Tag Archives: delicious

Don’t turn on the oven – easy Crock Pot Roast Chicken

8 Aug

Hi there. Remember me? I sure hope so, otherwise this post is going to fall on deaf mailboxes and feeds! I’ve been a bit MIA lately. I’ve had good reason. Our little mini Dachshund had some major surgery on his back, and I’ve been playing momma nurse to him. The good news is that he’s recovering really well, and starting to walk again. It’s a pretty wonky walk, and he flops down more often than not, but it’s a walk, and it’s going to get better as time goes on.

The bad news is that the rest of the world kept going on while I was playing momma nurse. Laundry, cooking, groceries, bills, work. They are all pretty rude considering they did not cease to exist until I was able to manage them again. The nerve. But, I’m BACK. Blessing you all with a weekly (maybe every other week) post of cooking, crafting or domestic bliss.

Today, it’s all about chicken. No, none of my chickens were sacrificed to make this lovely, filling and delicious concoction. But I’m sure they could smell it. And had they been given some of it, they would have gobbled it down like the little cannibals they are. Here is good old Pennsylvania, we had a week or two of fall like weather. Cool crisp nights, cool days. It was nice having the windows open, and the AC turned off. But alas, it is August, and summer is back with the 85 degree temps and ridiculous humidity. What does that mean? It means I’m pretty reluctant to turn on the oven for any extended period of time since it makes the AC run more often, which raises my electric bill, which taps into my food/fun/vet bill money. But a girl still wants a hearty meal of roast chicken every now and again. And wants it to be an easy meal. Something that cooks slowly while I’m at work. And the crock pot roast chicken was born.

This “recipe” if you can even call it that is a fairly simple one. I guess it’s more of a method. And it’ll get you to dust off your crock pot, and be almost done with dinner. I promise you won’t even break a sweat making this chicken. For real. It doesn’t have the crisp skin like you get from oven roasted chicken, but it’s tender and literally falls apart when you go to plate it. You don’t need to add any additional liquid since cooking it in the crock pot does a sort of self basting, and you can use the juices left in the pot to make a homemade gravy.

 

roast chicken sliced

Crock Pot Roast Chicken Method

Ingredients/tools:

1 whole chicken, 6-7lbs

1 lemon

Seasoning of your choice – I use Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb

Crock pot, preferably one with a timer function. Otherwise you’ll need to be around to turn it to warm at the end mark.

Start by removing the giblets if you have any. Hubs likes them, so they get tossed into the bottom of the crock pot. Rinse your chicken off and pat dry with some paper towels. Place the chicken in your crock pot, breast side up. Next, slice your lemon in half and squeeze both halves over your hand held over the chicken to catch any seeds. Toss the seeds, then stuff the juiced lemon halves into the chicken cavity. Sprinkle chicken liberally with seasoning of your choice, put the lid on your crock pot, and set it to cook on high for 6-7 hours (my rule is add 1 hour for each pound over 5lbs). After the 6 hours, remove your chicken from the crock pot and serve!

Since the crock pot doesn’t allow for crisp skin, and you may be into that – you can put the chicken in an oven safe dish and crisp up the skin under the broiler for roughly 5 minutes.

roast chicken whole

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German Pancakes with Wine-y Strawberries

18 Mar

Have I ever mentioned that I am a big fan of dessert? No? Well let me clear the air – I am a big fan of dessert. I feel so liberated now. Whew. So, on to the german pancake. I have been eyeballing this treat for some time, but never gotten around to making it.There are SO many recipes out there. Some that are super simple with few ingredients, others that are multi-layered, therefore making something that should be simplistic complicated. It’s called a pancake for goodness sakes! I had a hankering for dessert one day and figured what better time to try one out than right now? But wait. I would totally need a topping of some sort. What a surprise – I had frozen chopped strawberries portioned out into 2 cup servings from when they were fresh and on sale. Ta-da! And I wanted them to be juicy and warm on my warm german pancake. So Wine-y Strawberries were born!

I found the german pancake recipe in one of the old church cookbooks from my Bubba’s collection that were saved and given to me. It was as simple sounding as I was looking for and fairly quick to whip up. I cheated and didn’t sift the flour or really measure out any of the other ingredients. It turned out to be delicous as is. I don’t know the name of the cookbook since the cover has long since been MIA. But it’s got some good old fashioned recipes in it. Along with some weird sounding ones that I wouldn’t feed to an enemy. The recipe makes 2 pancakes, but hubs and split one because I didn’t want to force myself to eat a whole one. He had the other one the next morning for breakfast. Said it tasted great all by itself at room temp and a day old.

