Slow Cooker Caribbean-Style: Chipotle-Lime Jerk Chicken

26 Jul

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.

Vinny in the kitchen (this may be him making the ceviche and not the chicken, but nevermind)

Vinny in the kitchen (this may be him making the ceviche and not the chicken, but nevermind)

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!

Remember to put veggies on the bottom, then meat, then sauce

Remember to put veggies on the bottom, then meat, then sauce

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,

Set it and forget it!

Set it and forget it!

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….)

My second version had too much beer and was a bit more liquid...the following recipe will give you the right proportion of tomato sauce to beer

My second version had too much beer and was a bit more liquid…the following recipe will give you the right proportion of tomato sauce to beer

Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Jerk Chicken

2 Cups onions, sliced

1 Cup chopped celery (or substitute 2 Tbs sofrito homemade or store-bought)

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.

Pre-gaming while diner was cooking itself (Bill's By the Bay, Greenport)

Pre-gaming while dinner was cooking itself (Bily’s by the Bay, Greenport)

In a brave move, the author adds a picture of herself in a bathing suit on a paddleboard while dinner was cooking!

In a brave move, the author adds a picture of herself in a bathing suit on a paddleboard while dinner was cooking!

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19 Responses to “Slow Cooker Caribbean-Style: Chipotle-Lime Jerk Chicken”

  1. Cristina LaRue July 30, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I LOVE my slow cooker and am always looking for new recipes, especially now that we are living in a smaller space while our home is being remodeled. SO glad I happened upon your blog (from a Pinterest link). THANK YOU for sharing this recipe. Looks fabulous and will be on my dinner table tonight!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy July 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      Thanks so much for the visit, Cristina! I am so glad you found this recipe…Please let me know how it comes out and whether you made any modifications…I love to hear how people put their own stamp on recipes. It inspires me!

  2. aparriescaldwell July 29, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Since moving to the dessert I’ve used my slow cooker more and more. I’ve been looking for more recipes and chicken recipes to boot! This will be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Vinny July 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    One thing i forgot to tell you Natalia is “less is more” I find the slow cooker makes a lot of liquid you don’t need to add much.

  4. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl July 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    The slow cooker chicken looks perfect, adding it to my dinner menu!

  5. Adam J. Holland July 28, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Nice dish! I use the slow cooker more during the summer than all other times of the year. But I understand your initial fear. We bought a Vitamix several weeks ago. Despite that I’ve used every other blender known to mankind, this one worried me — at first. Now, I’m just mixing stuff for the hell of it.

  6. Eha July 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    This sounds yum 🙂 ! Don’t have a slow-cooker, but manage to get the same effect without!! Now [weekend fun!!] begin this Italian as for osso buco, move over to Mexican/Spanish and finish with a dollop of German!! Got it 😀 !

  7. Mad Dog July 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    That sounds very good – I’ve been rubbing jerk seasoning onto chicken and pork all week for the barbecue – it’s been too hot to cook indoors here. Maybe I could add a bit of chipotle and lime tomorrow 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy July 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

      Chipotle and lime are very much part of my current seasoning lexicon…smoky, tangy, spicy…..quite the triumvirate!

  8. Ada ~ More Food, Please July 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    This looks delicious! I have been looking around for more slow cooker recipes, and will add this to my list. Thanks for sharing!

  9. trixfred30 July 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I think I need a new slow cooker – i tried cooking a brisket of beef once – it took three days, and i’m not even joking!

  10. Susan at Savvy Single Suppers July 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Well done on the bravery front, Natalia! I have had off and on success tampering with slow cookig recipes and still feel nervous about them. I’ll happily give this recipe a try. You look great in the B’suit on the board, too! Brava!

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