Thai Chicken Stew

Please excuse the above word play.  If I waited until I actually had a picture of what came out of my crock pot, it could be a while before I shared this recipe with you.  And that would be a shame.  So yes TIE + CHICKEN + (STOOP – P) = THAI CHICKEN STEW.

For those of you wondering what the hell a stoop is, here in Baltimore many of the rowhouses don’t have a front porch.  They have a set of steps, or a stoop as we like to call it.  My apologies if that colloquialism left anyone at a disadvantage in deciphering my  pictogram.  But hey, you learned something new about Baltimore AND you’re getting a recipe.  That’s a total win.

I need to come clean right now and say that this recipe came from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  I’m still not subscribing to Cook’s Illustrated, and never will again, but during a recent trip to the bookstore, I saw that ATK had a brand new crock pot cookbook out.  I know that my crock pot is good for more than overnight oatmeal and butter braised onions, I just didn’t have a wealth of crock pot recipes I was interested in making to get more out of it.  So I swallowed my indignation and handed over $26.95 plus tax to buy the damn book.

So far, the results have been pretty good.  Thai Chicken Stew was a hit.  Beef Pot Pie (minus the crust) was superb.  Mole Chicken Chili was too spicy, but full of promise.  The biggest beef I have with the recipes, specifically the chicken ones, is that ATK developed them to cook for approximately four to six hours on low.  That’s great if I want to free up time on a weekend for things besides cooking.  But it really doesn’t help me one bit during the week.  I’m gone for at least ten hours on a work day; I can’t work a four to six hour cook time into that schedule.  So until I mange to confound the laws of space and time, ATK and their crock pot recipes will only be put into the weekend line up.

But that’s not to say that the leftovers won’t find their way into the rotation on a Monday or Wednesday.

Thai Chicken Stew

Adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution

BAH Tip:  I have started to keep my Thai chiles in the freezer.  Instead of trying to stem, seed, and dice the buggers, I use my microplane to grate them directly into my bowl.

BAH Note:  The recipe can be prepared through the end of cooking the chicken, transferred to a dutch oven, and then refrigerated.  When you’re ready to finish, simply transfer the dutch oven to the stove top, reheat, and continue with the recipe.  I used this method and found that the chicken fell off the bone with the mere stir of a wooden spoon.  IF the leftovers had survived for longer than a day, I would have added some more chicken broth and dropped some cooked egg noodles in for the most luxurious chicken soup.

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 Thai or jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced (See Tip above)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
  • 1/4 cup Minute tapioca
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, bone in or boneless, skins removed
  • 1 cup frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Combine the carrots, onions, chiles, ginger, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl and microwave for approximately 10 minutes until the vegetables soften.  Transfer the vegetable mixture to your slow cooker.

While the vegetables microwave, season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper and set aside.

After the vegetables have been transferred to the crock pot, stir in the broth and tapioca and add the lemongrass.  Place the chicken in the crock pot, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours until the chicken is done.  About 30 minutes before the chicken is done, add the frozen cubed squash to the slow cooker.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and once it has cooled slightly, shred it into pieces.

Allow the liquid in the crock pot to settle then skim any fat from the surface and remove the lemongrass.

Pour the coconut milk into a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is hot.  Stir the lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar into the hot coconut milk and then add it to the crock pot.  Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

{printable recipe}

16 thoughts on “Thai Chicken Stew

  1. They’re stoops in PIttsburgh, too. As in, “I’m ginna sit on a stoop with Donnie and have an ‘arn.”
    What did “Cooks Illustrated” do to induce the boycott?

    1. So we’re not the only ones? That’s a relief. I was worried that the reference to the stoop would alienate 99% of the people who read this.

      My beef with Cook’s Illustrated goes back a few years when Chris Kimball’s arrogance about the “legitimacy” of bloggers finally pushed me over the edge. I had a bit of a hissy fit that you can read if you like.


  2. what if you used frozen thighs? would that add a few more hours to the cooktime? cus i gotta say, that is so annoying that these recipes are only for 4-6 hours!

    i love crock pot concoctions that use up chicken thighs etc.and what is minute tapioca?

    1. Minute Tapioca is the tapioca version of Minute Rice. Helps to thicken the stew.

      I don’t really know how frozen chicken would work. I wonder if the other ingredients would end up over cooked? There’s only one way to find out though.


    1. Sadly, we don’t have those lovely marble steps Tracy. Ours are boring concrete. But at least they are attached to a covered front porch!


    1. I definitely recommend this one Beth. Have you found any way to stretch the cooking time on the chicken recipes to make them more weeknight friendly?


    1. Jenna, I know that ATK tests the hell out of the recipes and that they are pretty solid. That’s the only reason I swallowed my indignation and bought the book.


  3. I just made this yesterday. 🙂 I also love the recipe and a few others we have tried but have to say I agree with you on the 4 to 6 hour cooking thing, that is a PAIN for weekdays. What were they thinking?!? Wondering if we didn’t put the veggies in the microwave for the 10 minutes and threw them in raw if that would help lenthen time? Or if that was also a measure of having more flavor released from them. Things that make you go hmmmm….

    Happy Cooking!

    1. I’m disappointed that the chicken recipes aren’t really weeknight friendly but I get that they were trying to avoid overcooking the chicken. I don’t think skipping the precooking of vegetables would do anything to increase the cooking time. It would be interesting to know if using frozen chicken increased the cook time enough to make this a weeknight possibility….maybe frozen chicken and a crock pot with a timer.

      All I know is that we really do enjoy this dish and it’s easy enough to make a batch on the weekend to have on hand for later in the week.

  4. Sorry– but quick question– my Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook didn’t mention any butternut squash cubes for this recipe. How can that be!?!? hmmmm….

    1. The addition of the frozen squash was one of my adaptations to the recipe. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find frozen butternut squash at the store again so I’ve had to leave it out of subsequent appearances of this dish.

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