This pancake is a nice canvas to add anything you want as a topping, from the sweet to the savory. Just omit the vanilla for a savory dish. It would be good topped with some goat cheese, spinach and artichokes. Mmmm.

German Pancake

Serves 2

adapted from an old church cookbook

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup flour

2 tablespoons butter, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor or blender, add the eggs, salt and sugar and process/blend until a light yellow color. Add the milk, vanilla and flour and process/blend again until combined.

Grease 2 8 or 9 inch cake pans and divide the batter in between them. Add a tablespoon of butter to the center of the pancake.

Cook for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, rotate your cake pans and turn down the oven to 350 degrees, cooking another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and plate up, topping with Wine-y Strawberries. You could also top these with some jam or preserves, fresh berries and whipped cream, or just eat them like a pancake and douse it in maple syrup.

Wine-y Strawberry Topping

2 cups frozen strawberries, chopped (if using fresh, see note)

2 tablespoons sweet read wine

1 tablespoon sugar

In a small saucepan, place the berries, wine and sugar, stirring to combine everything together. Over medium-high heat, cook the berries until the are bubbling and the juices & wine start to cook off and thicken a little. Turn off heat and place the hot berries on top of your german pancake. These would also be a good topping for regular pancakes or even a chocolate sheet cake. Yum!

Note: if using fresh berries, chop them and place them in a small bowl. Add the 1 tablespoon of sugar, stirring your berries to coat and let sit for 10-15 minutes. This will get the juices in your berries to come out, helping you increase your sauce to berry ratio. Then just add the juicy berries to your pan with your wine and cook as directed above.

Crock Pot Love: shredded Mexichicken, for tacos!

23 Apr

Get it? Mexican + Chicken = Mexichicken! I know. I’m weird. Whatever.

Anywho. Crock pots…what glorious wonderful food preparation machines. With only a little bit of prep work the night before or morning of, you can come home to a hot delicious meal and pretty much be ready to eat! Yipee! I am particularly a fan of the crock pot when I’m working later because it helps me avoid having to eat dinner with the hubs at 8pm. And to make things even EASIER – I discovered through a friends mom the fantabulousness that is slow cooker liners!!!  Hello easy crock pot cleanup! Crock pot liners you ask? YES! You just put one in the crock pot and let your foods cook in it – like a crock pot barrier against having to soak the cooked on foodstuffs overnight (or multiple nights if you don’t feel like using some elbow grease to clean it). Total clean up saver. You just toss the liner in the trash can. Ta-da!

Onto the recipe. This chicken is SO good. So very good. When I was taking it out of the pot it was totally falling apart. The long cook time combined with the acids from the tomato paste and lime juice break down the chicken and turn it to butter. This recipe doesn’t have any major heat to it, just a good taco like flavor. The onions get really soft and tender, the garlic loses it’s bite…We ate ours on soft tacos, but it would be awesome on hard shell tacos as well. Also fab as a taco salad meat, or on nachos with lots of cheese.

additionally, this freezes really well. It makes a lot, so I’d advise that you freeze half of the meat after cooking. It’s enough for 4-5 dinners. I portioned out 2 small freezer bags worth so we could have it on a night I forget to plan a meal, or we have company and want nachos!

Don’t gasp like a vampire at the amount of garlic I listed. Remember you are cooking this for a LONG time, so it will lose a lot of its potency. Hence the addition of garlic powder.

Mexichicken tacos

6 boneless chicken breasts

1 large Vidalia onion, sliced into half moons

8-10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3tbsp hot sauce (I used my homemade sauce – it’s pretty mild from the fresh garden peppers)

1 can tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water

Juice from 1 lime

1 – 2 tbsp salt free taco seasoning

1tsp garlic powder

Place chicken in your crock pot then add in onions, garlic, hot sauce, lime juice and the tomato paste/water mixture. Use tongs to mix up the onions and get the chicken coated in the saucy goodness. Place lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 8hrs.

DO NOT ADD the garlic powder and taco seasoning at this time. If you do, the flavor will be gone. During a long cooking time, you want to add the spices at the END of the cooking process so that they don’t lose their potency.

When the chicken is done cooking, transfer it to a large bowl and shred it using 2 forks. Add 1tbsp of the taco seasoning and all the garlic powder as well as some of the juices/broth from the crock pot to keep the chicken moist. Give it a taste and see if it needs more taco seasoning. Or more hot sauce.

Serve it up on soft tortillas with some sour cream, guac, lettuce, cheese, green onions…whatever floats your boat.