Adapted from No Cook Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis
- 4 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
- Tomato paste, 2 6-oz. cans or 7-oz. jars
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 1/2 c. dried minced onion (or 2 c. diced onion)
- 4–8 c. vegetables (green beans, broccoli, carrots, peas – whatever you have on hand)
- 3 1/2 c. tomato sauce, 2 15-oz. cans OR 2 more cans tomato paste plus 2 c. water (maybe less, see note)
- 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
- 3–4 Tbs. curry powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- If you’re going to cook right away, put everything in a slow cooker (mine is 6 quarts and it was FULL) and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
- To freeze:
- All these ingredients will not fit in one gallon-sized freezer bag (if you use 4 c. veggies, but not 8). BUT if you leave out some of the canned stuff it will work just fine. I recommend leaving out the coconut milk and either omitting the tomato sauce and paste OR using 4 cans tomato paste and adding “+2c. water” on the outside of the bag.
- Start by labeling a gallon-sized freezer bag with the title of the recipe plus “Add 2 cans coconut milk” and also note whatever tomato products and/or water you need to add.
- Stand up the open bag in a large bowl.
- Put all the ingredients (except canned products) into the bag. If the chicken is last, it will be the first in your slow cooker which is good. Seal tightly and freeze flat.
- When you’re ready to use the meal, thaw in a large bowl in the fridge overnight so you can at least break apart to get into your slow cooker, OR do a quick thaw in a large bowl of warm water for about an hour. Your bag will be huge, so you might need to flip it around and replace the water once or twice in order to make headway. Do not thaw on the counter – raw meat!
- Pour all the contents plus the two cans coconut milk and appropriate tomato products/water into a slow cooker (it will be FULL too – mine is a 6-quart).
- Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. If partially or mostly frozen, cook on LOW for 10 hours.
- Using two large forks or an appropriate plastic cooking utensil to shred the chicken into small pieces. If the juices seem too runny, add some arrowroot starch while the slow cooker is still hot and stir it in well.
- Serve hot over cooked rice.
Conversion to use tomato paste in place of sauce: 2 c. tomato sauce = 3/4 c. tomato paste + 1 c. water
The sauce ended up fairly thin, so I would either (a) cut out the extra water and just use tomato paste or (b) add 1/4 c. arrowroot starch to thicken during the last 10 minutes before serving. SO yummy!
I found myself wanting more veggies in the sauce – use up to 8 cups if your slow cooker can handle it (6-quart necessary) OR plan to stir fry or steam some extras to serve with the meal.
My curry powder is HOT and I know my kids couldn’t handle 4 Tbs., but be my guest and go big if you love curry!
If you want to have the entire meal in the freezer, simply put into two different gallon bags and label them for use together, OR cut the recipe in half for one freezer bag at a time.
UPDATE: This meal works in the Instant Pot too, just as easy! (Although it’s such a large recipe that I leave the veggies out of the IP and steam them separately.) Details here.