Sunday, April 12, 2009

Slow cooker chicken

Anyone who owns a slow cooker knows what a lifesaver it is in terms of the time it saves you to make dinner. Just put your food in in the morning, turn it on, come back 8 hours later and . . . voila! you have dinner. But is that really dinner? Just because the chicken is cooked through, doesn't mean its tasty. I like to take an extra 5 minutes in the morning to add a flavour base. The result is infinitely better.

Disclaimer: I use a 3 quart slow cooker which really does effect how what I'm about to describe turns out.

In the pot goes: 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery and 1 onion, all cleaned and cut up into chunks (no need to peel). I also dump a tablespoon or two of whole black peppercorns.

Next goes the chicken. Something new I've discovered is wrapping the chicken in a single layer of cheese cloth before cooking it. It keeps the chicken in tack and makes it easier to serve. I only started doing this when I discoverd Dollar Store cheese cloth -- otherwise this is an excessively expensive habit.

All slow cookers required some liquid (NEVER run a slow cooker dry!), so why not add some flavour while you're at it? 1 can of vegetable or chicken broth is all you need to get things started.

Because of the size of my slow cooker, everything just barely fits and, after 8 hours, I have a chicken that has been boiling away in flavourful liquid all day. As a result, I not only have tonights dinner but I have tomorrow night's dinner as well: Wonderfully flavoured chicken stock which is perfect for chicken soup! Waste not, want not!

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