Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Slow-cooker to the rescue...again! It's been pretty busy around the Al & Peg House as of late. Weekends are doubly-busy, so in order to make good eats, we need some help. Whilst we're scurrying around the house, the slow-cooker is doing all the hard work.
Peg found this naturally gluten-free recipe: http://www.recipe.com/slow-cooker-chicken-cacciatore/?esrc=nwrc071212pinc
The original recipe calls for chicken drumsticks, but we used thighs instead - more meat on the thighs.
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 green, yellow, or red sweet pepper, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 chicken thighs, skinned (about 3-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1. Combine mushrooms, celery, carrot, onions, sweet peppers, and garlic in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Place chicken on vegetables. Combine broth, wine, tapioca, sugar, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and pepper; pour over chicken.
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
3. Remove chicken; cover to keep warm. Remove and discard bay leaves. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in undrained tomatoes and the tomato paste. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Serve vegetable mixture over chicken and cooked pasta or rice.
Until the next good eats...
Al & Peg
Slow-cooker Beef Roast
Have you ever come home from a long day at work tired, hungry and don't really feel like making anything? Yeah, that happens around our house...a lot. One weapon we rely on is our slow cooker. It's a magic time machine - you put stuff in it [usually frozen] before work and by the time you get home - POOF! Dinner! Good eats without a wholelotta work...I'm all over that like fur on a weasle...
This is crazy simple - takes about 5 - 10 minutes of prep work before you leave for work. Simple is what I need in the morning 'cos I'm usually half asleep when I'm putting this together.
Sliced large onion or 2 med. onions
Hand full of carrots
Stalk or two of celery
Chopped tomato (I've used tomato paste in the past, but we had fresh tomatoes to use)
Penzey's Granulated Garlic
Penzey's Granulated Onion
Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of water or gluten-free beef broth or red wine.
2 - 2 1/4 lb Chuck Roast
1 tablespoon of Sweet Rice Flour to thicken gravy
Place veggies on the bottom of the slow cooker. This gives the meat a bed of flavor to rest on.
Season both sides of the frozen meat with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Herbs de Provence. Use whatever herbs/seasoning you like - be creative!
Place frozen meat on top of veggies.
Set slow-cooker to stun (low). For us, the cooking process is about 9 hours by the time someone gets home.
Walk out the door and return 8 - 9 hours later to some really great smells!
When I get home, I strain the veggies from the liquid. After 9 hours, they've given their little veggies lives to flavor the meat and the liquid for the gravy.
In a sauce pan heat up the liquid. Make slurry with the gluten-free flour and some water. Whisk the slurry into the pan. Allow to come to a boil and thicken. If it's not thick enough, make and whisk in a bit more slurry. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Season gravy to taste.
Homage to the Herbage
If you've ever wondered what type of herbs to use, my Facebook friend Jimmy Boswell [aka the Gluten-Free Chef] from New Zealand created this very handy chart. He suggest which herbs to use for selected meats or veggies.
A great tip from Jimmy -
The general rule for using dried is use ¼ dried herbs for what’s suggested for fresh amounts in a recipe. You can reverse this if dried is suggested and you have fresh.
I took the liberty of putting Jimmy's text chart into a table...
Jimmy Boswell's Herb Chart for Proteins Protein Herbs Beef Basil, Bay leaf, Caraway, Chervil, Lovage seed, Cumin, Garlic Fenugreek, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Peppermint. Chicken Thyme, Anise, Basil, Bay leaf, Borage, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory and Tarragon. Duck Bay, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Marjoram and Tarragon. Fish Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme. Fish - Baked or Grilled Basil, Bay, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lovage, Marjoram, Mints, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme. Fish - Oily Fennel and Dill. Fish Soups Bay, Lovage, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme. Goose Fennel, Sage and Sweet Marjoram. Ham Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory. Lamb Basil, Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme and Savory. Liver Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Sage, Savory and Thyme. Pork Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Coriander, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, Fennel, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Savory and Thyme. Rabbit Basil, Bay, Marjoram, Lovage seed, Rosemary and Sage. Salmon Dill seed and Rosemary. Seafood Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel Seed, Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme. Turkey Basil, Garlic, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Parsley and Sweet Marjoram. Veal Basil, Bay leaf, Chervil, Chives, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme. Venison Bay, Lovage seed, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Sweet Marjoram.
Jimmy Boswell's Herb Chart for Veggies Veggie Herbs Artichokes Bay, Savory and Tarragon. Asparagus Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Chervil, Dill and Tarragon. Avocado Dill, Marjoram and Tarragon. Beans Dried Savory, Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme. Beans, Green Savory, Basil, Caraway, Cloves, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage and Thyme. Broccoli Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon and Thyme. Brussel Sprouts Dill, Sage and Savory. Cabbage Basil, Caraway, Cayenne, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory, Borage, Dill seed, Mint, Oregano and Savory. Carrots Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Sage, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Chervil. Cauliflower Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Fennel. Corn Chevil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Saffron, Sage and, Thyme. Eggplant Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory and Thyme. Lentils Garlic, Mint , Parsley, Savory and Sorrel. Mushrooms Coriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory. Onions Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme. Parsnips Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory and Thyme. Peas Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Chervil, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley and Sage. Potatoes Parsley, Basil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme. Spinach Anise, Basil, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Borage, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Sorrel and Tarragon. Squash Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Dill. Tomatoes Basil, Bay leaf, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme. Turnips Dill seed, Marjoram and Savory. Zucchini Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Rosemary and Tarragon.
Until the next good eats...
Crockpots [technically we have a slow-cooker] are nice - you toss the stuff in - head off to work - when you return - dinner awaits! It's great getting out the vehical in the garage; you can smell dinner even before you walk into the house.
In this case, Peg had off of work, but was busy around the house so she decided to make this. Down home comfort food...
1/4 cup GF sweet rice flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup GF Sorghum Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper
2 pounds sirloin or beef stew meat -- cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
7 1/4 ounces (just shy of 1 cup) gluten-free beef broth
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (USA Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free, many brands are not)
1 teaspoon gluten-free ketchup (Heinz)
Optional Seasonings: Penzey's Bavarian Style Seasoning or Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Combine flour, salt and pepper. Toss beef cubes in seasoned flour mixture to coat. Place in slow cooker.
Cover with onions and mushrooms.
Combine beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Pour over beef cubes.
Cover and cook on low 7 to 12 hours. Before serving, check gravy consistancy, if it is too thick, add some more beef broth.
Mushrooms were omitted this time because for some strange reason we were out. Bavarian & Herbs de Provence were added.
Original recipe: Cook's Country
This is our favorite and go-to mashed potato recipe.
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, ½” pieces
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 garlic cloves, minced [We use 4-5]
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
Place cut potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain thoroughly. This is a very important step to eliminate excess starch, which produces gluey mashed potatoes.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook garlic and sugar, stirring often, until sticky and straw colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rinsed potatoes, 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, add remaining butter to pot and mash with potato masher until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining half-and-half until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are creamy. Season with salt and pepper.