My friend Nadine very generously gave me a Crock-Pot for my birthday, and while I’ve never really lusted after one (I didn’t know they were so sleek and modern now; I remember too well my Mom’s enormous brown crockery Crock-Pot that weighed about 30 pounds and sat unused in the cabinet over the stove), I’m getting excited about the possibility of Crock-Pot apple butter, or pumpkin butter, maybe even ketchup before tomatoes disappear for the season.
But as a test run, I decided to try out a simple chicken stew that I found in the little Crock-Pot cookbook that came with my new toy. I stayed pretty true to the original recipe at the start, wanting to give it a chance, but after a couple hours of cooking, it looked and smelled extremely bland and very white. So, tumeric and cayenne and chile flakes to the rescue! After another couple of hours of cooking, it actually turned out fairly well: the flavor was good and the sauce that I feared would never reduce actually reduced a little bit too much (I added a touch more lime juice at the end). Some of the chicken pieces were moist, juicy and falling apart tender, while some seemed very dry and overcooked: not sure if that means I cooked it too long, or not enough? Any Crock-Pot wisdom out there for a neophyte? At any rate, this chicken dish disappeared pretty quickly and I’m excited about all the possibilities for my new Crock-Pot. All of you slow cooker mavens: have a killer Crock-Pot recipe? Please share your favorites in comments below!
Adapted from African Style Turkey on Couscous in the little cookbook that came with my new Crock-Pot
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 2-inch dice
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 and 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp chile flakes
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- rice, couscous or other grain for serving
- sliced red bell pepper for garnish
- Combine all ingredients (except rice and bell pepper) in the bowl of your Crock-Pot or slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 3 – 4 hours. Liquid will thicken to a sauce and chicken will be very tender and begin to shred when done.
- Serve over rice (or other grain), garnished with red bell pepper or other bright, crunchy vegetable.
- As noted above, the original recipe was, IMO, bland and awfully white. I added lots of tumeric and cayenne and extra garlic, ginger and chile flakes.
- I’m thinking about a one-pot dish that is less meat intensive: maybe add chickpeas, and lots more vegetables; carrots, celery, bell pepper, a jalapeno or two, maybe even some winter squash.
Cooked chicken will last up to 5 days refrigerated.