Tag Archives: Kitchen Craft Cookware

Slow Cooked Chicken Makes a Hasty Tasty Meal

My friend recently asked why I bought the new 6-quart slow cooker when I already had the 4-quart model and typically cook for just two people. Here’s my answer.

One of my Hasty Tasty Meals strategies is cooking ahead, and slow cooking allows you to maximize your cooking with little fuss. A larger pot is roomy enough to hold several different foods.

My favorite cook-ahead meal is a chicken. If my pan is large enough, I can start with enough potatoes to make two days’ worth of potatoes. I can cook carrots with the potatoes, giving me two side dishes for two meals. Finally, the chicken flavors and moistens the root vegetables. How efficient. The six-quart size produces a minimum of eight servings of each food.

First, I peel 4 potatoes (Peeling is optional–these russets had tough peels, but I scrub and leave the peels when possible) and cut into uniform pieces, approximately 1″. These go on the pan’s bottom. I top with sliced carrots or, because they were on sale this week, baby-cut carrots. Next, I form a rack for the chicken from two celery ribs and a large onion, quartered.

Season the chicken thoroughly. I use a rub made with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. Kosher salt, ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp. dried thyme, ½ tsp. dried sage, and 1 Tbsp. paprika. Place the chicken so it rests on the vegetables.

Celery and onions form a roasting rack.

Celery and onions form a roasting rack.

Cover and cook on High for 4 – 5 hours. That’s it. Just ten minutes of prep and you’re free to run errands or do other chores. If it makes you nervous to use a dry pot, add a cup of water or broth. I don’t. The chicken and vegetables produce enough liquid to make a pan gravy before serving if you desire. (Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan. Then whisk in 1 Tbsp. corn starch dissolved in ½ cup cooled broth or water. Boil to thicken and season to taste.)

The six-quart Gourmet Cooker by Kitchen Craft Cookware

The six-quart Gourmet Cooker by Kitchen Craft Cookware

If serving the same meal twice in one week doesn’t appeal to you, switch it up with other vegetables. For instance, I added a side of broccoli one day and green beans the other. I served biscuits once and dinner rolls once. I whipped half the potatoes, and stirred half in with the green beans. Finally, I didn’t serve the chicken meals consecutive days, although we aren’t averse to chicken two days in a row.

Don’t limit your slow-cooking to beef roasts or stews. Try cooking ahead a mix of foods. You won’t feel like you’re eating leftovers, and you’ll spend less time in the kitchen. Enjoy the food and extra time.

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Filed under chicken, cooking

Easy Quiche for Two

I got the inspiration for this recipe from the electric skillet quiche that my friends Gary and Linda Straka make using a refrigerated pie crust. Their recipe is delicious, but it makes 6 servings (Or 8 if using the 12″ skillet). I wanted to be able to make an easy, healthy, stove-top quiche for my husband and me.

I’ve been using tortillas for years as pizza crusts, an idea I borrowed from Weight Watchers®. Why not use a tortilla for a quiche crust? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I headed to the laboratory kitchen to experiment.

We had the quiche this morning for breakfast. For a first-time effort, it turned out good! I used whole wheat tortillas, egg substitutes, skim milk, and reduced-fat cheese.

RECIPE

3/4 cup egg substitute (or 3 eggs)
1/4 cup skim milk
½ tsp salt (and other seasonings to taste)
1 8″ flour tortilla
1 tsp. butter
1/4 cup optional ingredients (your choice)
1/4 cup reduced fat cheese (your choice)

Combine the egg substitutes, milk, and salt in a blender and whip until frothy. Melt one teaspoon butter in the bottom of a quality, stainless steel pan (I use a 2 quart, but whatever fits your tortilla is fine). Place the tortilla in the skillet to form the crust of the quiche. Heat the pan on Low.

Pour the egg mixture into the tortilla “crust.” Add whatever ingredients you prefer (e.g. mushrooms, diced ham, peppers, onions) then sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Check to see if the egg mixture is set. If not, cook a few minutes more. Don’t overcook. (Caution: Don’t mistake melted cheese for uncooked egg product)

Remove from heat. Carefully cut the quiche into fourths and lift from the pan, using a small spatula.

As I prepared it, two quarter pieces of the quiche counts as three points on Weight Watchers®.

For the optional ingredients, I used minced onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli. Or use a handful of frozen seasoning blend, which I keep on hand. It is a mixture of diced onions, bell peppers, and celery, and is a wonderful time-saver available in the frozen food section of your supermarket. Next time I’ll try sliced mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Yum! Experiment and have fun with this recipe. Bonus: No need to light the oven!

Cheri

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Filed under cooking, eggs, Healthful Eating, Recipes