I acquired a slow cooker with credit card points about a year ago. In my tiny space, it is rather a big deal to bring in a bulky piece of equipment that you have no place for. So you’d think I’d make it work for its slice of my kitchen shelves.
But perversely enough, no. I’ve been intimidated by it! I love it for softening beans, but have hesitated to truly play with it in that way we hesitate when confronted with a new way to do habitual things. You wouldn’t think, since I do so much cooking and experimenting, but surprise…I too can be loathe to embrace a new (for me) technology when my customary ways have been working out so well!
So I was very glad to be tossed right into slow cooking by my friends Vinny and Carolyn Macchirole with whom we stayed for several days in Long Island’s North Fork recently (Leandro happily at sweaty, buggy, scrape-y, muddy, swimmy Peconic Dunes summer camp from 9-5, everyday for a week, oh heaven for both of us). We’d been planning a Caribbean Night cooking extravaganza (more recipes to come) and Vinny was in charge of the jerk chicken. He came up with a recipe for slow-cooked chipotle-lime chicken that he felt could be easily altered to our purposes. And he was right,
We doctored it up — with beer especially, some for the pot and some for me — and I reined in Vinny, who like every other normal cook who doesn’t blog wanted to throw a bit of this and a bit of that in without measuring! This chicken dish was so good and smoky-hot and tender that I made it again the following week for my family (using a whole chicken rather than thighs). The moms ate it. The child ate it. I ate it. Yes, even crazy-ass almost-vegan diet dad ate it. And everybody loved it in that “Holy s**t this is unbelieveably good” eyes widened kind of way.
And it was so easy!!!!!! And it doesn’t heat up the kitchen!!!!
“Set it and forget it,” Vinny said. And we did and headed off to paddleboard off the dock in their backyard.
My slow cooker conversion is complete….(Marianne, I will need that slow-cooker chili recipe of yours soon….)
Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Jerk Chicken
2 Cups onions, sliced
1 Cup chopped carrots
4 lbs. skinless chicken thighs, or 4-5 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed, skinned and cut into parts
Adobo seasoning (or substitute salt and pepper)
8 oz. can Spanish-style tomato sauce
1 Tbs minced chipotle in adobo sauce (for a milder heat, remove seeds – recommended!)
¼ Cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbs garlic, minced
5-6 oz beer
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (optional0
2 Tbs jerk seasoning
Suggested garnishes: garden peas, lime wedges, avocado slices.
Arrange onion, celery (or sofrito), and carrots on the bottom of the slow cooker. Season chicken generously with Adobo powder (or salt and pepper) and place on top of vegetables.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, lime juice, chipotle, and garlic and pour over chicken. Pour beer over mixture. Sprinkle (optional) thyme on the top and add jerk seasoning. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, then continue to cook on low if you have time, until meat is falling off the bones. Or cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with rice. Makes enough for eight large servings!
For the original recipe from Food Network (without jerk) click here. For Pedro’s Better-Than-Perfect White Rice — the one that both Pedro and Vinny claim not to eat because it is the wrong kind of carbs and they drink their carbs, but were busted eating because it is so, so crazy simple and good — click here.