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!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock such as Swanson
- 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano we ended up using dried
- 1/4 cup drained capers
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper we left this out because the toddler was eating with us
- 8 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 ounce container diced tomatoes 28-oz., such as Pomì, I accidentally used only the 14.5can
- 1 pkg. cremini mushrooms quartered (the grocery store was out of these, so we just left them out), 8-oz.
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs skinned (about 3 lb.) (we only had three boneless ones left, it worked fine), 6-oz.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti broken in half
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese grated (about 1/2 cup)
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.)
Stir in stock and next 8 ingredients (through mushrooms).
Add chicken thighs to the stock mixture; submerge in liquid.
Cover and cook on LOW 7 1/2 hours (ours cooked about 9).
Leave whole or chop if using boneless skinless. If using bone-in, wait for them to cool, then remove bones.
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.)
Stir in spinach until wilted.
Divide pasta mixture and top evenly with chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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.
Updates for Instapot:
Cook the vegetables and first 8 ingredients. Then pressure cook for 6 minutes, quick release, if using chicken remove veggies and cook chicken (favorite way is 7 minutes per pound of breasts with just enough stock or water to cover), remove and drain. Then shred the chicken or leave whole. Readd the veggies and sauce, add the chicken, then the oil and pasta turn to sauté. When it bubbles add the pasta and turn to warm then add the lid. Check after 10 minutes for pasta tenderness.
One of the ingredients we brought back from our New Orleans trip was Steen’s Cane Vinegar. We’ve used it in a few dishes and it makes a huge flavor difference from any other vinegar. This is the salad dressing that converted me from dry rabbit food to a salad with dressing.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Steen’s cane vinegar
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canola oil (we used olive oil)
In a medium nonreactive mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes, then little by little whisk in the canola oil until completely incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
This dressing is just the right amount sweet and tangy. It’s lovely on a chicken breast and a bacon salad. There’s almost always a jar of this in our refrigerator.
Sometimes I really want a good curry, but I don’t have time to toast the spices or wait for it to come together. This super simple curry from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen is even quicker with our favorite Penzey’s Curry spice blend. Plus the best part is you can add any vegetables you have. I’ve used carrots, zucchini, broccoli and peppers with just as delicious results.
Quick Yellow Shrimp Curry
- 1 bag frozen shrimp medium shelled and deveined works best.
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 l can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or any oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons Penzey's Curry Spice mix*
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- handful fresh parsley finely chopped
In a frying pan, sautee the onions over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they become transparent.
Add the spices and garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
Add the shrimp and lemon juice. Stir to coat in with the spices, then pour in the coconut milk.
Add the peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Mix in the chopped parsley just before serving. Serve with rice, couscous or quinoa
This takes less than 15 minutes, 20 if your vegetables aren’t already chopped. It’s simple, delicious and extremely delicious. I only wish there was a little more leftover for lunch the next day, there never is enough!
*If you don’t have the Penzey’s Curry spice mix, the original recipe called for: 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon coriander and optional 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
p.s. even our toddler loves this dish!
I know I said this was the best gazpacho recipe and I promise I still really like that one. This one is a teensy bit better and reminds me of a bowl of gazpacho from a restaurant in my hometown that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s the perfect HOT summer dinner. We found this gem hidden in a Mexican cookbook that we bought years ago:
Now the serving suggestions include:
But truthfully, we don’t bother because the model didn’t include the garnishes and it’s just as good.
- 1 cucumber (the original recipe says small we just got an average size one) peeled and chopped
- 2 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 2 green bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic cloves we really like garlic so we used about twominced garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil sprig we have this growing in the kitchen and used about a quarterof leaves
- 2 1/2 cups strained tomatoes (we had a heck of a time finding strained tomatoes in our Mid-Missouri town so we used tomato puree)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil splurge and use the good stuff. We have some wonderful EVOO from C's trip to Spain!
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar splurge and use the good stuff
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar splurge and use the good stuff
- 1 cup and 1/4vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Some people keep this extra chilly by serving an ice cube at the bottom.
Instead of crusty bread (because I’m still limited in my wheat and gluten intake) we served it with corn quesadillas! Delicious!
p.s. Summer 2016 update: even our toddler loves this gazpacho, which she calls “sauca!” She’s been practicing using a spoon on her own and if we keep this a bit on the chunkier side, she’s 90 percent successful!