Tag Archives: slow cooker

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken dishes are always interesting in the Crock Pot. Unlike fatty pork shoulders or beef roasts full of connective tissue, chicken doesn’t need a long braising time to yield a tender meat. Instead, sometimes chicken Crock Pot meals get a bit stringy and dry. You can avoid this, however, with flavorful braising liquids and by using chicken thighs.

I took a chance on this recipe from Real Simple and found it to be a nice pseudo-Indian chicken dinner. Tikka masala is typically a creamy tomato-based chicken dish with lots of Indian spices. I found the spices to be a bit light, so next time I will add a heavier hand to them.

Regardless, it smelled yummy while cooking and was warm and comforting. Perfect for a day like today, with 24/7 rain!

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 c. Greek yogurt (or sour cream or heavy cream or creme fraiche)

In a slow cooker, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Place chicken on top, cover and cook until chicken is tender, 7-8 hours on low, 3-4 hours on high.

Meanwhile, cook some basmati rice or couscous or heat some naan bread for serving.

Just before serving, stir in the yogurt. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro, if you have it.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Crock Pot Beef Short Ribs with Ancho Chiles and Polenta

In the past, the best beef short ribs I made involved searing the ribs, then slowly braising them in the oven, in a bath of red wine, beef stock and spices. The result was tender, falling-apart meat with a rich broth. The new me recreated the same delicious tastes with my Crock Pot – no searing or browning necessary.

I dusted the beef short ribs (these cost about $2.50 per package!) with salt, pepper and ancho chile powder, then threw them into the Crock Pot with some onion, garlic, leftover coffee, a few leftover diced tomatoes, dried chiles and beef stock. You really can use whatever you have leftover in the kitchen – carrots? Potatoes? Celery? Parsnips? Mushrooms? Add them!

I started making this meal with a published recipe, then realized I was changing so many thing that it was nothing like the original creation. So I suppose I can call this all my own.

Crock Pot Beef Short Ribs with Ancho Chiles

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole dried ancho chiles, or other chile
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 or 1/2 can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 c. brewed coffee
  • 6 lb. beef short ribs
  • 2 T ancho chile powder (I got mine at Fresh Market)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c. beef broth (chicken broth would be fine)

Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper, then dust with ancho chile powder on all sides. Place in slow cooker. Follow with onion, garlic, maple syrup, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, coffee and beef broth. Nestle dried chiles into the mixture. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 8 to 8 1/2 hours.

When the short ribs are nearly done, use a spoon to skim off some of the fat. Taste for seasoning.

I made mine with quick-cooking polenta, which was delicious.

To serve, scoop polenta on plates, then top with short ribs, spooning juices over the top. Add parsley for color.

Hearty, deep with flavor and completely satisfying.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Don’t you just love eating that cheap, MSG-heavy Asian food at the mall? When I was little, it was my favorite meal. Now, it smells and tastes good…but doesn’t feel good….immediately after.

I’m not sure what, exactly, makes that mall food so evil for one’s entire body. Especially when you can easily make those foods at home for less money and without any of the repercussions. Anyhow, this meal offers all the pleasure of Asian flavors in a way that is guilt-free and risk-averse.

My Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken makes me feel like such a mom. It involves a Crock Pot, is healthy, makes large quantities and is pleasing for little people. I even found it on some mom blog that posts recipes on Pinterest. But in my never-ending pursuit of slow-cooker recipes, I charged ahead into momland and will never come back.

My only complaint is that the maximum cooking time is 4 hours. This working gal needs something that can slow-cook for at LEAST 9 hours, preferably 10. Do most people just come home at lunch and put the Crock Pot on? People take lunch breaks? I don’t get it. So I made this over the weekend, when a rainy day kept me inside with other endeavors: baking sandwich bread, pasta frittatas and a lovely spicy pork dish with black-eyed peas.

I made a few adaptations to this (I will definitely be trying more of their recipes!)…

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (surprise! don’t judge – just do it)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Chopped green onion, for garnish

Season both sides of chicken lightly with salt and pepper, place flat into Crock Pot. Scatter onion over the top. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily (mine cooked 3.5 hours). Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Shred chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Serve, sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions.

The honey plus ketchup add the right sticky sweetness that you expect from a good teriyaki-type dish. So yummy! Sweet and savory and satisfying. Wonderful over rice, as we had it, or noodles. Even in taco shells would be good.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Crock Pot Moroccan Lamb Stew

Whenever we go out to eat Indian food, I order a lamb curry. It’s not that much more expensive than the chicken and I just love the deep, rich flavor of lamb stewed in spices and vegetables. Yet, I’ve never made a stewed lamb dish at home, until now.

Lamb seems like such a splurge, if you’re able to get over any lingering ethical concerns (in my opinion, the lives of full-grown beef cattle are equally as horrifying as the lives of lambs grown for meat). But really, it’s not that much more than a cut of beef, especially if you watch the sales.

Why is lamb so wonderful with spicy Middle Eastern/Indian dishes? There’s something about curry spices that brings out the lamb’s flavor – stronger than beef, but not gamey in a bad way. It just works, and this easy Crock Pot recipe is something I quickly threw together before work one day. I came home to a house warmed with the aromas of a hearty, exotic stew – not thick, but with a light sauce that soaks nicely into couscous.

Interesting – it includes an apple, which I couldn’t discern in the finished product, but I am sure it adds a sweetness that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Thank you, mom, for sharing this recipe!

Crock Pot Moroccan Lamb Stew (from an arborist newsletter)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. boneless lamb, cut in 1-inch cubes (I couldn’t find boneless, so I just bought 2 lbs of lamb steaks and cut them up)
  • 2 small sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 c. carrots, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 c. dried currants
  • 1 tsp groun cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 c. chicken broth or stock
  • Fresh mint or cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Cooked couscous (recipe below)

Add all ingredients to large Crock Pot -except fresh herbs – in order listed. Turn on low and cook for 8 hours (or on high for 4).

Meanwhile, prepare couscous: I melted 2 T unsalted butter in medium saucepan over medium, then added 3 T pine nuts and stirred until the nuts were golden and toasted – you will smell their nuttiness. Add 1 c. uncooked couscous and stir to combine. Add 1 1/4 c. water or chicken stock, stir, cover and remove from heat to let sit 5 minutes.

To serve, first stir the lamb. Scoop some couscous on your plate, then top with lamb stew. Finish with fresh herbs.

You may have to add more salt and pepper, to your taste, but we really loved the flavors. I might even add a dash of cinnamon next time – I just love cooking savory meals with cinnamon these days.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo