Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
We've been using our crockpot quite a bit lately. We've also discovered the wonderful boneless skinless chicken thighs from one of our favorite grocery stores (or go-see store as our toddler calls them). The benefit of cooking the thighs in the crockpot is they dry out less and are more flavorful than the traditional chicken breasts. Cooking Light's crockpot recipes have become a go-to source. I did not expect this recipe to be as good as it was. Even the toddler ate some of it!
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine 1/2 cup water and flour in your favorite crockpot, stirring with a whisk. (Note: You can also use corn starch, which we will do next time.)
  2. Stir in stock and next 8 ingredients (through mushrooms).
  3. Add chicken thighs to the stock mixture; submerge in liquid.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 7 1/2 hours (ours cooked about 9).
  5. Remove chicken.
  6. Leave whole or chop if using boneless skinless. If using bone-in, wait for them to cool, then remove bones.
  7. Add oil and pasta to slow cooker sauce; cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until pasta is done to your liking. (It took a little longer than 15 minutes for us.)
  8. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  9. Divide pasta mixture and top evenly with chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
I didn't expect the capers to add so much to the dish. It was the right amount of salt and sweet from the tomatoes. The pasta cooked perfectly. Next time, I will use the corn starch and reduce the amount of liquid a little for the initial cooking phase. If we need more to cook the pasta, I'll add more at that time. All in all a good, flavorful dish that is perfect for a weeknight.

 

Yum

Oyster shucking at home and chargrilled oyster recipe

Oysters are amazingly delicious, but not easy to get in to. It can be intimidating to open an oyster, particularly after seeing the professionals use special chain-mail oyster-shucking glove and knife. After our jaunt to New Orleans in March, we decided not to be intimidated by oyster opening anymore. Plus, we really wanted to recreate the chargrilled oyster recipe from Acme Oyster house.

What you’ll need: An oven mitt, a flat-head screwdriver and a pairing knife serve as a low-cost alternative to the traditional tools.

First set the Oyster  flat side up.  Second, near the hinge, insert the flathead screwdriver between the shells. Then twist to pop the oyster open.How to easily shuck an oyster aurorameyer.com

It might take a few tries. How to shuck an oyster aurorameyer.com

Use the screwdriver to twist and pry the oyster all the way around if it doesn’t just pop open. How to shuck an oyster aurorameyer.com Shucking an oyster aurorameyer.com How to use a screwdriver to shuck an oyster at home

Eventually, you’ll see the oyster flesh. Using a screw driver to shuck an oyster at home aurorameyer.com

Scrape the oyster from the top shell. Then lift the top completely off. Take the paring knife and release the oyster from the bottom shell. Now, you’re ready to move on to the recipe.

For the Chargrilled oysters, we adapted this recipe from Food.com to mimic the dish we had at Acme Oyster house.

Oysters shucked at home final product aurorameyer.com

When the oyster liquor starts to bubble, spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce on top of each, then top with 1 tablespoon of Romano cheese. Let the cheese melt. When oysters begin to slightly brown at the edges, remove from grill and place on a heat proof plate or tray.  Top each oyster with an additional tablespoon of the butter sauce and serve immediately with slices of French bread for dipping. Garnish with minced Parsley. Serve while still sizzling with Lemon wedges and fresh bread.

Note: It stormed the day we made this and there was no way we were going to grill, so we just made use of the broiler on high in our oven. It worked perfectly. Just make sure to keep an eye on the dish while it is under the broiler, you can go from perfect to burnt pretty quickly.

Homemade Chargrilled Oysters by aurorameyer.com

My opinion:
The only thing missing was the family-style tables and neon signs.

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Oyster shucking at home and chargrilled oyster recipe
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place in a baking dish (we used a pie pan) filled with ice cream salt (to keep the oysters steady) with the meat up.
  2. Melt half the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add your lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, green onions, and all herbs and seasonings.
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and then stir in the wine.
  5. Keep stirring and remove from heat as soon as the green onions wilt. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of the butter and stir until completely incorporated.  
  7. Heat grill to 350 degrees and place oysters without the sauce on the grill.