Dumpster Fire Chicken Curry Stew (Achievement Unlocked: “Efed it Up, Ate it Anyway”)

The Post That Started It All (and that ended up birthing this blog), preserved here forever — or at least for as long as I keep paying to renew the domain name. 😀 Good thing, too, that I grabbed it to stuff in here since the moderators eventually found it and had to delete it from FB for not being “Rated-G” per group rules! Whoops. 

(Disclaimer: Images used are shamelessly stolen from around the Internet, since I didn’t take any pix that night.)


So. Dinner tonight. Hooo boy. For some reason I had a second vacu-sealed package of chicken thighs thawed from when I made the Urvashi Pitre’s Now and Later Butter Chicken earlier in the week. What the hell, it was yummy, I’ll make it again.

And then everything went down hill.

Red Bell Pepper

I had a red bell pepper that was seriously on it’s last legs. But I’ve had curry with bell peppers in it, so it should be ok, right? Nevermind what I have is a red bell pepper and not a green bell pepper. So I chop up the threatening-to-rot monster and throw it into the pot. So, for those of you keeping track: 1 whole red bell pepper, chopped into roughly 1″ squares.


Time to fetch the chicken. Damn, what about these carrots? Why do I have extra carrots? I know I made something awhile ago with carrots, but eww, carrots. And they were pretty hefty carrots, too — manly, even, if you get my drift. What I’m saying here is: they had some girth. (Or at least one of them did. But the second one did show potential.)

Peeled those bad boys, chopped them up, bisected them, and threw them in the pot. For those keeping score: 2 manly carrots, one mid-20’s, one late-teens, peeled then chopped into who knows let’s call them 1″ squares. (How to make rounds into squares is left as an exercise for the reader. 😉 )


And holy hell, what’s this in the fridge? An almost-whole-bundle of celery. I mostly hate celery, why do I have celery? Not sure what I was thinking, but into the pot it went: 1 bundle of celery, cut into 4″ slices.

Tomatoes & Spices

But wait, I’m supposed to be making the butter chicken recipe. So I go and check the instructions. OK, a can of diced tomatoes, plus some spices. Gotcha. Pour the can in on top of the mess already in the pot, then remember that there was some scorching last time, so add 1/2 can of water. Stir. Receive first clue that it was going to be a downhill ride. So, for the scoreboard: 14-oz can of diced tomatoes + 1/2 can of water, then stir.

Spices, right. As in literally, correct. At least I managed to follow SOME instructions properly tonight.

For the peanut gallery: 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp salt.

Garlic & Ginger

What next? Minced garlic and chopped ginger. I have garlic, I have ginger. Ain’t got no time for that chopping shit, because we’re headed downhill fast. So out of the fridge come the magic jars.

Fling in some scoops of garlic. Fling in a few more scoops garlic, because: garlic. Duh. Don’t even bother trying to avoid the oil, just dig right on down into that jar and scoop it up — this whole thing is already well on its way to being a dumpster fire anyway, so why the hell not.

Also, fling in some mooshed up ginger goo from it’s jar, and stir. Yup, dumpster fire is definitely on the horizon. So, we’ll call this 1 Tbsp pre-minced garlic from a jar + 1 tsp smooshed ginger from a jar, then stir.

Heeeeeere Chickie Chickie Chickie

Finally, chicken time. I bought in bulk and vaccu-sealed and froze it a couple of weeks ago. Package clearly says, in my handwriting, “4 chicken thighs”. Open it up and find 3. Unroll those little f’ers looking for the fourth. No luck. By now things are already going downhill so fast, I wasn’t even in the mood to BorkBorkBork, so I just flung them on top of the hot mess already in the pot. Try to spread them out a little, then wash hands, because: eww, chicken goo. We’ll lie and call this: 4 thawed chicken thighs.

Once more remember that I started out trying to to just make butter chicken again — with just a few tweeks. Obviously I was having a very generous interpretation of “a few” — so I threw in a whole onion. OK, I kinda chopped it first. Acutally, I sliced it on the x-, y-, and z-axis. But we’ll just call it: 1 whole onion, large-chop.

Cook, NPR, QR!

OK, that’s enough of a mess now. What’s the recipe say? 10 minutes. Ok, but it seemed kinda under last time, so sure 20 sounds good. Lid on pot, Manual, High pressure. Remember later that the chicken was “under” last time because it was still kinda frozen. Oh well, too late now, I’m already upstairs, and Chicago Med is starting. Ain’t going back downstairs yet. We’ll just let the dumpster fire burn. For the record: Manual, High Pressure, 20 minutes.

