Summer Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole

After April’s Month of Slow Cooking, I have used our Slow Cooker occasionally, for doing stock and things like that. However, this recipe worked really well in the Slow Cooker, and tasted amazing. It was an adaptation of a dish on Saturday Kitchen, but Saturday Kitchen hasn’t quite caught up with the technology of the Slow Cooker yet.

It makes a really good, easy, one pot meal, and I can confirm that it went down well with Ben too. Putting the lemon in the stock makes it really flavoursome and the chicken was perfectly tender – slow cooking it avoided the sometimes dry texture that can happen with chicken breast. I used courgettes and spinach because they are in season, but I’m sure this is one of those recipes which could be easily adapted.

I’m entering this for June’s Simple and In Season, which I have entered before, and in Credit Crunch Munch, which I haven’t entered before. Credit Crunch Munch is run by Fab Food for All and Fuss Free Flavours and this month it is hosted by Anneli from Delicieux.

Summer Chicken Casserole

Serves 3 (or 2 adults and 3 baby meals)

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 500g new potatoes
  • 2 courgettes
  • 100g baby spinach
  • Handful parsley
  • 5-6 sprigs mint
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Cut the chicken in half and place into the Slow Cooker.
  2. Halve the lemon and add to the Slow Cooker with the thyme and chicken stock. Cook on High for 2 hours (3 hours in total).
  3. 1 hour before serving, parboil the potatoes for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes to the Slow Cooker.
  4. 10 minutes before serving, dice the courgette and add to the Slow Cooker. Add the spinach.
  5. Put the parsley, mint, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and capers into a blender and whizz together.
  6. Serve the casserole and drizzle the sauce on the top.

Credit-Crunch-Munch

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Veggie Chilli in the Slow Cooker

Veggie Chilli

So this is it. The last post in the Month of Slow Cooking. Sunday to Friday, using the Slow Cooker. The Slow Cooker itself has probably had more use in the last month than in the whole time we’ve had it.

I’ll write a proper evaluation post later, but I do think it has been a really worthwhile exercise. Part of the proof is that I adapted this recipe straight from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals and cooked it in the Slow Cooker. Having learned from my previous mistakes, I toned down the chilli a bit!

This was a welcome change from some of the meat-heavy dishes we had last week. We wouldn’t normally eat so much red meat in one week, but I really wanted to have a go at some of the classics like Boeuf Bourginon, which is supposed to be good slow-cooked. I believe with chilli (and often with vegetarian, bean-based dishes) that the ‘extras’ make the meal, so we had this with brown rice, sour cream and a great salad that Tim put together. The salad actually had pieces of crispy tortilla in it, but they looked weird in the photograph.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 1 tin mexican bean salad in water
  • 500g tomato passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

To serve:

  • Fresh coriander and extras as you like

Method

  1. Rinse the beans and put them in the slow cooker with all the ingredients together.
  2. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Serve with extras.

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Thai Red Curry in the Slow Cooker

Thai Red Curry

If you make this dish, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk. You can see in the photo that mine has curdled; it’s because I used low-fat coconut milk. I made mine with turkey because we had some in. I added spinach, red pepper and green beans because they were in the fridge. The recipe is pretty open to customisation, I think!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 turkey steaks cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp thai red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2cm grated ginger
  • 250g green beans
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 100g baby spinach

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the turkey. Fry until golden.
  2. Add the red curry paste and stir well. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add the coconut milk and ginger.
  4. Cook for 7 hours on low.
  5. Add the green beans 1 hour before serving.
  6. Add the red pepper and spinach 30 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with basmati rice.

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Harissa Lamb in the Slow Cooker

Harissa Lamb

I’m getting better at Slow Cooking – I came up with this all by myself. If I had known how good it was going to be, I would have made a bit more of an effort with the accompaniments! We had it with roasted peppers and cous cous, but it would be amazing in flatbreads with some chargrilled red onion and tzatziki.

Ingredients

  • 1 shoulder of lamb
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion

Method

  1. Coat the lamb with the harissa. Place in the Slow Cooker.
  2. Add the stock and onion.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Remove from Slow Cooker with 2 fish slices.
  5. Shred the meat using 2 eating forks.

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Boeuf Bourginon in the Slow Cooker

Boeuf Bourginon

I didn’t actually eat this dish on the day of cooking. This is because we had babysitters that night, and Tim and I went out on a date. If people are kind enough to babysit for us, we like to give them a night off cooking, so will have dinner ready for them. I ate the leftovers (pictured above) the following day. They tasted really good. I actually forgot to ask our babysitters how it tasted on the day, so I can’t tell you.

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 onion
  • Thyme
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bottle good red wine
  • 500g stewing steak
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g lardons
  • 250g shallots
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms
  • Flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. The night before, peel the carrot and onion and slice the garlic in half horizontally. Put the red wine into a saucepan and put the carrot, garlic, onion, a few sprigs of thyme and 2 of the bay leaves into the wine. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Place the beef in a non-metallic bowl and cover with the wine mixture. Put in the fridge to marinate overnight.
  3. Put the olive oil into a frying pan. Add the lardons and fry for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Stir in the shallots and transfer everything to the slow cooker. Put the frying pan back on the heat.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and vegetables from the wine. Put the beef into the frying pan and fry until brown. Transfer to slow cooker.
  5. Pour the wine into the slow cooker. Add another sprig of thyme and the last bay leaf. Sprinkle over the flour and add the beef stock.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  7. 1 hour before serving, fry the mushrooms in some olive oil and add to the slow cooker for the last hour of cooking.
  8. Sprinkle chopped parsley over before serving.

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Asian Ribs in the Slow Cooker

Asian Ribs

These were, quite simply, the best things I have ever cooked in the Slow Cooker. They were amazing. Not the easiest of recipes, but totally worth it.

We got the ribs from a butcher, and they were very good value: £2.19 for two sets like in the photo above – a generous portion. I have only rarely seen ribs in the supermarket, and i suppose they are rarely cooked. This recipe is worth a trip to the butcher. My husband declared it was in the top 5 of things he had ever eaten, and recommended that any girl should cook these for the man she wants to marry.

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs
  • 240ml soy sauce
  • 4cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 100g soft dark brown sugar
  • 60ml rice vinegar
  • 120ml tomato ketchup

Method

  1. Place the first six ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on Low for 6 hours.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and fry them until golden brown.
  3. Place the cooking liquor into a saucepan and boil hard to reduce by half.
  4. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a jug.
  5. Add the sauce to the cooking liquor when it has reduced.
  6. Pre-heat the grill. Baste the ribs with the sauce and grill. Keep basting, so that it builds up a glaze until they look amazing.
  7. Serve with rice, vegetables and coleslaw.

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Pork Goulash in the Slow Cooker

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We had some pork shoulder chops in the freezer that I knew worked really well in the Slow Cooker. I wanted to make this recipe, which I had done before, but we were out of soy sauce. So a quick rummage in the cupboards and fridge resulted in the following recipe. We had it with pasta but I think it would work really well with rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 pork shoulder chops 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pepper

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on Low for around 6 hours.
  3. Serve with pasta, rice or potatoes.

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