Friday, November 21, 2014

Mediterranean Crock-Pot Chicken to Try

We’ve been talking about the wonders of the Crock-Pot or slow cooker in our fall issue. Here are a few more tips to make using your Crock-Pot easier and another delicious recipe to try: Mediterranean Crock-Pot Chicken!

Easy clean-up
Large Crock-Pots can be heavy and hard to clean. Food cooking in a Crock-Pot tends to coat the top portion of the ceramic dish insert, which may require lots of soaking. A Crock-Pot liner (shown above) is a quick and easy way to clean up a Crock-Pot and is available at your local grocery store.

Place the plastic liner on the inside of the Crock-Pot ceramic dish before turning it on. Put your meal in, then place the lid on top with the top portion of the liner overlapping the outside of the Crock-Pot. Do not lift the Crock-Pot plastic liner with contents inside while the meal is hot — serve directly from the Crock-Pot. Once cool, completely remove the remaining food from the Crock-Pot, lift out the plastic liner, and throw it away.

This Mediterranean chicken meal is a quick dish that is easy to assemble. This gourmet flare with little preparation is best when it’s prepared the night before and sits overnight in the refrigerator. I suggest placing everything in the plastic Crock-Pot liner, closing with a twist tie, and placing in the refrigerator overnight.

Mediterranean Chicken
adapted from Cynthia Graubart’s recipe found in Slow Cooking for Two cookbook
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced or 1½ tsp of jarred minced garlic
¼ c. dried parsley
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
16-20 bite-sized pitted prunes
½ c. pitted Spanish green olives
½ c. pitted Kalamata olives
¼ c. capers with a little juice
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 c. dry white wine
½ c. olive oil
4 bone-in skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless breasts
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar

Combine all ingredients except chicken, bay leaves, and brown sugar in a large bowl and mix well. If using a plastic Crock-Pot liner, place the chicken in the liner and pour the rest of the ingredients over top. If you are not using a liner, place the chicken in the ceramic Crock-Pot bowl and pour the rest of the ingredients over top.

Add the bay leaves. Make sure they are submerged in the mixture. Place the lid on the Crock-Pot ceramic bowl or tie the top of the liner bag and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Half an hour before placing in the Crock-Pot, remove the chicken dish from the refrigerator. After the half hour, place the Crock-Pot bowl or liner in the Crock-Pot and turn on high. For bone-in chicken breasts, cook on high for 4 hours. For boneless breasts, cook on high for 2½ hours. Cooking time may vary by slow cooker. Serve with juices.

– Food writer/photographer Melissa Donald

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