Chicken Sausage Stew

Now this recipe was one that was made for the mountains. But before I get into the recipe, I have to give a shout out to the old school crockpot that I have been cooking my past three meals in. This is a 1970s original that belongs to my father, and is the definition of vintage. I sent this photo to some of my friends, and one even asked if it was safe to cook in, which it is. The colors are what make this crockpot seem dated, but it works just as well as the more recent models, just missing some newer modifications like the fact that the pot part of the crockpot can’t be removed.

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But onto the chicken sausage stew.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
– ~ 2 lbs of chicken (breasts and thighs)
– 12 oz of chicken apple sausage
– 2 tbsp olive oil (This would be because I had a mistake, it should really be 1)
– 1 large onion minced
– 6 cloves of garlic minced
– 1 tbsp tomato paste
– 1/2 tsp dried thyme
– A pinch of red pepper flakes
– 3 tbsp gluten free flour
– 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth (low sodium, reduce fat and gluten free)
– 2 Bay leaves
– 1 29 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
– 8 oz spinach thawed and drained
– Parmesan for serving

This recipe also called for me to use a skillet (I am really beginning to broaden my horizon when it comes to my crock pot skills apparently). So lets get my first uh-oh out of the way. I am not used to having to use a skillet when making my crockpot concoctions, so when I read that I needed a tablespoon of olive oil, I automatically put it in the crockpot. That’s when I read that I was supposed to put the olive oil in the skillet, so whoopsies.

Again, reading the recipe before cooking is important. So then I actually followed the recipe, and put the other tablespoon in the skillet. Next I seared the chicken, browning all sides. This made me begin to think, in a lot of my other recipes I have not been browning my chicken, but was I suppose to be? I have found (through both internet research and personal experience) that chicken thighs cook very well in a crockpot and if chicken breasts are cut into smaller pieces, they remain juicer than not. So I am a bit confused as to why I need to brown chicken for this recipe and the one posted before. And then I realized that I usually cook most of my crockpot dishes with chicken for 8 hours, but these past two dishes have called for 4 – 6 hours of cooking, so the chicken needs to be pre-cooked/prepped.

Moving on, I cut up my onion into minced pieces (and man oh man were my eyes watering, to the point where I had to ask for help from my mom) and minced the garlic previous to cooking the chicken, because immediately post chicken I needed to put in the onion. I added the onion with some more olive oil until the onions became slightly browned. Then I added the tomato paste, garlic, dried thyme, red pepper flakes and flour. Quick side note, who knew that there were so many ways tomato could be made ie into paste, puree, sauce, just plain tomatoes? I really wonder who made all of these forms of tomatoes available for cooking and how, but that is for another time. At this point, I made a sauce that smelled really delicious, but to be honest I was not sold on the taste, as it looked very thick. The original recipe called for either 1/2 cup of dried wine at this point or chicken broth, and I opted for the chicken broth for two reasons: 1) one less item to shop for and 2) it got me out of the store quickly, which was what I needed the day I was shopping (what I called in a previous post as the Christmas Eve Rush). So to loosen up the “sauce” (I’m not sure what the formal name would be for this mixture), I added half a cup of broth slowly to the simmering sauce. After a couple of minutes, I poured in 1 cup of broth and stirred that in, making sure to get all of the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and poured this all into the slow cooker.

Once all of it was in the slow cooker, I added in the last two cups of chicken broth, the bay leaves, and the cannellini beans and put the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. I made this dish without the intention of eating it right away for two reasons: 1) we had reservations that night and 2) because the chicken was going to go bad soon. So I put this in the crockpot before my parents were having a party as this was the only time I had to cook the dish that day, and truthfully I forgot about it for about 6.5 hours. That’s when I finally remembered the dish and added the last two ingredients of thawed and drained spinach and the chicken sausage. The only thing I was worried about was the sausage. I have learned that most sausages are pre-cooked, so I just added the sausage without pre-cooking it. Thirty minutes later, I turned off the slow cooker and let it cool. Once at room temperature, I transferred the stew into a bowl to sit in the fridge over night to be eaten at a later date.

