Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Slow Cooker PAR-TAY!

Well, this New Year is starting off with a bang, and between all the new activities added to our calendar, I find myself needing to cook dinner while I'm away from home at that all-important pre-dinner hour. Since I can't be in 2 places at once, and haven't figured out how to clone myself, and hiring a housekeeper/cook is out of the question, I naturally turn to my trusty slow cooker. Trouble is, I turn to it for the same things over and over and I'm craving some variety.

That's where you come in.

I want to know what works for you in your home. What does your family love to eat from the slow cooker?

I'll get this party started by sharing some of our faves.

Did you know you could bake potatoes in a slow cooker? I discovered this a couple years ago and boy howdy are they tender and creamy inside! (Except, dear Martha, I need more than 4 potatoes and use a crock larger than 5 qts...) I fry up some bacon and shred some cheese earlier in the day and have some frozen broccoli all thawed out and ready to zap in the micro before serving. It all comes together quite quickly.

Here's an easy chicken burrito filling I did a few years back and posted at my former blog site.

Of course, there's the standby shredded bbq pork on rolls everyone loves. You can find recipes out there all over the place for this one. I just throw a chunk of pork into the slow cooker, salt and pepper it, pour some bbq sauce over, maybe a few dashes of liquid smoke, just to fool everyone into thinking it was done over an actual bbq, and let her go for 8-10 hours on low. Your house will smell like a barbecue joint by the end of the day. My mouth waters just thinking on it.

And then there's chili. No explanation required. Chili is chili.

So much for my repertoire.

Now here's a couple I'd like to try:

Mu-Shu-Ish Chicken wraps

Orange Chicken

(I'm sensing a theme here. Must be craving some Chinese food...)

And in a similar vein, Thai Peanut Chicken

Okay. Your turn.  Leave a link or a quick recipe for your favorite slow cooker meal below in the comments. Feel free to come back and check out what other people have contributed! Happy crock-potting!


  1. Heard on NPR this week, whole chicken roasted in the crock, no liquid, comes out tasting like KFC? I'm wondering who cleans that crockpot though?! One of my favorites is a good tailgater but good any time really. Chuck roast or any larger beef roast (or moose or caribou), large jar of pepperoncinis (the pickled peppers). Cook it high for 4 hrs or low for 8, amazing picante shredded beef. - Mark Denecke

    1. I can see that picante shredded moose on a crusty roll... yum!

  2. I just made the teriyaki pork chops from this web site:
    Although I'm vegetarian the family is not. Carl and Luce liked them, Mary Kate did not. I'd like some recipes for some that take 10+ hours to cook with out burning, getting dry because on my work days I'm gone more than seven hours!

    1. Katie, the bbq shredded pork (or beef. Or chicken.) can definitely go 10 or more hours without burning or getting dry. Also, have you ever tried using your slow cooker as a double boiler? I do this all the time for steel-cut oats so they don't burn before morning. You put your main dish inside a bowl, then put that inside the crock with water at least halfway up the side of the bowl. Then cook as usual. It stretches out the cooking time and keeps it extra moist in there...

  3. Hi Dani... I made Roasted Chicken in the crockpot last week and loved how it turned out!

    1 thawed whole chicken
    2 tbsp. ghee (butter if you don't have ghee)
    1 lb leek (used one large leek) - cut entire thing into 1/2 chunks
    4 gloves garlic, chopped (I used 6!)
    2 tbsp. tomato paste
    1/2 c. water
    Poultry Spice rub blend (I used thyme, oregano and sage w/salt & pepper) but whatever you like

    Heat the ghee and sauté leeks and garlic until they just begin to soften. Add the tomato paste & water and cook until leeks start to brown slightly (about 8 -10 minutes). Season with salt & pepper while cooking. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker.

    Meanwhile, rinse & pat your chicken dry. Rub inside and out with the poultry spice mix.

    Place the chicken breast side down (this matters!) in the crockpot and cook on low 4 to 4.5 hours. At this point, I did add 1 c. of water at about 3 1/2 hours as I wanted more "gravy." Remove the chicken and let rest for 20 minutes. While it's resting, take an immersion blender (or you could transfer it all to something else) and blend -- the spices and leeks and juices make a gravy that is delicious!

    I found the chicken delicious and it is a great gravy mixture as well! I was surprised how it was thick (not sure if that's the tomato paste contribution) it was - I used it for gravy on the bird as I didn't make potatoes but I have a good whipped squash recipe if you're interested. :-)

    I wasn't sure if this was how to post, but here it is... :-)

    1. I've always been nervous about slow-cooking a whole chicken, but maybe I'll try it. You're the 3rd person to recommend it to me...

  4. I try new crockpot recipes just about every weekend, then I have lots of leftovers for the week! Mostly they don't turn out so well, though. I think some of the time it's me, and some of the time I just don't like the recipe/flavors. I do like this Tortilla Soup, though, and it's really easy, cheap, and healthy!

    1. Combine 2 Chicken Breasts, 2 (15oz) cans black beans undrained, 2 (15 oz) cans Mexican stewed/diced tomatoes, 1 cup salsa, 1 (4oz) can green chilies, 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce, 1 can corn.
    2. Cook on low for 8 hrs.
    3. Remove chicken breasts chop/shred put back in crock pot mix and serve.
    4. Sprinkle cheese, avocado, sour cream, and tortilla chips on each serving.

    Shannon Worthy

    1. Oops, meant to edit this first! I used undrained diced tomatoes, not stewed, and I did drain the cans of green chilies and corn. You could probably cut down the chicken to 1 breast as well, it makes a surprising amount of shredded chicken in the soup.

    2. I also like to make Corned Beef in the crock pot, especially around St. Patrick's Day : ) I just buy the corned beef that comes with the seasoning packet, put it all in the crock pot with enough water to cover it, and cook on low for around 8 hours. Yummy! (I cook the cabbage and potatoes seperately on the stove). I also like to use crock pot liner bags since I'm lazy and hate the tough clean up jobs : )

    3. I just made corned beef in the crock last week for reuben sandwiches. MMMM. have to stock up on corned beef this time of year ;)

  5. Curried Chicken & Peaches
    1 lb/ck (s/p, place in the bottom of the c.p.)
    1 can (29 oz sliced peaches, drain & set juice aside, save peaches in a bowl)
    Combine 1/2 C ck broth, 2 T melted butter, 1 T minced onion, 2+ T curry, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 t ginger & peach juice. Cook w/ ck for 4-5 hrs. Add 1/4 C raisins and peaches (cornstarch to thicken) Toasted coconut to garnish.


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