so does that make this an Indian-Carolina fusion meal?)
This casserole is not only healthy, packed with protein, whole grains, and vitamins, but it was also delish! Ben thought it was a hit, too. I love the fact that I didn’t need to think about which grain I was going to use, which veggies I was going to have to cook to serve on the side, etc. Casseroles are so great because they have everything you need for a complete meal in one container! A sure time-saver for weeknight meals to come, since I will certainly be enjoying this healthy, exotic casserole all week long!
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 carton baby bella or mixed variety mushrooms, sliced
- 2 sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 4 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp whole coriander seed
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 small can capers
- 2 cans whole, peeled tomatoes in their juice
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for topping
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 3/4 cup dry black lentils
- 1 cup chopped broccoli and cauliflower
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- Chopped dates, optional
- Place chicken breasts on the bottom of crock pot sprayed with cooking spray and set to high heat.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat and add onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until translucent- about 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and continue to cook until tender. Stir in salt, pepper, red curry paste, curry powder, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, and coriander seed and stir continuously for 1 minute. Deglaze pan with 1 cup chicken broth. Turn heat down to low and add capers, tomatoes (chopping them up a bit in the pan!), and orange juice. Top with cilantro and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add potato mixture to top of chicken in crock pot. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours until chicken is cooked through.
- Preheat oven to 350 deg.
- In the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 casserole dish, layer rice and lentils. Top with broccoli, cauliflower and peas.
- Layer crock pot contents except for chicken, leaving behind some juice in the crock pot.
- Pour 1 cup of remaining chicken broth on top of veggies.
- With two forks, shred chicken. Add more spices if desired (I ended up adding a bit more cumin, red pepper flakes, curry paste and curry powder). Stir in lime juice. Continue to cook for about 30 more minutes to allow shredded chicken time to really soak up the flavor.
- Add chicken to casserole dish and cook, covered, for 50 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes before serving.