Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Slow cooking for un believers

Am trying to unlock the mysteries of the slow cooker. So many people passionately defending them, I must be missing something. Am not food snob, so will try to get over myself and give slow cooker a workout.
Bought house brand size 16 chook on special in big yellow supermarket. Made homemade BBQ sauce - not too much liquid as advised by- well everyone.

Used 1/3 cup tomato sauce, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp apricot jam - Yup made it up as I went along, was tangy and tasty.
Browned whole chook in frying pan then put in slow cooker, slathered on sauce and cooked on high about 5 hours. house smelt like rest home on muggy day - one of the things I most dislike about slow cooking, steamy, damp nappy smell.

Chicken was cooked and tender without disintegrating - so was happy, (have had chicken just fall bits in slow cooker - not tender, overcooked).
Feeling encouraged, scooped out sauce - which had multiplied substantially, skimmed the fat and thickened with cornflour, poured over chicken and mash and happily ate.
Did not taste blurry or bland.

Next time I will not brown chicken first, instead will try removing breast skin, so less fat, and sauce can permeate meat (I hope). Will also try adding some veg. overall a good result from an unbeliever.


  1. It took me ages to get the feel for the slow cooker (probabaly a couple of years!) because of exactly the same issues - bland, watery, etc. But, I perservered, experimented and finally found that the slow cooker recipe books from Australia/New Zealand and Britian were the best ones for my style of cooking. There's a reasonably new one by an Australian woman, Sally Wise, that I'm totally loving and haven't had a fail from yet. Now I do love my slow cooker - especially for the afternoons where we have swimming lessons or footy training.

  2. So pleased you had a success in your slow cooker - they can take a bit of experimenting to get right. As a mum of 2 preschoolers I just love mine - 2 nights a week I can cook with out having to juggle a baby on my hip LOL!

    I like the sound of your sauce so am going to try it out myself.

  3. I tend to cook the chicken on it's own in the crockpot, breast side down. Then I would fling the sauce into the microwave and drizzle over when done. Less fatty and less whiffy as it cooks. We use our crockpot at least 3 times a week, can't get enough of plain old roast lamb though.

  4. I am an unbeliever. had my slow cooker for 8 years and barely used it. I definitely don't understand the hype!!

  5. You can actually cook a whole chicken from frozen in the pot too. Just put it on high at about 8am and by 4pm you have a whole cooked chicken, just add sauce as you desire when serving

  6. After reading the facebook comments I went away and put on a crock pot of chicken drumsticks with a mixture similar to yours. I was yummy, easy dinner. (It meant I had extra time to talk to my best friend on the phone, because the dinner was already cooking away without me!)

  7. I am still not hooked, but will keep experimenting.

  8. I love BBQ sauce so will have to give this a try! I also hate the old people home smell, you get from slow cooking but love the ease of it! Am raring to read your books again Sophie, now we are down to one wage and I am off work sick. Am hoping my budget shopping trips become more fun!!

  9. My absolute favourite is steak and kidney in the cock pot - (a good slosh of red wine is essential I believe) the smell is divine and the kids love it too. Served over garlic mashed potato with steamed veg for the crunch factor. Even the semi vegetarian husband likes it!

  10. Hi My favorite Chicken recipe is to put the Chicken in the Croc no liquid, daub with a little butter, stab an orange a few times through the skin, lightly squeeze over the chicken then pop orange in to chicken cavity. pop on high 5 hours.

    I rarely do veges in croc I steam them while the Meat is thickening.

    Using Maggi Cook in pot Beef Stroganoff and Chuck steak is yummy.