White Chicken Chili uses pantry ingredients, can be on your table in 30 minutes, and has a great vegetarian option.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission for items bought through some of the links in this post, at no cost to you. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Gracious Cooking.
Who doesn’t love swinging by their local Thai place for some yellow curry after work? No one. It’s delicious. We used to live two houses down from a Thai restaurant. I was pregnant with our first daughter, and we could smell the fried spring rolls and curry when the wind blew to the North. Let’s just say we took the occasional walk down the street for some Thai delicacies. Would it make you happy to know that you can make a yellow curry just as good or better than your neighborhood spot’s at home? Would it make you even happier if you could make it in the Crockpot? Today’s your lucky day.
Two Problems With Yellow Curry
Now, I like Thai takeout very much, but I do have two issues with restaurant yellow chicken curry. First, the vegetables are often not cooked through. I don’t particularly enjoy crunching through a piece of potato, you know? Second, the chicken is very often dry, tough, and lacking flavor.
I solved these grievances in two ways. First, by using the Crockpot so that the vegetables get nice and tender. Add the onions and peppers later in the cooking time so they don’t get mushy. I want toothsome, tender carrots and potatoes, and this recipe delivers.
Second, using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts ensures tender, flavorful, perfect chicken. Chicken thighs can withstand much more heat without drying out. In fact, they get more tender at a much higher temperature than chicken breasts can handle. This is why roasting a whole chicken can be tricky, and don’t even get me started on a whole turkey.
Let’s Talk About Curry Paste and Coconut Milk
Yellow Curry Paste
Curry paste can vary wildly in taste and spiciness from brand to brand. I used this brand and was happy with it. I would start with the three tablespoons of curry paste listed in the recipe. Then if you want more potent curry flavor, you can add more paste when you cut the chicken up and add the onions and peppers. Also, don’t taste the sauce until this point, raw chicken being what it is.
For the love, do not use “lite” coconut milk. It’s basically water in a can. Don’t do it. You will be sad. You need the fat in coconut milk for creaminess and flavor.
Coconut milk is another product whose quality varies wildly between brands. I made two batches of this curry. The first I made with this brand of coconut milk, and it was much creamier than the second batch.
Can I Make This In My Instant Pot?
You can make this in the Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting. Just know that the Instant Pot slow cooker setting cooks higher than “high” on a Crockpot. Watch the cook time, and stir so nothing burns on the bottom. I would not pressure cook this recipe. Pressure cooking does not allow any steam to escape. That means that sauces do not reduce. Your curry will be watery and thin.
Sharing is Caring
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family! Everyone needs some Crockpot yellow curry love. Also, please tag me on Instagram @At_Home_Test_Cook or #athometestcook. I can’t wait to see the curry you create! Let’s cook.
Crockpot Yellow Chicken CurryGracious Cooking
- Slow cooker
- 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 3 Tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 1 stalk lemongrass 1 stalk
- 3-4 kaffir lime leaves dried or fresh
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk don't use lite.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- salt to taste
- squeeze of lime
- cooked jasmine rice for serving
- Trim any fat you'd like to off of the chicken thighs.
- Peel your potatoes and carrots. Slice the carrots on a diagonal into about 1/3 inch slices. Quarter the potatoes, then slice into 1/3 inch slices.
- Add the chicken to the Crockpot and rub the curry paste all over the chicken.
- If the ends of your lemongrass look questionable, cut them off. Then press the lemongrass onto a cutting board with your knife, slightly crushing it. This will let it release its flavor.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk to the Crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Cook for 5 hours on low, or 3 hours on high, stirring occasionally.
- Check a potato and a carrot by cutting them in half with a fork. If they seem like they have a decent amount of give to them, proceed. If not, let everything cook for another 30 minutes before moving on.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Cut it into bite sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pot.
- Add the turmeric, onions, bell peppers, brown sugar and fish sauce to the Crockpot. Stir to combine. Let the flavors hang out together for a few minutes, and then check the sauce for seasoning. Add more salt or sugar as desired.
- Let the curry cook for one more hour (maybe half an hour on high).
- When the potatoes and carrots are done to your liking, turn off the heat. Squeeze a fresh lime over the top to brighten the sauce. Serve with jasmine rice.
My oldest daughter turned 5 this week. Who allowed this to happen!? It definitely wasn’t me. She has been soooooo excited for her birthday, especially since her sister turned 2 last month. Really, I was excited too. Five years old is big!
