Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Slow-cooker to the rescue...again! It's been pretty busy around the Al & Peg House as of late. Weekends are doubly-busy, so in order to make good eats, we need some help. Whilst we're scurrying around the house, the slow-cooker is doing all the hard work.
Peg found this naturally gluten-free recipe: http://www.recipe.com/slow-cooker-chicken-cacciatore/?esrc=nwrc071212pinc
The original recipe calls for chicken drumsticks, but we used thighs instead - more meat on the thighs.
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 green, yellow, or red sweet pepper, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 chicken thighs, skinned (about 3-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
mushrooms, celery, carrot, onions, sweet peppers, and
garlic in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Place chicken
on vegetables. Combine broth, wine, tapioca, sugar,
oregano, bay leaves, salt, and pepper; pour over
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
3. Remove chicken; cover to keep warm. Remove and discard bay leaves. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in undrained tomatoes and the tomato paste. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Serve vegetable mixture over chicken and cooked pasta or rice.
Until the next good eats...
Al & Peg
Have you ever come home from a long day at work tired, hungry and don't really feel like making anything? Yeah, that happens around our house...a lot. One weapon we rely on is our slow cooker. It's a magic time machine - you put stuff in it [usually frozen] before work and by the time you get home - POOF! Dinner! Good eats without a wholelotta work...I'm all over that like fur on a weasle...
This is crazy simple - takes about 5 - 10 minutes of prep work before you leave for work. Simple is what I need in the morning 'cos I'm usually half asleep when I'm putting this together.
Sliced large onion or 2 med. onions
Hand full of carrots
Stalk or two of celery
Chopped tomato (I've used tomato paste in the past, but we had fresh tomatoes to use)
Penzey's Granulated Garlic
Penzey's Granulated Onion
Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of water or gluten-free beef broth or red wine.
2 - 2 1/4 lb Chuck Roast
1 tablespoon of Sweet Rice Flour to thicken gravy
Place veggies on the bottom of the slow cooker. This gives the meat a bed of flavor to rest on.
Season both sides of the frozen meat with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Herbs de Provence. Use whatever herbs/seasoning you like - be creative!
Place frozen meat on top of veggies.
Set slow-cooker to stun (low). For us, the cooking process is about 9 hours by the time someone gets home.
Walk out the door and return 8 - 9 hours later to some really great smells!
When I get home, I strain the veggies from the liquid. After 9 hours, they've given their little veggies lives to flavor the meat and the liquid for the gravy.
In a sauce pan heat up the liquid. Make slurry with the gluten-free flour and some water. Whisk the slurry into the pan. Allow to come to a boil and thicken. If it's not thick enough, make and whisk in a bit more slurry. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Season gravy to taste.
Homage to the Herbage
If you've ever wondered what type of herbs to use, my Facebook friend Jimmy Boswell [aka the Gluten-Free Chef] from New Zealand created this very handy chart. He suggest which herbs to use for selected meats or veggies.
A great tip from Jimmy -
The general rule for using dried is use ¼ dried herbs for what’s suggested for fresh amounts in a recipe. You can reverse this if dried is suggested and you have fresh.
I took the liberty of putting Jimmy's text chart into a table...