NPR for 33 minutes because, hello: Chicago Med. You probably only want to NPR for 10 minutes.

Damage Control

Finally make it downstairs to check on what unholy mess has been created. And it was pretty unholy. Now what? Get a metal bowl and a strainer, dump that shit in and separate out the solids. Liquids back into the pot. Stare for awhile at the disaster in front of me. Pick out all the celery that hasn’t already decomposed, because: ew, celery.

Stare for awhile longer. Go into denial.

Shift focus to the liquid in the pot. Now what? How about a can of coconut milk. We’ll see what that does. Grab the can in front. “Lite”. Too lazy to look for the real stuff. For the scoreboard: Strain, return liquid to pot, Saute Normal, 1 can of coconut milk — but use the good kind, not the thin crap.

Return to the compost heap — I mean vegetables etc — on the counter. Oh yeah there was some chicken in there. Where the hell is my chicken? Kinda sorta find the chicken, and pick it out the best that I could. The 3 chicken thighs seem to have magically become 2 chicken thighs. Not even in the mood to wonder why or how. For the record: Remove and discard celery. Remove and chop chicken. Borking optional.

But I still have the mushy onions and red bell bepper. The manly carrots actually survived, but eww carrots. Check on the liquid. Starting to bubble but hasn’t really thickened. Tastes OK, but not fantastic.

More Spices!

Oh yeah, Garam Masala. Recipe says 1 tsp, but my 1tsp is already in the sink. Fortunately the jar has a shaker top. Shake shake shake. ShakeShakeShakeShake. Yeah, shaking spices over a steaming pot not the best plan. Eventually shake in what may or may not be the proper amount. So we’ll just call this: 1 tsp Garam Masala.

Taste test. Meh. Now what? Well the original recipe says to puree the tomatoes, but those disentegrated. But then I remember carrot is supposed to add sweetness. What the hell, back into the pot go the carrots, mushy onions, and mushy red bell peppers. Out comes the immersion blender. The kitchen is now decorated in tumeric colored polka dots.

Taste test. Hrm, better, but still not quite right. Look over at “chopped” chicken. It’s more shredded, and I didn’t make pot-in-pot rice since the dumpster fire was so full. (Did I mention the dumpster fire let off lots of liquid, so I’m now working with a pot of liquid up to the 2L line.)

Chicken “Hair” + Food Network is now a Verb

Look over at the “chopped” chicken. Wonder if it could thicken the sauce. “Chopped” chicken. Chopped. Decide I’m going to Food Network the shit outta this dinner, if it’s the last thing I do.

Into pot goes the chicken. BorkBorkBork, then buzz the life out of it with the imersion blender. They were well-and-truly-Borked by the time I was done. Lots of little strands of floating chicken “hair”.

Starting to taste better and get thicker. But I still have no idea what it is or how I’m going eat it. Finally decide to make some rice in my shiny new IP-Ultra (thus far I’ve been using the LUX). 1 cup jasmine rice + 1 cup water. Directly into the pot. No rinsing, no time for Pot In Pot. Close the lid, select Rice, press Start, then go back to my dumpster fire, while a new dumpster fire starts to smolder.

MORE Spices!

Shake in some more Garam Masala. We’ll call it 1/2 tsp. Check the original recipe, which by now I’ve completely insulted through and through, to see what other spices I used at the start. Shake in some tumeric. Smaller bottle more full. Didn’t have any trouble shaking in. So really, dumped in some tumeric. We’ll call it 1 to 2 tsp. Taste test, still not right. Shake in the cumin. We’ll call it 1/2 tsp.

Heavy Cream

Rice still isn’t done, and I’m running out of ideas. Check the original recipe again. What the hell, why not pour in some cream, since the coconut milk was that “lite” crap. Should searched harder for the real can.

So: heavy cream, 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup? I dunno. Pour it in until it starts to look like Anglocized Indian food.

Killin’ Time

Getting closer. Rice still isn’t done. Well hell. Maybe I better do some dishes. Oh wait, I can add butter! 1 Tbsp of butter. Sploosh. Stir Stir Stir. Rice still isn’t done. Doing dishes is really not appealing. So sploosh goes another Tbsp of butter. Now we’re getting somewhere! But that damn rice.

OK, I give in and put away some dishes so I can wash new ones.

