The longer you own a piece of equipment the better your understanding of it grows and that is very true of my slow cooker. For a long time I took it as gospel that I had to follow the manufacturer’s instructions about only ever putting hot liquids and foods in my slow cooker and then as I started to read other blogs on the internet I realised that this was not a fact set in stone! Indeed all the preparation I was doing heating everything up beforehand was really taking away the whole idea of it being a labour saving gadget. So last week I threw away my slow cooker instruction manual and decided to go cold turkey, well cold chicken to be precise! I had to seriously stop myself from browning the chicken thighs and the thought of the added washing up was enough to stop me in my tracks. “It’ll be fine” I told myself, “everyone else is doing this, you’re just a bit slow to realise” and with that thought I merrily chucked, I mean placed carefully, all my ingredients in the slow cooker and switched it on.
Six hours later I was being asked by my family what the lovely smell was. I would say that if you don’t have any of the particular vegetables that I used just improvise with a suitable alternative eg courgettes, aubergine, olives etc. I think I would even add another pepper next time. I have to say that we all enjoyed this really quick to assemble meal (with the exception of my daughter who doesn’t do chicken thighs – a work in progress) and I think it’s one you can play around with to ring the changes (thinking chillies now)!
Everyone reading this is probably having a good old laugh that I’ve been such a stickler for my instruction manual but I realise that the manufacturers probably didn’t want to be responsible for giving anyone food poisoning so played it ultra safe – so safe that it was taking the fun out of slow cooking if you ask me!
Do let me know what your favourite quick slow cooked dishes are in the comments below!
- 750g Chicken thighs, skin removed
- 5 Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Red onions, cut into 6 segments each
- 1 Pepper, chopped (I used yellow)
- 1 x 400g Tin chopped tomatoes
- 150 mls Chicken stock (made up with half a stock cube)
- 4 tbsp Tomato paste
- 5 Cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 heaped tsp dried Italian mixed herbs
- Freshly ground salt & pepper
- Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Scatter the chopped vegetables over the top.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the chicken and vegetables
- Cook on low for 6 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.
- Serve as whole chicken thighs or remove, de-bone and pull the meat as I did and then put back in the sauce.
- Serve on a bed of rice or pasta.
For more slow cooker inspirations why don’t you check out the rest of my slow cooked recipes which includes a rather lush pudding!
As this dish uses chicken thighs which are very cheap I am entering it into Credit Crunch Munch which is being hosted by Maison Cupcake this month and which I run along with Fuss Free Flavours. I am also entering it into Tasty Tuesdays over at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week over at A Mummy Too Farmersgirl Kitchen hosts the Slow Cooker Challenge so of course I have to enter that and finally I am entering Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage where the theme is basil and there is plenty of that in an Italian herb mix!