Last week, as I was stumbling around in my post-London early rising state, I went into the kitchen made coffee then settled in at my desk. As I opened my RSS feed, and began catching up on days lost, Amy’s soup completely grabbed me and pulled me in. My heart started racing with excitement as I scribbled the ingredients on a scrap of paper, then I began thinking about my slow cooker, and the next thing I knew I was plotting out making this recipe for Slow Cooker Spicy Cauliflower Chicken Chowder.
Let me start out by saying that Lenny pretty much likes everything I put on the table, and seconds are usually always enjoyed and leftovers are never found in the fridge. This soup warranted three hefty bowls for him at one setting. Yep, it is a winner! While I love Amy’s version which is a quick get it on the table recipe by using an already roasted organic chicken from the market, I wanted something that would take all day filling the kitchen with comfort, so I adapted using the slow cooker.
For this version of Amy’s recipe, I used 3 plump organic and cage-free chicken legs and thighs, which I seasoned with salt and pepper before browning. Then I let the chicken mingle all afternoon with stock, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and a spicy jalapeño. I thought the spicy pepper would be a great companion with the coconut milk, and it was. An hour before serving, I added chopped cauliflower and slightly thickened coconut milk. All that was left to do was to fill soup bowls full, then sprinkled cilantro and avocado on top, and enjoy. And enjoy is exactly what we did.
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Slow Cooker Spicy Cauliflower Chicken Chowder
4 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 chicken legs with thighs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
3 carrots, scrubbed clean and rough chop
3 stalks celery, rough chop
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
13.5 ounces light coconut milk
1 medium head cauliflower, rough chop
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
handful cilantro, rough chop
1 avocado, diced
1 large Fresno chili, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
If you use a slow cooker with the removable insert to brown, then place on the stove top. If not, then do this step in a large frying pan.
Add the olive oil and the diced bacon into the pan that you will use for browning. Cook over medium-low for 5 minutes.
Lightly season the chicken legs with salt and pepper, then place into the hot pan, and lightly brown on all sides until slightly golden.
Add the garlic, onion, jalapeño, carrots, and celery, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Place the insert back into the slow cooker or if you are not using a slow cooker insert, then put everything into the slow cooker you are using.
Add the chicken stock. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours
One (1) hour before serving, remove the chicken legs and shred the meat. As well remove 1/2 cup of the stock.
Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker along with the cauliflower; cook for another 30 minutes either on the low or high heat.
Place the reserved 1/2 cup of stock into a medium-sized bowl, whisk in the arrowroot or cornstarch and the coconut milk.
Whisk until smooth, then pour back into the slow cooker at the 30-minute mark.
Finish cooking until thickened and the cauliflower is cooked but still slightly firm, should take 20 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro, avocado and if more heat is wanted some diced Fresno chili.