Inspired by Amy and her recipe for Mexican Mac & Cheese, which sounds yummy and which I think I will make sometime in the next week or so...
When winter winds blow and the mercury drops, one of our family's favorite chill-chasing, heartwarming, edge-taking-off recipes is Crock-Pot African Chicken. Basically, it goes a little something like this:
* put some boneless skinless chicken breast halves (BSCBH, were one given to sounding like Rachael Ray... BSBCH would be much better but I can't figure out how to make it scan) into the Crock-Pot
* take a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (Ro-Tel, or their Fred Meyer store brand equivalent)
* combine with about 1/2 cup of peanut butter
* dump combination over top of chicken
* cook on Low for about 6 hours
Yesterday, though, I was feeling a little more inspired. A little more stewish, perhaps. So I did this instead:
* chop up an onion and three stalks of celery; saute in 1 Tbsp peanut oil for about 5 minutes
* combine a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, a regular can of diced tomatoes and about 1/2 cup of peanut butter
* mix onion and celery (I would've added garlic too, but we were Fresh Out) with tomato-PB mixture
* season with a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of black pepper, perhaps a little harissa if your family likes such things
* pour over top of 4 or 5 chicken breast halves, frozen and non-defrosted, in Crock-Pot
* cook on High for one hour, then on Low for 4-5 hours more
* about 20 minutes before serving, remove and shred chicken; stir in 2 c. frozen green peas; stir shredded chicken back into pot
* serve with orzo-rice pilaf, made as follows:
* in a heavy pot (I use my Le Creuset), toast a handful of pine nuts over medium heat; remove nuts and set aside
* in same pot, melt 3 Tbsp butter and saute about 3/4 c. orzo and 1-1/4 c. rice until lightly browned
* add 4 c. chicken (or veggie) broth and bring to a boil; we use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base instead of canned broth
* cover and cook for 20 minutes; allow to rest, covered, off heat for 5 minutes
* stir in toasted pine nuts and a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Made enough for a generous dinner last night and a generous (burp) lunch this afternoon, too. Using the frozen chicken breast halves is both convenient and, according to my new favorite cookbook Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, perfectly safe as long as you start out on High and then switch to Low. The chicken doesn't get dried out and stringy as lean cuts sometimes do in the slow cooker, and when it's shredded instead of served as a whole breast it absorbs the flavors of the stew very nicely.
Tonight, I think we're making a scratch cream of mushroom soup. Maybe biscuits and Brussels sprouts, too. Then tomorrow I'm off to Vegas for PMA/MemoryTrends... I have nothing to wear...