She was born a month early, so we weren’t exactly prepared for her arrival (not that we ever would have been anyway). Luckily her car seat had arrived 2 days before her birth. Her pregnancy was really hard. I was so sick for soooooo long. I finally stopped throwing up multiple times a day at around 28 weeks. The night before she was born, we went to a fireworks display with some friends. We had to climb a hill to get to our viewing spot, and I thought I was going to die, lol. I was in such a bad mood, and couldn’t figure out why. Turns out being in early labor will do that to you. About 4 hours after we got home, I woke up in not-so-early labor, and things got really serious really fast. Things slowed down once I got my blessed epidural, and she was born at 1:20 in the afternoon.
The NICU team was there for her birth, but they left once she started crying. She was totally fine, just small. We were so relieved.
Mark was so scared on the drive home from the hospital. It’s hilarious to watch the video I took. The fear set in for me a few days later.
The forever-ness of parenthood was terrifying. I was sure we would never make it. Everyone was right- we were never going to sleep again. By the way, if you’re in the trenches of early babyhood, you will sleep again. You really, truly will.
I vividly remember sitting in church when E was a baby, and the children in the Primary (children’s organization) got up to sing a song in the meeting. I looked at those kids, then looked at my tiny baby and thought we’d never get there. We couldn’t make it that long. E went into Primary in 2019 and I could hardly believe it. Covid happened a few months later and we had at-home church for a year, but guess what happened a couple of weeks ago? E got up with the Primary children and sang a song for Father’s Day. All of a sudden, my kid was up there. We made it.
Another side note, I had undiagnosed postpartum depression and anxiety. If you feel like you’re not going to make it, please talk to a therapist and a doctor, and do not under any circumstances let them brush you off. My life would have been a lot easier if I had done that earlier.
Birthday Brisket: A Tragedy
We got a used Traeger smoker last year, and ever since I’ve wanted to smoke a brisket. The only problem is they’re usually really expensive. Luckily, in January, I was perusing the meat section in Costco and I saw a whole brisket for $28. I snatched it and it had been waiting in my freezer for its big moment ever since.
That moment came this week. Birthday brisket was going to be awesome. I watched many videos and read a bunch of articles. I settled on a method by a guy named Meathead. With a name like that, I couldn’t go wrong. I trimmed the brisket, seasoned it, and put it on at midnight the day of the big birthday.
I went to bed, and got up at four in the blessed am to check on things. Everything was fine. The brisket was at 140 degrees, and the Traeger had plenty of pellets. I went back to bed. Tragedy struck at 7:30 am. Mark got up, checked on things, and then nervously came in to tell me that at some point the Traeger had turned off, and it was giving an LRE error code. The brisket had dropped to 100 degrees, and I had no idea how long it had been without heat. I couldn’t serve it to people. I had to throw it away.
My heart was really sad, but I don’t go down that easily. It was time for a barbecue pivot.
Costco to the Rescue
I was at Costco about a month ago, and picked up 3 racks of baby back ribs. If you know me, this is funny. I haven’t been able to eat a large amount of pork in over 10 years. My digestive system does not appreciate it. However, I wanted to try and make them. Also, I knew Mark would be very happy. So, I made one rack a few weeks ago, and put the other two in the freezer.
After the brisket was in the trash, I went down to the freezer to see what my options were, and there were the ribs. Perfect. I took them, put them in a brine to defrost, and went back to Costco to get a chicken. We would do smoked ribs and chicken and everyone would be happy.
I grabbed my chicken, came home, spatchcocked it (I’ll do a post on this sometime), and threw it in a brine too.
About an hour and a half after the pivot, the ribs and chicken were on the smoker. I also threw on some potatoes for barbecue baked potatoes. Thankfully, we still had enough time for everything to cook before the family got here for the party.
Smoked chicken is super easy. I just stuffed some garlic butter under the skin and threw it on until it reached 160 degrees, then let it rest. The ribs needed a little more attention, but I tended to them and they finished just in time.
The ribs were done first, and every last one was gobbled up. I had a little taste, and the flavor was good. I overcooked them a little, but nobody seemed to care. My kids scarfed them down, as did my sister and in-laws.
