Hmmmm . . . crock pot . . .

I really like cooking in the crock pot (though not as much as some people). It may not be the most elegant stuff, but it is wonderful for one pot dinners on school nights. Unfortunately, many crock pot recipes are horrible: cream soups, sour cream, and similar junk. But I do like the recipes in Lora Brody’s Slow Cooker Cooking, which has lots of good stuff (and the blog I linked before is a good source too). One of my favorites is for her “Moroccan style chicken,” which you can find adapted here, or here, or here.

I won’t repeat the recipe but just will note my approach to it:

  1. I tend to use chicken thighs with skin, which I think give the best flavor
  2. I switch the dried fruits: you can use prunes, apricots, raisins, or a mix’
  3. I hardly ever use the exact spice mix, so long as you have some turmeric and cumin you can noodle with what you have

I make it the night before, stick it in the fridge, and pull it out in the morning; it cooks while we work and is done when we get home (assuming you have a time function).

It looked like this when we left home:

Not awesome, I admit. But when we got home, and I had stripped the meat off the bones, it looked better (and smelled awesome):

I strained out the cooking liquid and used it to cook Israeli pearl cous cous (or ptimim for Hebrew speakers), which is always awesome, and especially so with this cooking liquid:

Diane and I had leftover sweet and sour eggplant from Claudia Roden’s masterpiece the New Book of Middle Eastern Food, both of which are topics for other posts. The kids got their own deconstructed salads: we had piles of CSA veggies, they both like carrots and peppers, one likes lettuce, one likes tomatoes, and they both like saying “deconstructed salad.”

It was a pretty good weeknight dinner, and I feel okay about using a crock pot to do it.

-Stuart

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