Review:

Huge hit! Literally everyone loved it. Great for the family, and ample amount of food for a post- ski lunch!

The Nitty Gritty:
– Total Cost: $35.00
– Total Time: 30 minutes prep, 7 hours cooking, 7.5 hours
– Serving Size: 8 – 10 bowls

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Ginger Coconut Chicken

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The final product.

This dish is by far the most complicated dish I have made, so far because it called for more than just putting all of the ingredients in the crockpot and letting it sit for 6 – 8 hrs on low. In fact, this recipe called for much more than that.

From my previous posts you can tell that I am on a spice/non-American food kick, and this dish proves to be no exception, except for the fact that there was not as much kick as I would have liked.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
– 4 gloves of garlic minced
– 2 “cubes” of ginger (I used the left over ginger from the chicken tikka masala, so I used about 2 inches of peeled ginger instead)
– 1/2 yellow onion
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp butter
– 2.5 lbs of chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
– 2 cup of coconut milk (I used the Silk brand)
– 2 tbsp corn starch
– 1 bag of a medley of frozen vegetables

Spice Blend:
(This part of the dish was made about 5 days before due to a travel schedule, so the spices had plenty of time to blend together.)
– 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
– 1 tsp of ground cumin
– 1 tsp of ground coriander
– 1 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
– 1 tsp of salt

The first step of the recipe called for the spice blend to be mixed together which I had done five days previously, so I could check that one off my list. Next came the more complicated part. The food processor. I had never used a food processor before unsupervised before, and for good reason. I find the food processor a complicated machine. I have no idea why, but putting it together feels like solving a Rubik’s Cube. After asking my sister, who was in another room, multiple questions, I put the food processor together and got to work making a paste of the garlic, onion and ginger. I should fully disclose that the original recipe called for one small sweet onion, but I could not find sweet onions so instead I used half a large yellow onion. The recipe called for the food processor to be in the “pulse” mode, but I have no idea how that works so instead I went with the puree setting and turned it on and off like a pulse mode. That seemed to work. Then I put the paste into a skillet with the butter and olive oil for about 2 – 3 minutes. This is the first time that a recipe I choose called for skillet work, so I was a little bit nervous, also because I didn’t have access to a cast iron skillet.

After the paste cooked for 2 – 3 minutes, came the addition of the spice blend. Another two minutes, I moved the paste to the side, and then put in the chicken and browned the sides of the chicken. This proved to be much harder than I thought, as the skillet did not provide enough space to really brown all of the chicken and keep the paste separate. In the end, the recipe says to mix the chicken and the paste together, so I gave up on letting all of the chicken brown and just mixed it all together. This worked out much better, for both browning the chicken and reducing my mess.

Next came the addition of the coconut milk, but I was unable to find the right coconut milk we needed. At most grocery stores, there are multiple options for coconut milk: cans or a carton. What I found at this grocery store was that there were no options, just the carton. The original recipe called for cans, which apparently have a cream at the top (I know nothing of this, as I did not have cans, which makes it creamer) and other juices at the bottom, which I believe are thicker than the coconut milk that comes out of a carton. Because I could not find the cans, I used the carton of coconut milk, which is less creamer and much more like skim milk. So at this point, I added a cup of coconut milk to the paste, spices and chicken and let that simmer for about 5 minutes before adding it to the slow cooker.

At this point, the last steps were supper easy. I simply put the slow cooker on low for four hours. After four hours, I added in the bag of frozen vegetables and the second cup of coconut milk whisked with cornstarch and cooked the mixture for another 30 minutes. I also made rice to go with this dish, as this seemed to be a great side.

