Experiments in Slow Cooking

Last week I came across Paleo Pot, a website dedicated to slow cooker paleo recipes, and I am so glad that I did.  In fact, it was a real blessing because I had such a long work week last week.  I made the Tacos Al Pastor, which we were able to eat throughout the week.  They were really good, though it didn’t stand up to our local Taco Shop’s al pastor.  (WHAT DO THEY PUT IN IT!?!)  Though, I can be sure that Paleo Pot’s were paleo, and that makes me happy.  While I used lettuce, the hubs ate them with corn tortillas, not flour – small victories.

Later in the week I made the Easy Paleo Crock Pot Chicken Curry with Peppers and Cabbage.  Yep, the cabbage threw me off too.

Coconut Milk and Red Curry Paste.  I like it hot, so this is a whole 4 oz can mixed with two cans of coconut milk.

Coconut Milk and Red Curry Paste. I like it hot, so this is a whole 4 oz can mixed with two cans of coconut milk.

watermark-2

Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper, Onion

watermark-3

About 1/4 of a head of cabbage, cut so that there are strips of cabbage in the curry.

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finished product

Overall, REALLY EASY.  It was so easy a caveman could do it.  (Couldn’t resist).  The cabbage added a nice density to the curry, so I welcome cabbage next time.  However, I think I’m more of a fan of Thai curries made on the stovetop.  The veggies don’t get nearly as soft then (which I prefer) and the coconut milk stays more creamy.  But, I would definitely make this again if I needed something I could do in about 10 minutes then forget about it until dinner.

My next experiment in slow cooking was Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy.  This is the bomb, yo.  When she says that the gravy is pretty much good on everything, she isn’t lying.  Cooking with a whole chicken was a new experience for me.  I thought that seeing my meat in its animal form would make me sad (SERIOUSLY – I have to really make myself NOT think about how a cow or a pig or chicken got on my plate in order to eat it), but surprisingly it wasn’t nearly as gross as working with boneless breasts or thighs.  I wonder why that is?  Anyway, the chicken I bought at the Farmer’s Market yesterday was about 3.5 pounds.  It fit perfectly in our Crock Pot.  I don’t think I can purchase a bigger bird when I do this again.  Also, my Crock Pot has seen better days, but it still works so there.

Perfect Fit!

Perfect Fit!

The photo above was taken after about 5 hours in the Crock Pot.  The chicken is up to temperature.  I took it out of the pot:

waiting...

waiting…

And the skin looked so pale and gross to me.  Sort of like E.T.  So, I decided to tent it with foil for a few minutes and then stick it in a hot (450) oven for about 10 minutes to brown the skin a little before serving.

Et voila!

Et voila!

The pieces just fell off.  I’m not so sure I was supposed to cook it that long, but the meat was so good and moist, I don’t think it matters.  I served it with mashed sweet potatoes (with a little cream, salt, and pepper) and turnip greens.  We ate the thighs and drumsticks, which means the breasts are ready as leftovers!  The menu is coming together [maniacal laughter].

oooh weee

oooh weee

The turnip greens are in a ramekin because you must eat the pot likker (or pot liquor).  Traditionally greens are served with cornbread to sop up the pot likker.  In this case I just took it like a shot.  A shot of awesome, spicy, bacony goodness.  Oh yeah, did I mention I cooked bacon in them (pork is required when cooking greens)?  And some Melinda’s Naga Jolokia hot sauce?

Currently the hottest pepper in the world.

Currently the hottest pepper in the world.

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