Hot Day -Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Revolution!

Hot days of late, too hot to roast a fricken chicken.  No gluten free rotisserie chickens around here that I know of.  What to do if we crave roast chicken and don’t want to heat the house too?  It’s Super Slow Cooker to the rescue!  This is so easy, an eight year old could do it! You make a dry rub of spices, sprinkle all over the bird and stick some under the skin.  Plop it in the pot and let er rip for 4 plus hours.  How did it turn out? Great! Mildly spicy, flavorful, moist and tasty.  Best of all: no hot kitchen.  I ate it that night with some leftover potato salad and some veggies.  I think you could add more garlic, more spices or whatever you like to make different versions. Note to self; try a new version every time I make this bird and share my findings with you later this summer!

The next night I created a big salad of many veggie things with my homemade rotisserie chicken breast as the star ingredient.  Two nights later another salad with different veggies and more of the fabulous chicken topping it.  Then a day later I made a simple stir fry with pad Thai noodles, broccoli florets, fresh ginger in thin strips, zuke half moons, fresh pea pods from the garden, onion and a diagonally sliced carrot.  Oh and I used the rest of the chicken breast for the protein in it. The rest of the stir fry: I enjoyed a nummy good cold Thai salad for lunch the next day: I just added a bit of sesame oil and it was ready! Awesome!  No oven needed. Or wanted!

It is from my much thumbed through slow cooker cookbook by Carla Forbes. I know you will be pleased with how cool your kitchen stays and that it is safe for us gluten intolerant types.  For some reason most stores that sell rotisserie chicken add some gluten in the process.  I am guessing it is in the spice blend as is often the case with such flavor blends.  In any case, your homemade rotisserie chicken will be safe and succulent! And for anyone who doesn’t worry on gluten; well, this is a tasty dish you will love to have in your arsenal of hot weather entree choices.  I used a fat Wegman’s chicken and it sure has great flavor and texture for a decent price.

rotisserie chicken and orchid 001

rotisserie chicken and orchid 010

Ready to eat and full of rotisserie flavor!

The bird is in the slow cooker and ready – has its olive oil drizzle! Here are some chunks of breast meat ready to be chopped up for the big supper salad.

Hot Summer Rotisserie Chicken

1 four pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry

2 tbsp. olive oil

————–

Spice blend: mix in a small dish

1 ½ tsp sat

2 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. white pepper

½ tsp. cayenne pepper or hot chili powder

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

Directions: Remove any giblets and dispose of them how ever you like.  Just not gonna use them in this recipe! Or any I provide.  Ick!  Rinse the bird and pat dry with a couple paper towels.  Rub the spice mix all over the bird, pull back some breast skin and sprinkle the mix in there.  Sprinkle any extra inside the bird.  Place bird breast up in your six quart oval (not so good in round one!) slow cooker.  Drizzle the olive oil on top of your bird; all over it.  Cover and cook 4-5 hours on low or 3.5 on high.  I did 4 on low and turned it up to high for 45 minutes at the end. My bird was close to 5 pounds so I felt it needed a bit more cooking.

My recipe said you could make gravy: remove the bird and add 1/3 cup brown rice mixture flour and stir well to blend it into the pan juices and naturally created chicken broth.  Add salt and pepper to taste; cook on high for 10-15 minutes. I didn’t do that; next time!

I ate some slices of hot breast meat with potato salad that night (so so tender and moist!) and put the rest of it into a big batter bowl that has a lid.  Once it was cooled somewhat the bird went into the refrigerator to keep fresh and flavorful.  The broth soaks in and adds even more flavor as it rests in the cold fridge.

I have no picture of the done bird whole and uncut.  I was so hungry the first night I dug in and totally forgot to take one; next time I made it I will snap a few and upload to this post.  It looks like your regular rotisserie chicken if not as dry or dark skinned.

