Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Crock-Pot II

During medical school, you don't have a lot of time for a lot of things, including meal preparation. As, hopefully, you've read, I recently got over my fear of using the slow cooker. Besides it not having a light that tells me it's working, I have only positive things to say about it. It's quite the time-saving aide in the kitchen; it makes a lot of food; it's easy to clean; the food turns out yummy! (Thus far.)

Last week, I made my favorite dish in the world. Chicken cacciatore is the ultimate comfort food for me. I can remember watching my mother in the kitchen making this dish and asking me, her sous chef, to taste along the way for quality control.

My version last week was not my mother's cacciatore, but it was good nonetheless. Below is my super-simplified slow cooker recipe for chicken cacciatore.

CHICKEN CACCIATORE*
You'll need:
  • One jar Italian tomato sauce, such as "Tomato Basil" or simple marinara sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic, to taste, minced (2 was just right for me)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 packs (10 pieces total) chicken drumsticks (you can used thighs or breasts), skin removed
  • One 6-8 ounce pack of fresh mushrooms (white button or baby portabella), quartered or leave whole
  • 1 bay leaf, snapped in two
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Layer half the tomato sauce and all of the onion, garlic, bay leaf, bell pepper, and chicken in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper as you go. Toss the mushrooms on top and cover with the second half of the tomato sauce. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 3 hours on "High," or 6-7 hours on "Low." When ready, serve over rice and enjoy!

(If you want to get fancy: once cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate or two. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons each of flour, water and/or wine from that opened bottle on your counter (you know it's there) until smooth. Stir into the sauce in the cooker and turn to "High," cover, and cook until thickened, 10-15 minutes. Pour sauce and veggies over the chicken on some rice -- Yum!)

* Modified from Beth Hensperger's Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, 2005.

1 comment:

Rella said...

wow, you're quite the chef! I have all those ingredients, I think, so I will definitely have to try it soon. Thanks!