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Savory Spicy Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

3 Aug

It is too hot for cooking, but the family’s gotta eat, so cook I must.

2015-07-31 11.40.23 slow cooker chickenSo I have employed the slow cooker; it makes for tasty and tender meals and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Here is my interpretation of Moroccan Chicken; it was a big success with everyone in the house (the spiciness is pretty mild, just enough to keep things interesting) and took almost no effort on my part!

2015-07-31 11.40.51 slow cooker chickenSlow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

1 large onion, peeled and sliced into rounds (1-2 Cups)

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias (1/2 inch slices, about 1 Cup)

3 large scallions, cleaned and sliced into rounds

Your preferred poultry seasoning or salt and pepper

1 4-5 lb whole chicken, cut into large pieces, or bone-in chicken parts, skin removed

1 Tbs cumin powder

1 Tbs oregano, dry

1 tsp harissa paste

1 8oz can of tomato puree (or Latin style tomato sauce with green pepper)

¼ Cup dry red wine

1 Tbs garlic, chopped

1-2 sprigs thyme

2 15oz cans chick peas, drained

Lay onion, carrots and scallions on the bottom of a large slow cooker. Season chicken pieces thoroughly and add to pot. Whisk together cumin, oregano, harissa, tomato puree, wine, and garlic and pour over chicken. Add thyme and chick peas. Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, then finish on low for another hour or two. Serve with couscous or rice. May be frozen, but remove bones before freezing.

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The Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Stew

16 Mar

I’ll tell you more about the party I made this large amount of Beef Stew for, but I can’t tell you right now, because I am still recovering from the fun and therefore just going to do a workmanlike job on this post…can’t manage much more…

Brown those veggies...I don't even like celery, but this worked beautifully!

Brown those veggies…I don’t even like celery, but this worked beautifully!

(…let me tell you that getting the little man to soccer at 9 a.m. this morning was a testament to a mother’s love. Actually two mothers’ and one dad’s love, as right there beside me this morning were two of last night’s guests cheering on their kid in the freezing cold! We came home and ate this for leftovers!) 

Don't skip the browning of meat and veggies...it really draws out sweetness and adds complexity

Don’t skip the browning of meat and veggies…it really draws out sweetness and adds complexity

But for now, all you need to know about the party is that the theme was Anglo-Irish (Think St. Patty’s Day meets Oscar Wilde), the good cheer was flowing, and this beef stew – tender, rich, deep, complex, and hearty – provided much-needed ballast for a full sail kind of night! Do it, do it, do it!

2014-03-15 beef stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew (feeds a crowd)

1-2 Tbs olive oil

2.5 – 3 lbs stewing beef, cubed

1-2 Tbs olive oil

2 Cups Vidalia onion, minced

1 Cup carrots, peeled and chopped to 1/4 “ chunks

½ Cup celery

1 Tbs or more of minced garlic

2 Cups potatoes, peeled and chunked

¼-1/2 Cup dry red wine

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Pinch hot red pepper flakes

2 generous Tbs tomato paste

2 Cups low-sodium or homemade beef broth

1 bay leaf

¼ Cup white flour

½ tsp salt

Heat 1 Tbs of oil in a skillet to fairly high and brown the meat quickly in batches and turning often. The idea is to create some complexity, not to cook the meat, so work quickly and don’t be too much of a perfectionist. Add oil as needed, and put meat in slow cooker.

In the same skillet, brown onions, cooking for a minute on high then lowering heat to medium. Add carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and golden. Add potatoes and cook another minute. Add to slow cooker.

In the same skillet, add a splash of red wine, Worcestershire sauce, pepper flakes and tomato paste. Stir to loosen browned bits in the skillet, then pour over ingredients in crockpot. Add broth and bay leaf, sprinkle with flour and salt, turn to combine everything. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours (or 4-6 hours on high). You’ll want plenty of bread for mopping up the gorgeous sauce.

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