I get such satisfaction out of cooking with my Crock Pot (or, more properly, my “slow cooker”).
I love that I can wake up just 15 minutes earlier than usual and prepare that night’s meal. I love that all day, I can think “I’m here at my office, working like a crazy person, and at home, my Crock Pot is bubbling away, making tonight’s dinner.”
When I get home, it’s a quick salad, some bread, and – poof! – dinner. Such a timesaver and, really, the closest thing I’m going to get to having a clone short of my sister abandoning her family and coming to live with me. (That ain’t gonna happen. I’ve tried.)
Here’s one of my favorite slow cooker recipes, both because it’s delicious and because I can get it going in less than 10 minutes. Let me know if you try it.
Meredith’s Chicken Cacciatore:
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 packages of chicken thighs (about 8 pieces)
- 2 6-oz cans of tomato paste
- 4-oz of fresh mushrooms (you can use canned, but I think canned mushrooms are yucky and the fresh come pre-cleaned anyway, so it’s still fast)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (you might want more, taste it in it’s final stages and add if desired)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (of a quality you’d drink)
- 2 garlic cloves (or, as I use it, 2 spoons of crushed garlic from the jar)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp celery seed (if desired)
- 1 bay leaf
- (+ for serving: rice/pasta and 1/2 cup goat cheese)
Put the onion in and cover with chicken. Stir the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low 7-10 hours or high 3-4 hours.
I serve this over rice, but you can serve over spaghetti or any pasta.
Penelope tip: sprinkle with goat cheese and serve. This extra zotch of creamy tanginess is what makes the recipe for me. And, I always make the full recipe and have enough for leftovers the next night. I just change out the salad and bread to make it a bit different. My family never minds.
My favorite slow cooker recipe book is The Fix It and Forget It Cookbook by Dawn Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good.