Rice Fail

Finally, the Ultra beeps that rice is done. Yay! Can’t remember if I’m supposed to NPR rice. Oh well. Push the button Frank. Quick Release!

Open lid. Da Fuq is this shit? I made paste. It was a sticky, gooey mess. Stuck to the bottom, stuck to the sides, couldn’t even fluff it up with the silicon spatula I’ve been using on the liquid pot. (HehHeh “Liquid Pot”) This calls for a wooden spatula. Carved that shit outta there and flung it into the other pot. We’ll call this: 2 cups of pre-cooked jasmine rice.

Deliver Punishment

What next? Bzzzzt! Immersion Blender Time! Bzzzzzt! Bzzzzzt! Bzzzzzt! ACK! This time it’s ME in the tumeric colored polka dots, and not just the kitchen. Added bonus: it splashed and burned me a few times.

Taste test. Well at least the consistency is finally decent — and daaaaaayum girl, it’s even got some nappe going on. (Fancy French word for the ability of a liquid to coat the back of a spoon.) If I’m gonna Food Network the shit outta this dinner, I’m getting me some nappe dammit!

And that’s pronounced “nah-pay” folks, NOT pronounced like the diapers worn by babies with British accents.

Taste is still a little flat. Ponder, Ponder, Ponder. What are the judges on Chopped always complaining about? No raw red onions. No truffle oil. No siracha. Damn, none of that helps.

Oh! Not enough salt!! Kosher salt to the rescue. Dump some in. Damn that shit pours out fast. We’ll call that: 2 tsp Kosher Salt.


Stir. Stir. Stir. Taste test. Hrm… Pretty close. But still not right. Ponder. Ponder. Ponder. WWAFS? (What Would Amanda Freitag Say?) “Needs some acid!” Oh, I can do that!

Looks at the lemons. Looks at the limes. Looks at the orange. Looks at the boxes of True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange. “True Lime” it is.

One packet into the pot. Stir. Stir. Stir. Hrm. Not too shabby.

Second packet into the pot. Hey, I think we have something edible!

“Recipe in the comments.” 😉
  • Haha, no it’s not — it’s just a little further down on this page. 😀

Inspiration Credit

The above adventure was inspired by Urvashi Pitre’s Now and Later Butter Chicken recipe. So please pop on over to her site to give her some love, and try the real recipe! It is off-the-charts YUMMY.

Note that I did actually make it correctly the first time I tried it, and that the above tale is in absolutely no way a reflection on said original recipe!

It is, however, absolutely a reflection of my (lack of) cooking skill. 😀

Day-Later Addendum

Status update! (Because you’ve all been waiting in an-ti-ci-PATION! Haven’t you? )

I was running late this morning, so missed breakfast.

Lunchtime rolled around and, after reading all your… entertaining… FB comments regarding my grand adventure last night, I was hesitant to dive into the leftovers that I had packed.

Finally by 2:30pm my stomach was demanding food.

And since the only thing I’d packed was the Dumpster Fire Chicken Curry, I could avoid it no longer. About half way through eating it, LOOK WHAT I FOUND!

One of those damn carrots managed to survive!

Not sure how it happened. But it happened.

Two-Days-Later Addendum

Status update #2!

I threw the rest of it out.

While it was edible fresh & hot, it did not “keep” well.

What a shocker. 😉


Dumpster Fire Chicken Curry Stew

Recipe is for entertainment purposes only!

Throw the following into the pot, and mix to incorporate:

  • 1 whole red bell pepper, chopped into roughly 1″ squares
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, halved and then cut into 1/2 “chunks
  • 1 bundle of celery, optional, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thawed & chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped into 1″ chunks
  • 14-oz can of diced tomatoes + 1/2 can of water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pre-minced garlic from a jar
  • 1 tsp smooshed ginger from a jar

20 minutes on Manual, High Pressure, with Natural Release (about 10 minutes).

Leave pot on Keep Warm and add the following:

  • 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk

Carefully immersion blender the whole thing (chicken and all).

Then add:

  • 2 cups of already cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 to 2 tsp garam masala, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tsp tumeric, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, to taste

Optional: immersion blender it again

Finally, switch to Saute Less, and add:

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp butter, cubed
  • another can of coconut milk, optional (or try 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • fresh squeezed lime, optional, about 1/4 to 1/2 of a lime (or 1 to 2 packets of “Real Lime”), to taste

Stir until it begins to thicken and bubble.

Fiddle with it until it tastes right.

Serve in bowls with a spoon.


  • garnish with chopped cilantro

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