Slow Cooker Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup)
Some of the ingredients are a bit difficult to find, such as the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and red Thai chilies (surprisingly). I was able to find some at Uwajimaya, but if that's not available to you, ginger, lime zest, and dried chilies can be easily substituted.
1.5 lbs chicken thighs, chopped
5 oz oyster mushrooms
2 oz galangal (or ginger)
2 stalks lemongrass
5 kaffir lime leaves (or ½ tbsp. lime zest)
2-7 Thai chilies (fresh or dried)
3 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
4 cups high quality chicken stock
1/3 cup cilantro
1. Cut off ends of lemongrass. Discard outer leaves.
2. Chop lemongrass into small pieces.
3. Slice galangal/ginger.
4. Slice chilies.
5. Put lime leaves, lemongrass, and galangal slices on a piece of cheesecloth. Tie ends of cloth together, making sure the aromatics will not escape during cooking.
6. In a crockpot, add chicken thighs, mushrooms, chilies, aromatics, coconut milk, and broth.
7. Cook on low 7 hours, or high 3 hours.
8. Discard aromatics.
9. Add cilantro and juice of 1 lime.
10. Enjoy as a soup or with a side of rice.
If using dry chilies, chop them very small, or keep them whole – they are a little tough even after a long cooking time.
Some brands of coconut milk will separate. For best results and if available, use the carton variety.
If the soup does separate, whisk it with a wire whisk and slowly add ½ to 1 cup hot broth. Whisk until incorporated again.
If not using very high quality, flavorful stock (such as homemade), the soup will taste watery. If homemade stock is not available, use chicken bouillon. For 4 cups of water, use 6 tsp of bouillon to create a more flavorful broth.