Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Shortcut Method that Reduces Time Spent Cooking

By Melissa Donald
Using a Crock-Pot or slow cooker is a handy and helpful way to prepare a meal if you are away for the day or want an easy way to prepare dinner that doesn’t require constant attention. Here are three recipes along with some tips on how to make cooking and baking a bit easier in your Crock-Pot.

Caregiver Tip:
Seniors tend to eat smaller portions. Rather than preparing a large meal for one or two people that will last and sit for a week in the refrigerator, instead assemble a meal and freeze it in smaller portions. This recipe for taco soup is quick and easy to prepare. The person you are caring for can remove a portion from the freezer, add water, turn on the Crock-Pot and in hours, have a homemade meal.

Mediterranean Chicken
adapted from Cynthia Graubart’s recipe found in Slow Cooking for Two cookbook

2 cloves of fresh garlic - minced or 1 ½ 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 bit of juice
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
⅓ 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 the 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 bag (liner) and pour the rest of the ingredients over top. If you are not using a liner, then 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.

*A half an hour before placing in the Crock-Pot, remove the chicken dish from the refrigerator. After a half an hour has passed, 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 2 ½ hours. Cooking time may vary depending on your Crock-Pot.

Serve with juices. A warm and hearty gourmet dish that people will think you spent hours preparing.

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