Slow Cooker Sunday: Indian Butter Chicken

Happy Sunday! I came across this recipe on Food Network’s Instagram feed and knew I had to try it.

I began by crumbling a 1/2 piece of naan into the bottom of my slow cooker. On top of that I added in thinly sliced red onion, quartered red potatoes, a sliced jalapeno and chopped cilantro stems.

On top of that I arranged chicken thighs in a single layer and then sprinkled them garam masala, kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. I also placed a cinnamon stick and dotted the chicken the butter.

And finally I poured tomato sauce over everything.

I set it to cook on low for 7 hours and then switched the slow cooker to the warm setting and gently stirred in heavy cream and let it stand for 10 minutes.

And finally I stirred in chopped cilantro leaves…

And then served myself some over basmati rice and a piece of naan… YUM!

 

Slow-Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

3 pieces naan bread

1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size

1 Fresno or jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced

1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated and chopped

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6)

1 tablespoon garam masala

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cinnamon stick

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Crumble 1/2 piece naan into the bottom of a slow cooker insert. On top of that add the onion, potatoes, pepper and cilantro stems.

Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Dot the chicken with the butter and add the cinnamon stick and then pour the tomato sauce over the top. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Uncover and switch to the warm setting and pour in the heavy cream. Gently stir in the heavy cream and break the chicken into large chunks. Let it stand for 10 minutes and then stir in the cilantro leaves and season with salt if necessary.

Serve with the remaining naan and basmati rice.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Spicy Mexican Chicken Stew

So, I personally think that one of the best things to make in a slow cooker is soup / stew. I consider them to be more or less one in the same. And this week I am bringing you a Spicy Mexican Chicken Stew that is the ideal Slow Cooker Meal. The only prep is some dicing, chopping and cutting. No sautéing veggies or heating the aromatics to develop the flavors. You control the level of spice with a jar of salsa. I got this recipe in the cookbook I mentioned last week… Slow Cooker Family Favorites. I’m 2 for 2 with the recipes in this book… Yay!

I began by stirring together salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in the bowl in my slow cooker.

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I then added in diced potatoes, frozen corn, cut celery & carrots, a diced onion and minced garlic.

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I gave everything a few good stirs to make sure the vegetables were coated by the salsa mixture.

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And finally, I placed 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs on top of the vegetables and poured in a can of chicken broth.

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So, according to the directions the stew was to be cooked on high for 4 hours, or until the chicken was cooked through and the vegetable were tender. After 4 hours the chicken was cooked through, so I removed it from the slow cooker and shredded it using two forks. But, my vegetables were still a bit undercooked, so I returned the chicken to the slow cooker and cooked everything for about another 2 hours.

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Which I think was the best thing. The end result were vegetables that were perfectly tender, but, better yet, the chicken was really able to absorb the flavors of the stew. YUM!

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I packed a bowl for lunch the following day and I must say it was even better then and each subsequent day!

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Spicy Chicken Mexican Stew

Ingredients:

1 16-oz jar spicy salsa*

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes**

1 16 ounce package frozen corn***

2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs****

1 14.5-oz chicken broth (approximately 2 cups)

 

*I used Chi-Chi’s Medium Thick & Chunky Salsa

**I used 2 medium sized potatoes and 1 small one

**The package I used was 12 oz.

****About 1 3/4 pounds of chicken

 

Directions:

In the bowl of a slow cooker stir together the salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper.

Add the potatoes, corn, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Toss everything to coat the vegetables.

Place the chicken on top and then pour in the chicken broth.

Set to cook on high for 4-6 hours, until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Once chicken is cooked, remove from the slow cooker and shred with two forks and return to the slow cooker. Season for taste.

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken and Hominy Stew

Hey Everyone! For this week’s Slow Cooker Sunday I am bringing you a stew that those of you who are sensitive to spiciness may find too spicy and those of you on the other end of the spectrum will say “Where’s the spice?” I’m on the latter side of that statement. I truthfully didn’t think the stew had any kick to it but others who tried it did, but, not so much that they weren’t able to enjoy it. So, what is this stew? Well, it’s a Chicken and Hominy Stew.

Once again, this is another of my favorite types of slow cooker meals… Just chop, drain then add to the slow cooker and let the machine work its magic. After cutting boneless skinless chicken thighs into approximately 1-inch pieces I placed them in the bottom of my slow cooker. Next I added in 2 seeded and chopped poblano chile peppers, half a bunch of cilantro that I roughly chopped and two cans of hominy that I rinsed and drained. If you are wondering what exactly is hominy check out this link.

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I then added in my liquids… low-sodium chicken broth and a jar of mild salsa verde.

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And finally I added in two corn tortillas that I tore into small pieces. I then covered it and set it to cook on low for 7 hours. Now, if you have a programmable slow cooker you need not worry about your start time, but, if you have a slow cooker like mine – I have one that has a 4 and 6 hour cook setting for high and a 8 and 10 hour cook setting for low, and a separate warm setting – make sure you take note of your start time. You don’t want to “overcook” the soup and end up with chicken that’s on the verge of shredding. You want a bit of bite to this soup since it is a stew.

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And after 7 hours it was time to enjoy a bowl. I topped it with some chopped avocado and enjoyed it with an extra corn tortilla on the side. Overall there’s not one thing about this stew I would change. The flavors all worked well together and like I said earlier I definitely didn’t feel like it was too spicy, it was just right!

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Hominy Stew

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 15-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed

2 poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 16-ounce jar salsa verde

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 6-inch corn tortilla

Kosher salt

Options for topping:

sour cream

avocado, diced

cilantro, chopped

romaine lettuce heart, shredded

corn tortillas, warmed

Directions:

Add the chicken, hominy, peppers and cilantro to the slow cooker. Add the broth, salsa verde and salt and stir to combine. Next, tear the 2 corn tortillas into small pieces and add to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

If serving with the tortillas, warm them according to the package directions. Top each serving of the stew with your favorite topping and enjoy. Serve with the warmed tortillas on the side.

