Wednesday, November 11, 2015

5 Reasons to Love Your Crockpot This Month

Although the past week or so has been hiding this fact, it's November and the colder weather is coming.

Here are 5 easy ways to show your crockpot (and wallet and sanity) some love this month:
1. Roasted Squash.  I was totally afraid of this one at first.  But seriously, wash a butternut squash, cut it in half, and just throw it in and put the lid on.  No seeding, no peeling, nada.  High for ~4 hours or low for ~6.  Then just scoop out the roasted yummy goodness (after scooping the seeds out if you don't want to eat them).
2. Roasted Chicken and Vegetables.  3 whole peeled carrots, 3 trimmed stalks of celery on the bottom, a seasoned (salt, pepper, paprika to keep it simple) whole fryer chicken stuffed with a bay leaf, a clove of garlic and a small onion on top.  Put the lid on, turn it on low for ~8 hours.  Eat the breasts and then get onto...
3. Chicken soup.  Leave everything in the crockpot but the whole chicken from #2, add back in the meat you picked off of that chicken after your meal for #2, add about 4 cups of water and voila!  Soup.  You don't even have to turn the crockpot on for this one.
4. Chili.  After browning about a pound of ground beef (or turkey), add it to the crock pot with two big cans of whole tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, a chopped onion, a chopped green pepper, a chopped (and seeded if you like) jalapeno, a can of black beans, a clove of garlic, and 4 diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1/2 a small can).  ~2 hours on high; ~4 hours on low.
5. Coq au Vin.  Whether you prefer it red (I recommend cote du rhone) or white (Nigella and I say Riesling), just get some skinless chicken thighs (4-5), coarsely chopped onion, carrot, celery, 2 bay leaves, and 2 cloves of garlic into that crockpot!  Serve it over some buttered egg noodles or just with some crusty bread.  ~4 hours on high or ~6 on low.

Happy slow cooking!

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