Slow Perfection: Peruvian Chicken with Red Potatoes

When you work long hours, have two jobs: making a real supper becomes problematic.  I have tried lots of ideas and recipes but I really like making one dish early in the week which provides several meals all week long. Step one: I bought a new slow cooker.  My old crock pot was absolutely ancient, I don’t care to disclose how old.  This one does some basic programming and keeps food warm once it stops a cooking cycle.  I love that it is oval so I will be able to put a whole chicken or a long pot roast in it. Step two; I bought a new cookbook just for slow cooking; The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carrie Forbes.  Step three: testing lots of recipes!

I pick and choose carefully from my new cookbook; I hate overcooked or mushy food.  The recipe has to be quick to assemble into the pot so I can head off to my second job while it slowly turns my ingredients into a marvelous flavor combination.

There is a Peruvian restaurant in South Bethlehem but they told me that most of their menu is unsafe; could only guarantee one thing and that made me too nervous to try their food.  I had heard that Peruvian food was excellent and it is! This is my version of Peruvian chicken with red potatoes.  It is a slight variant on a recipe in my slow cooker cookbook.  I use chicken thighs, bone in rather than a whole chicken and added extra potatoes and fresh garlic.  If you are diet conscious you could leave off the skin.  I know, it has a lot of spices but they blend and are not overwhelming, don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients.  It dumps together in 5 minutes.

I really enjoy it after a long work day; a salad goes well and gives the greens I crave most suppers.  In the past I have hesitated to post slow cooker recipes as the final results can be a tad drab for photographing. But this spicy flavor party of a dish is a must try even if it is a bit plain in the looks department. I took a pix, sorry if it is rather blah looking but trust me the flavor is outstanding..

peruvian chicken 002

Peruvian Chicken with Red Potatoes

4 good sized chicken thighs, bone in

5 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp. oregano, heaping

2 garlic cloves cut in half

½ large lemon quartered or one small one halved

1.5-2 lbs red potatoes; I used 5 – not too big but not small, quartered

3 tbs. white vinegar

2 tbsp. white wine or vermouth

1 tbsp evol

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients;put in a big baggie, add chicken pieces and mix well.

Place the potato chunks in the bottom of the slow cooker, Put the chicken on top. Add two garlic cloves which you halved and the lemon chunks.  Drizzle the last three ingredients over top and add ½ cup water.  Cover, cook on high 4 hours. Stir it well before serving and make sure everyone gets some of the thin sauce; ridiculously good on the potatoes you have mashed up with your fork.

Some people like a sauce; ½ cup mayo mixed with 2 tbsp. mustard and 3 tbsp. lime juice as a dipping sauce.  I tried it; okay but I am not a huge mayonnaise fan….

Dig out that old crock pot or better yet get a new one and enjoy something totally different and totally yummy.

Spicy Autumnal Beef Stew

When the fall weather gets nippy I find myself craving a well made beef stew.  Now that I can’t have barley I look for other things to make my stew hearty and add flavor.  This recipe is my corruption of a roast recipe from Food Network.  I think of it as “spicy stew” and it is a refreshing take on beef stew. Chock full of chunks of veggies and lots of spice, it will warm your tummy and make your taste buds sing!  I know my picture is not the prettiest but it really is tasty and despite the long list of ingredients it goes into the pot in short order and comes out tender and flavorful.

Be sure to use a cut of beef that will stand up to a long cooking, chuck is best. I used some boneless beef chuck ribs, kinda fatty but they have great beefy flavor. Chuck stew cubes also will work for this recipe.

Parsnips are like sweet pale carrots.  I also like to use them in my pot roast veggies.

parsnips

If you have some celeriac aka celery root use it in stead of the celery ribs.  It is hard to find and kinda pricy so I seldom spring for it.  It looks like a mutant potato, all bumpy which can make it a chore to peel.  celriac

I added the carrots as carrots make any stew better, in my opinion.

