Monday, January 11, 2010
Happy Monday! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and emails about the new baby. We're all doing really well, and can definitely feel your warm wishes and love floating through cyberspace.
You all are fantastically amazing. Thank you.
The above picture doesn't look like much----it's just a bowl full of shredded chicken. I felt like sharing, though, because sometimes I get questions on how to utilize the slow cooker for meal planning and for stocking the freezer, and thought this might be helpful.
While in the midst of my crazy nesting phase these past few weeks, my father-in-law reported that our local grocery store had a sale on chicken quarters for $0.57 a pound. That's a fantastic price for around here, and I popped on down to pick up a bunch of packages.
Although I did process quite a bit of chicken (de-skinned, and broke into meal-sized portions for future slow-cooked meals!) for the freezer, I also cooked quite a bit so we'd have already-cooked chicken ready to go for lunches, snacks, and dinners.
This is what I did:
The chicken quarters were bone-in thigh and leg pieces, and they did have skin. While the chicken was still fresh, I skinned a bunch and threw it into the largest slow cooker I have, which is 6.5 quarts. I was able to get 8 quarters in the pot. I also filled a 5 quart with 6 additional quarters.
And then I covered with lids and turned them on low for 7 hours. I did not add water, broth, or any seasoning. You certainly can if you'd like, but I was interested in shredded, naked chicken.
When the time elapsed, I took the lid off and let the chicken cool quite a bit before I handled it. There was plenty of juice left in the pot---enough to make a soup base if you were so inclined, or for homemade chicken broth (put the bones back in the pot for the broth!)
I then dug through to separate the bones and the chicken. You can use the chicken in a meal right away that calls for already-cooked chicken, or you can freeze for later use.
coming up soon: sweet mustard roast
more staple ideas:
homemade chicken broth
homemade refried beans
making your own "canned" beans
cooking a whole chicken
homemade cream of mushroom soup
meal planning with the slow cooker