A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Crock Pot Week! Pesto chicken with sweet potatoes March 30, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,poultry — frappqueen @ 7:59 am
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Okay so the way I’ve been updating, its more like Crock Pot Two weeks! It’s okay, we really ate them all in one week, I promise! This last recipe was interesting…also from the 365 blog, it featured cooking two things at once, which sounded like it would never work, but totally did! Basically, you put the chicken in the bottom, top it with cheese and homemade pesto, then cover with foil and pop the two sweet potatoes in on top to steam to perfection! The chicken came out a tad dry but I think I left it in there waaay too long, so that was probably my own fault. Either way, Mike declared it a dish I must make Often!

I didn’t actually change anything in this recipe, and I’m lazy today, so here’s the link to the recipe directly from it’s source!

Pesto Chicken with sweet potatoes!

The sweet potatoes came out SO great this way, I’d totally just make them all alone using the crock method…insides were so soft and flavorful, yum!!

 

Crock Pot Week! Chicken Noodle Soup March 24, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,poultry,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 5:35 pm
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This one is also from the 365 Blog. The thing that made it awesome is the dash of balsamic vinegar that they say to add. Genius! It made it have a really nice extra zing that was hard to identify. Fantastic! I used a lot of pre-cut veggies from the grocery store, which made it even easier to chuck in the crock. Try it!

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 cups already cooked chicken meat
6 cups water
1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (check for gluten, this was clearly labeled gluten free)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt to taste (probably a good 1 teaspoon, since the base is water)
50-cent piece size, or so, handful of raw spaghetti noodles to add at the end (I used Trader Joe’s brown rice)
1 large handful raw spinach leaves to add at the end
Parmesan and Asiago cheese, optional garnish

Method:

Toss everything into the crock up until the kosher salt. Let cook on low for 8 hours or more until sweet potatoes are tender. 15 minutes before serving add in the spaghetti and spinach ( I ended up leaving the spinach out as I had somehow miscalculated all of my ingredients and there was no way it was fitting in that pot!) Serve with some crusty bread or crackers and enjoy!

 

Crock Pot Week! Corned Beef and Cabbage March 21, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,meat — frappqueen @ 8:23 pm
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Of course this particular crock week came up the same time as St. Patrick’s Day. Being that I’m blue eyed, freckled and Irish, Corned beef has got to be made! It is actually one of my favorite meals and I only make it once a year for some reason. I don’t know why I don’t ever make it any other day than St. Pat’s day, its so easy when you use the crock! Anyway…I call it corned beef and Cabbage but..I HATE cabbage. It is nasty and mushy and I just don’t like it when it’s cooked for so long. So, I reallly make corned beef and carrots and potatoes. But that’s okay, you can add the cabbage to your crock if it makes you happy!

Corned Beef minus the Cabbage in the Crock

Package of corned beef WITH seasoning packet (this year I used Nathan’s, but any brand will do, just check for the packet!)

1 pound baby red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half

1 bag baby carrots

water to cover it all in the crock

Method:

This is surely the easiest thing ever: Toss the meat, packet, carrots and taters into the crock. Add enough water to the pot to cover the meat completely. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5. Serve with some mustard and some Irish Soda Bread if you’ve got it! Sadly I made too small a hunk of meat this year: no leftovers!

 

Crock Pot Week! Carnitas in the Crock March 20, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,pork,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 7:31 am
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This is also from the 365 blog. I made this when my school had March Madness, which means our school’s teachers play vs. the teachers of our rival intermediate school. I do not play, but I always get suckered into selling water the whole night. It is fun, but we don’t get home til after 9, which is exhausting! In past years, I end up eating a lovely KFC bowl or somethings, but this year, I decided I ought to eat real food on my arrival home. The recipe for carnitas looked easy enough and it really was! It took about 5 minutes to prep it in the morning…with the exception of the fact that as I was reaching into the cabinet for my beef stock, I knocked over a jar of chicken bouillon and it SHATTERED all over the counter! Ugh! It took 20 minutes to clean up all the shards and made me late for work. But uh, the meal itself was still fast, I promise!

Carnitas in the Crock Pot

2 pounds pork shoulder (I couldn’t find shoulder, just used a roast)

1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice (1 large orange)

1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice (1 large lime)

7 cloves garlic, smashed but intact

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 c. beef broth

tortillas (she says corn but we like flour better)

sour cream, avocado, salsa, cheese for toppings!

Method:

In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork and put it in the crock. Add the garlic cloves and squeeze on the citrus. Pour in the beef broth evenly over the top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the pork shreds easily with a fork. If your meat is still intact after 8 hours, cut it into chunks and cook it on high for about an hour or two.

Shred meat fully and serve on tortillas with toppings!

We will totally make this again, the pork was amazingly good!! The citrus gave it a really yummy tang and the cumin made it smokey and awesome. I didn’t even use salsa on my carnitas, the avocado, sour cream and cheese were perfect touches. Delicious!!

 

Crock Pot week! Cranberry Roast March 17, 2010

Filed under: meat — frappqueen @ 8:30 pm
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One of my favorite websites in the whole entire world is “356 Crockpot” This woman set a goal two years ago to cook for her family EVERY day in her crock for a year! Not only did she do it, she ended up making a career out of it! She has cookbooks and was on tv and is still super funny and awesome and I wish she was my friend in real life! Anyway, I had forgotten about her blog, but this weekend, I remembered and she inspired me: How about I try to cook for a week once a month using my crock? Every meal for a week, fun new recipes each time? Why not!

First up I tried her recipe for Cranberry Roast as it lured me with its four simple ingredients. It seriously took me about five minutes to prep it in the morning. I got it ready while my bread toasted! The recipe itself was super simple, but next time I think I would add a bit of liquid, it came out a bit dry for my taste and Mike agreed. I think a 1/2 a cup of beef broth added to it would have made it perfect. Using whole cranberries and cooking it on low for hours ends up with a tangy-sweet sauce, and the cranberries mellow out. So good over mashed potatoes!

Cranberry Roast:

2-3 pounds beef or pork roast or stew chunks (I used stew chunks)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 16 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce

(next time I’d add a 1/2 c. beef broth)

Method:

Throw all the ingredients in the crock in this order: onions, beef, soy sauce, can o’ cran…then add the beef broth if you want to. Cover and cook on low for like 10 hours*…can be done in 7 though. If you cook it on high, it would be ready in roughly five hours. Serve with the gravy over some mashed potatoes. I used instant, talk about the easiest meal ever invented!

*I’m wondering if my meat was dry because I just cooked it too long and used stew pieces and not a whole piece of beef? If I’d been home to check it at 7 hours it might have been perfect then. So I guess if you will be away awhile, add some liquid! Otherwise, give it a try as-is. Tell me how it goes!