You can start this stew in the afternoon and let it bubble away until supper time.  I served mine with a baked potato for a starch but gluten free noodles would also be great.   If you are avoiding carbs leave off the potato/noodles.  The gravy was phenomenal though, over my baked potato!

 spicy beef stew

Spicy beef Stew
Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 large yams/sweet potatoes, peeled cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 celery ribs cut in fat chunks

1 cup of baby carrots, left whole

1.5 lbs boneless beef chuck ribs, trimmed of excess fat or cubed chuck steak

Salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp. all-purpose gf flour or just white rice flour
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, plain or with added chili peppers

1 tbsp horseradish

2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 teaspoons chili powder

1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Place chopped onion, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery root or celery and the baby carrots in bottom of slow cooker. Season beef all over with salt and black pepper. Rub flour all over beef. Place beef chunks on top of vegetables in slow cooker.

Whisk together tomatoes, maple syrup, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pour mixture over beef.

Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. I did mine on high for just over 4 hours, perfect.

Remove beef ribs from slow cooker with tongs or a long handled fork and chop up and return to the stew, stir well and serve in a wide low soup bowl.  If you used chunks of chuck just stir and enjoy!

Red Beans and Rice, So Nice and So Easy!

Yesterday I got a strong hankering for red beans and rice.  Deciding not to wait I started a batch last night.  Since I worked all the next day from morning until dark my crock-pot became the preferred method for cooking this old school delicacy.  I put a cup of dried beans on to soak overnight.  I didn’t have plain red or kidney beans.  What was in the cupboard was a mixture of four beans including white navy beans, black beans, red kidney beans and some pink speckled kidney beans.   Image

This morning they were swollen with bean water but needed to be cooked so I rinsed them off well and tossed them in the crock-pot set on high to warm it as well as some onion chopped, a bay leaf, ½ a pound of bulk sausage chopped up and about 4 cups water.  Since I had not used the andoulle sausage the original recipe called for I added some extra seasonings: ½ a tsp of paprika, a garlic clove, a pinch of red pepper, a scant ¼ tsp smoked paprika, and ½ tsp. hot sauce specifically some green sauce.  I turned it to low before leaving at 8.

When back home eight hours later I added 2/3 cup raw brown rice and a ½ tsp of sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  I left for my second job at the library. Four hours later on returning I added a touch more salt and stirred it up well.  Image

Heavenly; creamy just like all the reviewers of the recipe I started with were longing for.  It was as good a creamy beans and rice as I have ever eaten. I think mine got extra creamy from the long slow cooking I gave it all day.

If you make it feel free to use what you have and modify as necessary.  But, be sure to wait to add the salt as it can make the beans tough.

Below is the recipe I had originally located on food network and modified to make today with a few additions I plan to make from now on. I didn’t have time this morning to chop celery and fresh red pepper. I think they will be great additions next time I make this Hispanic classic. If you use the andoulie sausage you can cut back on the hot sauce and spices. I made a bit less than this recipe; see my measurements above if you want a smaller amount.  Since I didn’t have the spicy sausage it is a bit different flavor wise. My modified recipe made 2 big servings plus a quart I put in the fridge for future meals. If you want more; use the proportions below.

It is naturally gluten free and a fantastic accompaniment to a number of classics from enchiladas to tacos.  So easy and tastes authentic without any fancy effort or ingredients. Enjoy!

 

Slow cooker red beans and rice

Ingredients

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 celery stalk chopped

1/3 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp. hot chili powder

1 bay leaf

Pinch crushed red pepper

½ tsp hot sauce
1/2 pound smoked Creole seasoned sausage ( andouille), cut into small pieces
2 cups dried red beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 quart water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot cooked rice (about 3 to 4 cups)

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine the onion, garlic and sausage. Stir in the beans and water and season, to taste, with pepper. Cover and cook on low heat until the beans are tender, about 7 1/2 hours (on high it takes between 3 1/2 to 4 hours). Remove 1/4 cup of beans from slow cooker; mash until smooth, then sir them stir back into slow cooker, add salt. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes on low or 15 minutes on high. Remove the beans from the cooker to a serving bowl. Serve over cooked rice and enjoy!

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/slow-cooker-red-beans-and-rice-