|Beef||Basil, Bay leaf, Caraway, Chervil, Lovage seed, Cumin, Garlic Fenugreek, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Peppermint.|
|Chicken||Thyme, Anise, Basil, Bay leaf, Borage, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Duck||Bay, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Fish||Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Baked or Grilled||Basil, Bay, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lovage, Marjoram, Mints, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Oily||Fennel and Dill.|
|Fish Soups||Bay, Lovage, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Goose||Fennel, Sage and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Ham||Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Lamb||Basil, Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme and Savory.|
|Liver||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Pork||Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Coriander, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, Fennel, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Savory and Thyme.|
|Rabbit||Basil, Bay, Marjoram, Lovage seed, Rosemary and Sage.|
|Salmon||Dill seed and Rosemary.|
|Seafood||Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel Seed, Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turkey||Basil, Garlic, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Parsley and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Veal||Basil, Bay leaf, Chervil, Chives, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Venison||Bay, Lovage seed, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Artichokes||Bay, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Asparagus||Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Chervil, Dill and Tarragon.|
|Avocado||Dill, Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Beans Dried||Savory, Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.|
|Beans, Green||Savory, Basil, Caraway, Cloves, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage and Thyme.|
|Broccoli||Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Brussel Sprouts||Dill, Sage and Savory.|
|Cabbage||Basil, Caraway, Cayenne, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory, Borage, Dill seed, Mint, Oregano and Savory.|
|Carrots||Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Sage, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Chervil.|
|Cauliflower||Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Fennel.|
|Corn||Chevil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Saffron, Sage and, Thyme.|
|Eggplant||Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Lentils||Garlic, Mint , Parsley, Savory and Sorrel.|
|Mushrooms||Coriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Onions||Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Parsnips||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory and Thyme.|
|Peas||Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Chervil, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley and Sage.|
|Potatoes||Parsley, Basil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Spinach||Anise, Basil, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Borage, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Sorrel and Tarragon.|
|Squash||Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Dill.|
|Tomatoes||Basil, Bay leaf, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turnips||Dill seed, Marjoram and Savory.|
|Zucchini||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Rosemary and Tarragon.|
Until the next good eats...
Have you ever run into a situation where you needed to use up all sorts of miscellaneous things in the fridge? Yeah, well, this is the result. We had a little of this - a little of that. Whatever was laying around got thrown into the pot. Bottom line, we really weren't following as recipe.
1/2 cubed Rutabaga
Frozen Green Beans
Green Bell Pepper
Gluten-Free Beef Stock,
Gluten-Free Chicken Stock
Saute' green bell pepper & onion in a big soup pot [7 qt pictured here] for a few minutes.
Add a pinch a salt and pepper. Becareful with the salt, your stocks have have additional salt.
Add 2 lbs of hamburger to pan and brown.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper
Drain/remove excess grease.
Add chicken or beef broth - probably 2-4 cups total
Add bottle of 46oz bottle of V8
Add Bay Leaf or two
Add veggies that need longer too cook first (like rutabaga, carrots, celery, etc]- staggering them by a couple of minutes.
Taste for salt/pepper
Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to simmer
Cover pot and let simmer for 30 - 60 minutes stirring occasionally.
Check a carrot/celery/rutabag - if it's a texture you like - dig in!
Until the next good eats...
Big Al's Burgers - Al
1lb of your favorite hamburger (we use Brandon Meats)
Salt or Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (this brand is gluten-free in the USA. It was not GF on Canada that last I knew. Not all Worcesteshire sauces are)
1/2 medium onion - finely diced.
Fire up the grill.
Flatten out hamburger on a plate.
Spread out the onions.
Sprinkle the salt & pepper to taste.
A few splashes of Lea & Perrins to taste.
A few splashes of A1 to taste.
Mix hamburger and ingredients together.
Make 1 big burger patty and cut into equal fourths. Do thirds if you want monster burgers
Form each portion into patties. I make a ball, place it on a piece of waxed paper large enough to folder over the top - then use a small 4-5" plate to press it flat to desired thickness. No high-tech burger presses for me!
Grill and enjoy!
Red pepper flakes if you like a little fire in your burgers.
Add a splash of A1 Steak Sauce to the meat before mixing it.
Any veggies you have on hand, today's mix included:
1 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1 pound each of corn, peas, green beans [all cooked, if frozen; otherwise 15oz can each is fine...especially if you're not cooking for an army!]
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Sweet Pepper
1 pound of your favorite beans [today's were garbanzo, but kidney or black beans add nice color]
1 cup oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
Dash of ground mustard
Put dressing ingredients in an a small-medium bowl and whisk together.
Put all veggies in a large bowl, pour on dressing and carefully mix ingredients together. Chill in the fridge.
Crockpots [technically we have a slow-cooker] are nice - you toss the stuff in - head off to work - when you return - dinner awaits! It's great getting out the vehical in the garage; you can smell dinner even before you walk into the house.
