I was so nervous about giving J a slow cooker for Christmas. I was getting quite anxious about it really. I would wake up in the night with the fear of seeing his disappointed face on Christmas morning.
I needn’t have been worried, which I should have known. He’d talked about getting a slow cooker all of 2013, we’d used his mum’s once to make Claire’s Mexican Shredded Beef, but as men are want to do, when a slow cooker didn’t magically turn up, he gave up on the idea.
He opened the small component of the gift first, a slow cooker cookbook, which automatically gave away what was wrapped inside the big box, and the smile on his face was contagious. He wanted to put something in it right away, but I reminded him that it was Christmas and there would be plenty of food that day.
So for dinner on Boxing Day we had slow cooker Butter Chicken, it was delicious and have made a few things since. We now plan a slow cooker meal at least once a fortnight and I pick something up to go in it when I do our groceries. We’ve decided that it’s better for meat, as vegetables generally don’t need hours to cook.
I’m also trying to learn how to be a bit more relaxed when using it rather than following recipes all the time, but I think that this will come with practice.
I first had chicken cacciatore at The Falls Festival Tasmania (2011/2012) and have been thinking about it ever since. So to me it was an obvious choice for the slow cooker. Sadly, I could only find stove top recipes. So I adapted a recipe and it turned out amazingly!
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 kg chicken drumsticks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrots, chopped
- 2 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 250ml chicken stock
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
- Heat oil on sear in slow cooker, fry chicken until browned, remove from pan.
- Fry onion, carrots, bacon, garlic until softened.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except parsley), return chicken to slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 5 hrs.
- Serve with parsley.