Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

So, funny thing, pretty much the only reason why I made this was because I had celery in my fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste. That always happens when I buy celery. I use a few a few stalks and then the rest gets thrown out. I was determined not to let that happen again. So, I knew I wanted to make something in my slow cooker but wasn’t sure what and then came across this recipe in my favorite slow cooker cookbook.

What was even better, this is one of my favorite types of slow cooker recipes – throw it in there and let it cook. I know that doesn’t sound to proper considering we are talking about food, but, I will assume that you know what I mean. In my slow cooker I added in chicken, andouille sausage, okra, green bell pepper, celery, onion, cayenne pepper, salt, can of diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Now, it may look like there isn’t enough liquid in there….

But, after cooking on low for about 4 hours there was more than enough liquid. One thing I didn’t do that the recipe called for was adding a cornstarch-water mixture after 3 hours to thicken the liquid. I find that I am not too keen on thickening the liquid because it tends to look congealed after refrigerating it. Granted, all is well once it is warmed up, but, since I am cool with the thinner liquid I stick with that. One more thing, this was delicious, but, if you don’t like spice, I suggest using less cayenne pepper. To go along with the gumbo I made white rice and it’s the perfect accompaniment to soak up all the juices.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 pound okra, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 celery stacks, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup cornstarch

White rice, for serving (optional)

Directions

In a slow cooker combine the chicken, sausage, okra, pepper, celery, onion, cayenne pepper and salt. Add the diced tomatoes, along with their juices, and the chicken broth and give everything a few good stirs to combine. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch along with 1/4 cup water. Stir into the gumbo to thicken it, cover and continue cooking for an additional hour or until the chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with white rice.

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Sweet & Sour Chicken

The past few days I have been on a roll with cooking dinner. It probably helped that I went through my recipe binder and planned out a few meals for the week. Today I am going to share with you a quick and simple recipe for Sweet & Sour Chicken that I got from an issue of Rachael Ray Magazine a while back.

I usually try to do all of my prep-work for whatever I am cooking or baking before getting started, this way I don’t miss anything and I can work smoothly through the recipe. For this Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe I prepped my ingredients by doing the following: cut a pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs into 3/4 inch pieces which I then coated with cornstarch and soy sauce, chopped up a green bell pepper into 3/4 inch pieces, minced up a tablespoon worth of fresh ginger, and finally, drained the pineapple juice of an 8-ounce can of pineapple chunks and set the chunks aside while whisking the juice along with cornstarch, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, cider vinegar and sugar.

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It was then time to start cooking. I began by cooking the chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat that I coated with canola oil. Once the chicken was browned I added in the minced ginger.

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Next up I added in the pineapple chunks and the bell pepper and continued cooking the mixture until the peppers were just beginning to get tender.

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And lastly I added in the ketchup mixture and brought it to a boil and cooked it until the sauce thickened. I then lowered the heat to low and continued cooking it for about another 15 minutes to be sure that the chicken was cooked through.

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Then it was time to enjoy my homemade take-out cuisine. I served the chicken with basmati rice and it was the perfect complement. While you do get some hints of the sour components – the soy sauce and cider vinegar – of the chicken the sweet part is definitely the stronger flavor of the two. I am definitely not complaining though… This is one dish I can see myself making quite a few more times.

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Sweet & Sour Chicken

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces

6 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 can (8-oz.) pineapple chinks in juice, drained, juice reserved

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

 

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, 4 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining cornstarch and soy sauce, with the ketchup, sugar, cider vinegar, and pineapple juice.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the pineapple chunks and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ketchup mixture, bring to a boil and cook until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.