In this case, Peg had off of work, but was busy around the house so she decided to make this. Down home comfort food...
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (Jules GF Flour Mix)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat -- cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 1/2 ounces sliced mushrooms, drained
7 1/4 ounces gluten-free beef broth
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free, many brands are not)
1 teaspoon gluten-free ketchup (Heinz)
Optional Seasonings: Penzey's Bavarian Style Seasoning or Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Combine flour, salt and pepper. Toss beef cubes in seasoned flour mixture to coat. Place in slow cooker.
Cover with onions and mushrooms.
Combine beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Pour over beef cubes.
Cover and cook on low 7 to 12 hours. Before serving, check gravy consistancy, if it is too thick, add some more beef broth.
Mushrooms were omitted this time because for some strange reason we were out. Bavarian & Herbs de Provence were added.
Original recipe: Cook's Country
This is our favorite and go-to mashed potato recipe.
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, ½” pieces
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 garlic cloves, minced [We use 4-5]
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
Place cut potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain thoroughly. This is a very important step to eliminate excess starch, which produces gluey mashed potatoes.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook garlic and sugar, stirring often, until sticky and straw colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rinsed potatoes, 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, add remaining butter to pot and mash with potato masher until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining half-and-half until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
For those of us without kids, we are going to squeeze every last bit out of summer before it slinks into fall.
Summer time = cookouts and family gatherings
Cookouts and family gatherings = cold pasta salads!
Any cookout worth its salt has a cold pasta salad present. Years ago, a relative of Peg's brought this [non-gluten-free] pasta salad to a summer family event. Peg said that I'd really like it - it was tangy, zesty and a bit spicy. Yup - sounds like right up my alley, but I couldn't touch it.
Until today...we made this salad for our group's annual cookout! Nothing is off-limits at this cookout!
Gluten?!? We don't need no stinkin' gluten!
Jovial Foods was kind enough to send us some samples of their pasta [my sole intent was making a rightous cold pasta salad]. I think we accomplished that mission!
1 lb Jovial Gluten-Free Penne Rigate Pasta.
1 Small Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Small Zuchinni
½ lb of Mozzerella cheese (cubed)
½ lb of Hormel Pepperoni Slices (chopped)
¼ lb Hillshire Farms Hard Salami Slices – chopped.
3 Stalks Celery (sliced)
3 Fresh tomatoes (sliced or chunked)
1 can pitted black olives (sliced)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup of canola oil
¼ cup of olive oil
½ cup Heinz White Vinegar
2 ½ teaspoon Penzey's Orgeno
½ teaspoon Penzey's Pizza Seasoning
¼ teaspoon Penzey's Garlic Powder
Mix dressing ingredients, veggies & meat chill for at least 2 hours. Do not mix in cheese.
Make gluten-free pasta several hours before eating. Allow to cool (room temp).
Mix pasta, dressing with veggies and meat, and cheese together. Chill until needed.
Gluten-free pastas have a tendancy to harden when cold. Jovial's Penne has a much better texture [softer] when chilled overnight.
Jovial's GF products are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
2 pounds beef
3 - 4 Tb Sweet Rice Flour
2 Tb chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cubed onions
1 1/2 cups of cubed celery
3 cups cubed and peeled potatoes
3 cups sliced carrots
28 ounces beef GF broth [Kitchen Basics, Imagine, etc]
or (Herb-Ox w/ 28 oz of water could be used instead of beef broth)
Option - replace 6 oz of stock with 6 oz of red wine.
Preheat oven to 325.
Trim fat from beef and cut into 1.5 inch cubes. We get stew meat that's already cubed at our meat market.
Put flour, salt & pepper into plastic bag. Drop in a handful of meat, close bag and shake to coat. Remove coated pieces and set aside. Repeat this until all pieces are coated. You may need to add more flour as you go. Just be mindful as to how many pieces you have left and how much flour is in the bag - you don't want to have a lot to throw out when done.
Discard excess flour.