*Please note I use a 5 1/2-quart slow cooker.

Recipe modified from The Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken Tikka Masala

Welcome to my new (and first) series… Slow Cooker Sunday. As the temperatures drop and the craziness of the holidays approach you may want something hearty and stress-free for dinner and the perfect solution to that is a slow-cooker dinner. You put all of your ingredients into the cooker in the morning, set it to cook on a high or low setting depending on your time needs and by the time you are ready to sit down to dinner your meal is ready and clean-up is a breeze. It can’t get better than that. A slow-cooker meal is also perfect for during the week, whether you are working, running errands or taking care of kids. That dreaded question that may run through your mind throughout the day – “what should I make for dinner?” – can easily be answered. So be sure to check back every Sunday to see what new meal I post. For today’s first Slow Cooker Sunday meal I am bringing you Chicken Tikka Masala. This is something I always order whenever I go out to an Indian restaurant. I am always tempted to order something different but I always settle on this favorite.

I began by cutting about a pound and a half of boneless skinless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and marinating them in yogurt for a few hours. Afterwards I placed them in the bottom of my slow cooker. In case you are wondering, marinating the chicken in yogurt helps to tenderize the chicken.

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Next, in a sauté pan I cooked a diced onion and three minced garlic cloves in olive oil until the onion was softened. I then stirred in fresh grated ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika and Kosher salt. Garam masala is what gives this dish its incredible flavor. Typically it’s a blend of black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, black and green cardamom, bay leaf and cumin. Initially I looked for it in the international aisle of my supermarket and with no luck there I checked out the spice area and was able to find it among the McCormick Gourmet spices. I should have known it would be among the “fancy” spices in the glass bottles… LOL!

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I then added the onion mixture to the chicken in the slow cooker along with a can of diced tomatoes. After stirring everything together I covered it and cooked it on high for 4 hours. I typically like to use my slow cooker on the low setting, but, I needed this dish to be done in the early afternoon.

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Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking I stirred in heavy cream and left the cover off of the slow cooker so the sauce could thicken. Meanwhile I made basmati rice…

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Which I served on the side with some of the chicken. This was INCREDIBLY delicious and just as good as the Chicken Tikka Masala I’ve had at some of my favorite Indian restaurants. I can’t wait to make it again.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bit-sized pieces

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons garam masala

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups cooked basmati rice, to serve

Directions:

Marinate the chicken in the yogurt for up to six hours or as little as an hour. Shake to remove the excess yogurt and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium-high heat until the onions have softened. Stir in the ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika and salt. Transfer to the slow cooker on top of the kitchen. Add in the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine everything.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Make note of the start time because 15 minutes before the end of cooking add in the heavy cream. If you would like a thicker sauce leave the cover off for these final 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

*Please note I use a 5 1/2 quart slow-cooker.

Recipe from the kitchn

A Quick and Easy Coq au Vin

The first time I had Coq au Vin was at a cooking demonstration class at Williams Sonoma. I purchased the braising base that was used at the class but unfortunately my result was nothing like the one I tasted at the class. I think part of the reason was that I still wasn’t all that comfortable with cooking – I’m more of a baker, but, slowly but surely my cooking ability is starting to even out with my baking ability. Recently I came across a recipe for Coq au Vin in a magazine and decided to try making it once again, this time from scratch, and I had much better results. And in case you are wondering, Coq au Vin is a French dish of braised chicken in red wine and normally contains bacon, garlic, onions and mushrooms.

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Up first I sliced baby bella mushrooms, minced 2 cloves of garlic and chopped some fresh thyme.

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I then cooked three slices of bacon, which I cut into half-inch pieces, in two teaspoons of olive oil until they were brown, but not crispy.

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After removing the bacon from the Dutch oven and setting it aside I browned four chicken thighs which I seasoned with salt and pepper.

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Next I cooked the mushrooms along with a 16 oz. bag of frozen white pearl onions for a few minutes until they began to soften.

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Following that I added in the thyme, garlic and a tablespoon of tomato paste.

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And then red cooking wine. I cooked the mixture for about 5 minutes until the wine reduced by half…

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And then added in chicken stock.

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And finally I returned the chicken to the pot, reduced the heat to low and partially covered the pot and allowed the chicken to cook through and the onions to soften, about 40 minutes.

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And for the final step, I dissolved three tablespoons of cornstarch in an equal amount of water and added it to the cooking liquid after transferring the chicken to a plate. Once the liquid thickened I returned the chicken and bacon to the pot, stirring to coat the chicken. I must say I have used cornstarch to thicken cooking liquids before but I normally just add it directly to the liquid, dissolving it in water is a much better method as it eliminates the possibility of any clumps forming in the liquid.

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Final Verdict… Definitely something I will make again, although I think next time I won’t add the cornstarch.

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Easy Coq au Vin – Slightly modified from here

Ingredients:

3 slices center cut bacon, cut into half-inch pieces

2 tsp. olive oil

4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

16 oz. frozen pearl onions

10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1 tbsp. tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup red cooking wine

2 cups chicken stock

3 tbsp. cornstarch

Directions:

1. In a 5 to 6 quart Dutch oven, cook the bacon in the oil over medium heat until browned but not too crispy. Transfer the bacon to a small bowl lined with a napkin. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (I used about 1/2 tsp. each). Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme and garlic. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring the liquid to a simmer. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and gently simmer, turning the chicken once or twice, until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are tender, about 40 minutes.

3. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in tbsp. water. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the cooking liquid to a bowl. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken and bacon to the pot, stirring to coat.

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.