Barbecue Baked Potatoes
Have you ever had a barbecue baked potato? There was a barbecue place in my hometown that was run by a family in our church called Cafe Pig. It was the best. They served ENORMOUS baked potatoes stuffed with smoked beef, cheese, sour cream, and barbecue sauce. It was awesome. I was attempting to recreate those potatoes with my brisket. Instead, I had a smoked chicken baked potato, and it was glorious. We’ll revisit these in another post, but here it was in all its glory.
To me, this is one of the highest forms of barbecue. It’s perfect. Also, I made the barbecue sauce, and it turned out great. Again, I’ll do a post on it.
It’s Not a Birthday Without Cake
The last two years, E has had elaborate birthday cake requests. This year she wanted a kitty cake with purple frosting. I am absolutely not a cake decorator. I do not like piping. Etsy came to my rescue and here’s the cake we ended up with:
Pretty cute, right? Here’s the link to the kitty kit in case you, too are no decorator.
Just for kicks, here’s a picture of C’s cake from last month. Layer cakes are not my favorite things to make, but I bake them for my girls’ birthdays, and they usually turn out pretty tasty.
Revenge Will Be Mine
I will have brisket triumph. You’ll see. We’ll be eating those brisket potatoes. Thankfully, the chicken and ribs turned out great. Everyone was full and happy, and E had a great birthday. Failure, equipment malfunctions, and pivoting is all a part of cooking. Julia Child was the queen of the pivot. She did it with grace and humor. When Mark told me what happened, I felt sorry for myself for a second, and then literally thought “What would Julia do here?” I thought she would sadly stomp around for a little bit, then she would scold the Traeger, chuck out the brisket, wave her knife around for a minute, and fearlessly attack something else. So that’s what I did.
Chicken Alfredo is a comforting restaurant staple that is so easy to make at home. Once you try it, this recipe will be in your regular rotation.
Last week, my sister Allison made my Mediterranean chicken skewers, only she marinated and grilled the whole chicken breasts instead of making the skewers. This turned out delicious and is a great idea. A couple of days later, we made this salad with the leftover chicken.
Now, I have kind of a confession to make. I don’t usually love a salad. It has to fit certain parameters.
- It can’t be mostly lettuce.
- Bonus points if it contains no lettuce at all.
- It needs to have lots of stuff in it.
- It needs plenty of dressing.
Allison feels similarly about salads, so we made this Greek Spinach Salad with plenty of veggies, chicken, and cheese.
Where’s the cheese in the pictures, you ask? I forgot to put it on before I took the photos. Don’t be like me. I noticed my error before we ate though, thank goodness. Just imagine pearly white chunks of feta, would you? Thanks. You’re a pal.
You also might be wondering where the olives and tomatoes are, since they are usually on a Greek salad. We were just using what was in our fridges, and we had neither tomatoes nor olives. Plus, I don’t really care for olives, anyway. Feel free to put them on if that’s your jam, though.
One of the great things about salads is that there usually isn’t really a “recipe,” per se. It’s more of a list of ingredients, and you get to choose your own adventure with the proportions, depending on your preferences. This is no different. For this salad, we used:
- baby spinach
- leftover grilled chicken
- garbanzo beans
- thinly sliced red onion
- thinly sliced red bell pepper
- sliced English cucumber
- feta crumbles
The dressing does have a recipe. Those proportions need to be right, or you end up with a dressing that just tastes like olive oil, or one with waaaaay too much vinegar. Neither are good. They need to work in harmony to make your salad sing its sweet song.
This Greek Dressing uses:
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove
- dried marjoram (you could also use oregano)
- Italian seasoning
Have you ever used dried marjoram before? It’s like oregano’s more mild-mannered cousin. I like the combination of both marjoram and Italian seasoning, because it mellows the oregano, but is still present enough to pack a punch.
- baby spinach
- leftover grilled chicken
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- thinly sliced red bell pepper
- thinly sliced red onion
- English cucumber, quartered and sliced
- feta crumbles
- This is kind of a no-recipe recipe. Just add the ingredients in your desired proportions to a bowl or platter.
- Dress with Greek vinaigrette right before serving.
Greek VinaigretteGracious Cooking
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic grated or finely diced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning I use a Mediterranean blend, but any will work.
- 1 teaspoon honey
- juice of 1/2 of a small lemon
- Add all ingredients to a small mason jar.
- Secure the lid and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. This will emulsify the dressing.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission for items bought through some of the links in this post, at no cost to you. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting The At-Home Test Cook. My family…