Combine parsley, pepper & thyme and set aside.
Put half of beef on the bottom of a Dutch oven or a big pan with a lid. Top with half the onions, half the potatoes, half the carrots. Sprinkle with half the parsley mixture. Repeat layering (starting again with the beef and ending with parsley). Pour in broth [or broth/wine mixture]. Cover and bake for 2 hours.
Al & Peg Notes:
This recipe as it's shown is fine, however, it could use a bit of jazzing up. We are making this for dinner tomorrow afternoon. We are planning on replacing 6 oz of beef broth with red wine. 6 oz equals a mini bottle of wine that you get in a 4 pack.
Edit 2/5/07 - We really like the addition of the red wine. However, it turns the sauce [and the potatoes] a slight shade of purple. It tastes good, but color is not right.
We also added a several shakes of McCormick's Grill Mates Hamburger Seasoning.
We did have to add a little extra salt after tasting it.
1 medium onion - chopped
2 celery ribs - chopped
2 medium carrots - grated
1/2 cup of butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of sweet rice flour
4 cups of milk
1 can Progresso Cream of Mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups of cubed cheddar cheese
6 large potatoes, peeled, diced, and cooked (about 8 cups)
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned salt
In a Dutch oven, sauté onion, celery and carrot in butter until tender. Stir in GF flour until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add soup, cheese, potatoes & Lawry's; mix well. Cook and stir until cheese is melted and soup is heated through. Yield: 10-12 servings (3 quarts).
If you can do lots of dairy - this is a good one. We have not tried subbing out the dairy.
1 - 2 pounds stew meat
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 32 oz carton GF beef stock [Kitchen Basics]
1 48 oz bottle V8 Juice
2 - 3 cups cubed fresh rutabagas
2 - 3 cups sliced fresh carrots
2 - 3 cups chopped fresh green beans
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 ears cooked fresh corn cut off the cob
3/4 cups of frozen peas
3 cups chopped cabbage
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
optional: 1 packet of HerbOx beef bouillon
optional: 1 small 5.5oz can of tomato juice
Add olive oil to your soup pot or dutch oven and brown stew meat.
Add beef stock and V8 juice to pot and stir.
Add carrots and rutabagas. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all the rest of the veggies and bay leaf.
Stir and simmer covered pot for about 3 hrs.
Rinse the bottle of V8 and add water to pot [about 1-2 cups].
The amounts of veggies can be adjusted to your tastes. I added the additional HerbOx and tomato juice because I felt there was more veggies than liquid. I didn't want to loose flavor as I added liquid, so I used the HerbOx
This recipe is adapted from Living Without Summer 2005 issue.
It's one of our favorites and gets rave reviews from all who've tried - gluten-free or otherwise.
We save it for the fall/winter when it's cold and yucky on the outside and warm and yummy on the inside.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion - diced
2 medium carrots - sliced
2 stalks celery - sliced
1 medium potato - diced
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 small zuchinni
1 tspn oregano
2 tspn salt
4 cups GF chicken broth (we used Swansen Natural Goodness)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup fresh or frozen green bean (1 1/2" pieces)
1 15oz can kidney beans - drained & rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional) or 2 cubes of frozen homemade basil pesto (See Al Notes)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Add olive oil, butter & garlic to a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute until onion is transparent and soft.
Add celery, carrots, potato. Saute for another 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and chicken broth.
Bring soup up to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-30 minutes. Veggies should be tender.
Add the corn, green beans, kidney beans, zuchinni and simmer for another 15-30 minutes.
Stir in fresh basil or add frozen pesto cubes and allow to melt.
Serve hot and don't eat too much. You could also top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Since we made a double batch, we use both kidney beans and black beans.
In the summer I will make fresh basil pesto. This is usually a Saturday project for me. We have a little farmers market downtown and I'll get several bunches. I'll whiz up a batch and pour it in ice cube trays and freeze it. After about a month of pesto making, we'll have several freezer bags full of pesto cubes we can use for a whole bunch of things...like this soup!