“Simple but special” should be one of my new mottos for family dinner.
Does dinner always have to be special?  Certainly not.  It could be a grilled cheese sandwich for all I care — as long as it’s homemade with love and enjoyed together as a family, whenever possible.  But if dinner IS a little special in some way, then in my experience, it goes a long way towards keeping everybody from getting bored.  Let’s face it: the same old endless parade of chicken, pasta, soup, burgers, repeat can tend to turn you off from both eating AND cooking.

“Special” can mean a lot of things.  It can mean lighting candles during dinner, even if the meal is no fancier than a plate of spaghetti.  It can mean a fancy meal with lots of side dishes you don’t often pull out of the recipe book unless it’s a holiday.  It can mean something wild that your kids dreamed up and really, really wanted to make.  Or it can mean throwing in a little different spice, a little different flavor from the norm, just to wake up everybody’s taste buds and keep things interesting.

That’s the sort of “special” I mean when I talk about tonight’s recipe.  It’s an easy throw-together that doesn’t require much of you other than a little light chopping, but it injects a little exotic flavor into the tired old notion of chicken in a crockpot.  Let your slow cooker do the work for you, and come home to a big pot of gentle but fragrant chicken and vegetables that you can ladle over a bowl of rice for a warming dinner.  Coconut Milk Chicken is rich, mild, satisfying, and vaguely reminiscent of the stronger, spicier curries you’ve probably eaten at Thai and Indian restaurants.  Which makes it, in my opinion, a perfect “stay-in” dinner for those nights when you’d rather just junk it all and get take-out.

Slow Cooker Coconut Milk Chicken