A Blue Apron Review From a Beginner Cook | Scratch That Cooking

Substandard Sous Chef: Kailee’s Blue Apron Experience

chicken chili with pita bread in a pretty blue bowl on a wood table

You might think that being married to a person who has a blog about scratch cooking that I might have picked up a few tricks here and there. Well, there are two things you need to learn about me.  1) I didn’t and 2) my college roommates could tell you I have a long history of cooking disasters.

Although I still have improved from my days of congealed solid masses of hamburger helper (still not sure how that happened) I very rarely cook. One fabulous thing about having a partner who genuinely loves cooking is I often get spoiled by getting to relax on the couch with the cats while Thomas creates in the kitchen. The bad thing is I have absolutely no knife skills (not kidding here, Thomas usually stands by me and winces while I chop) and completely from scratch recipes can be pretty intimidating. That’s why I thought I would share something that helps me get in the kitchen and feel successful. Blue Apron!

Blue Apron recipe sheet held on a magnetic knife rack

Holding the recipe on the knife rack was a handy little trick Thomas thought of during prep

We very rarely order Blue Apron it usually gets delivered when we forget to skip a week, which is exactly what happened this time, but I always enjoy them when we do get them. We have tried HelloFresh as well but I feel like Blue Apron has more flavors and dishes I wouldn’t think of on my own. For example, the chili I tried for this post added currents! Would have never thought of that!

ingredients for Blue Apron Spiced Chicken Chili

All the ingredients laid out & ready to go… minus one lemon

I think my favorite thing about subscription food boxes is the time and stress cut out of the cooking process due to not having to shop for ingredients and often everything is portioned out. I hate having to buy specialty ingredients for recipes and then throwing out the rest when it expires.

I am most definitely a visual learner so I also love that all the ingredients are listed on the front side of the card with pictures. You may notice I am missing a lemon due to Thomas stealing it the day before to make hummus, from scratch of course! (If you love Hummus request that he shares his recipe, it’s so yummy!)

back of blue apron recipe sheet for chicken chili

Steps so easy even I can do it! And there is a nutrition breakdown for each Blue Apron recipe

Blue Apron does a great job with both visual steps and very clear, succinct written steps. Which is great for a person like me who almost never can read a recipe through before starting (I can picture Thomas face palming right now). Also, notice that even though many ingredients are pre-measured there are a few things to prep. In this recipe, I had to chop some sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic but what I love is the proteins come ready to go (the chicken was even cut into small pieces for the chili). Even though Thomas loves to debone a chicken, I can not stand cutting raw meat so this is a huge bonus!

mise en place for chicken chili recipe from Blue Apron

prepping the ingredients took less than 10 minutes, and Thomas would be so proud of my mise en place!

As I said I am not the most talented in the kitchen so there were a few tools that helped make things a little easier on me. I am not sure if anyone else has this problem but my eyes are so sensitive to the onion that mid chopping my eyes are so watery I have to tag in Thomas to finish it up. While these might not be the most attractive kitchen tool, I find them helpful!

beautiful excited woman wearing onion goggles and holding a red onion

Don’t judge the glasses, they really work! You can check out the goggles at Amazon by pressing here.

I am also a fan of the silicone garlic peeler since those little cloves are so tiny and I am not sure I have the patience or skill to peel them with a knife. Thomas is not a fan of having a lot of single use tools in the kitchen but we agree these two are keepers.

green garlic peeler from sur la table with garlic cloves next to it

Handy-dandy garlic peeler, check it out at Sur La Table here.

This might be a no-brainer for some, but Blue Apron does a great job with teaching to season throughout a recipe. Listed throughout the recipe is “season with salt and pepper.” Growing up I think I only ever saw salt and pepper added at one point. I didn’t realize how much of an impact this can have on food and make the flavors come alive. (No offense Mom, I love your food and you are a wonderful cook…)

wooden spoon stirring yams and red onions on a stovetop

cooking (and seasoning) the yams and red onions

Overall it was a great success! Thomas even brought home a lemon and walked in the door just as I needed it! I love cooking when I have a recipe I can be confident in and when I know I will not be in the kitchen all day, so far Blue Apron has never steered me away. I would recommend Blue Apron or any other subscription box to those who may love the idea of scratch cooking but might feel a little intimidated to break down a chicken or make their own pita bread for a chili. Another thing I love about Blue Apron is they always include quick easy sides like a kale dish or citrus rice. These are great to just learn basics and get comfortable with cooking so I can whip these up without a recipe! I’m pretty sure not using a recipe makes you an expert chef right?! 😉

chicken chili with pita bread in a pretty blue bowl on a wood table

Voila! Spiced Chicken Chili with chickpeas currants from Blue Apron

Print Recipe
Spiced Chicken Chili with Chickpeas & Currants
chicken chili with pita bread in a pretty blue bowl on a wood table
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
chicken chili with pita bread in a pretty blue bowl on a wood table
  1. Prepare the Ingredients. -Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F -Wash and dry the fresh produce -Peel and medium dice the sweet potato -Peel and small dice the onion -Peel and roughly chop the garlic -Drain and rinse the chickpeas -Quarter and deseed the lemon -Cut the pita into six wedges
  2. Cook the Chicken -Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. -In a large, high-sided pan or pot, heat two teaspoons of olive oil until hot and shimmering. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4-6 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and leave any fond (browned bits) in the pan.
  3. Start the Chili. -Add the sweet potato and onion to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly softened. -Add the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has thickened. -Add the currants and cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. -Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of all four lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Make the pita chips. -While the chili cooks, place the pita on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single layer. -Toast in the oven 7-9 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven.
  5. Plate your dish. -Divide the finished chili between two dishes. -Transfer the pita chips to a serving dish and serve on the side. Enjoy!