Review:

My family really liked this dish, except for my sister and myself. We both found this dish to be a bit bland, and honestly I don’t really care for coconut. The fact that I used coconut milk instead of the coconut milk from the can, made the coconut taste less pronounced which I appreciated, but I also think made the dish blander. My brother suggested adding some lemon to make it stronger in taste, but I am not sure because as I think the point of this dish is to have it be fairly bland. I won’t be making this dish again, but it was a good first dish to add some challenge to cooking more than dropping the ingredients into the crock pot and turning it on.

The Nitty Gritty:
– Total Cost: $35.00
– Total time: 45 minutes prep, 4.5 hours cooking – 5.25 hrs
– Serving Size: 8 – 10 depending on how large of bowl

Chicken Tikka Masala (But Actually this Time)

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The dish before.

Now this isn’t my first go around with chicken tiki masala, but this is a much more successful go around. Like all families on Christmas, we decided to have one of my crockpot experiments/no one else wanted to cook. This holiday season I got to spend it up in the mountains (spoiled, I know), so I had to pack the seasons for this dish four days before even making the dish. Also, I had to do all of my grocery shopping in a brand new store to me while dealing with the Christmas Eve Rush. (I don’t know if that’s a thing, but it should be. This crowd was ruthless.) The recipe used for this version of chicken tiki masala is pretty much a no brainer, but don’t you worry, I still somehow managed to have a couple mistakes even with my mom in the kitchen with me.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

– ~3 lbs of chicken breast (skinless)
– 3/4 yellow onion finely diced (what does that really mean? Not what I thought)
– 4 LARGE cloves of garlic (minced)
– ~2 tbsp of fresh ginger (peel it before you grate it, just saying)
– 1 can 29 oz of tomato purée
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 halves of a big lemon of lemon juice (to be explained later)
– 2 tbsp Garam Masala
– 1 tbsp cumin
– 1/2 tbsp paprika
– 2 tsp salt
– 3/4 tsp cinnamon (who has a utensil in the kitchen that measures this amount, not me! So, this why I eyeballed it)
– 3/4 tsp freshly grounded black pepper (eyeballed as well)
– 3 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
– 1 cup whipping cream/heavy cream (I really hope those are the same, if not whoops)
– 1/2 tbsp corn starch (I got this right!)

One concern I hadn’t thought about until coming up to the mountains is that apparently altitude effects how items are cooked (ie. it takes longer than expected). We had experienced this the night before while making salmon, so I was a bit nervous and this may have altered the recipe a bit.

Because I was going to be out snowboarding early this morning, I actually prepped the dish the night before which I think helped to increase the taste of the dish. The originally recipe called for 1/2 of a yellow onion, but I had 1/4 of one yellow onion we needed to use and 1/2 of a large yellow onion, so I ended up putting more yellow onion than needed but it worked. The part about the onions that I found to be really challenging is making sure they were “diced” enough. Now I know what minced looks like in chopping lingo, but diced? I thought that was bigger than minced but not long strips of onion, so I went with 2 cm square shapes. I still think that this was too big, but no one complained when they were eating onion pieces in the sauce. Next time I’m going with minced.

Speaking of minced, post onions came the garlic. I love garlic so I went big with this and picked the 4 biggest cloves I could find. Then came the ginger. In case no one else has ever worked with ginger before let me explain something. It’s not a hard root (for some reason I always thought that), in fact it’s fairly soft and very juicy. Also, it must be peeled (don’t worry my mom caught me before I put the unpeeled ginger to the grater). The recipe called for 2 tbsp of freshly ground ginger. Now how you grate ginger and make it fit into a tablespoon measuring tool is beyond me, so this was just eyeballed as the ginger made a mess. The same can be said for the lemon juice. I did not buy a bottle of lemon juice. Instead I used two halves (or 1 large lemon) of lemon to squeeze the juice out of and straight into the bowl, not using any measuring tool but my eyeballs.

The rest was pretty straight forward, until I got to the 3/4 teaspoon measurements. Now I don’t have an instrument that measures 3/4 of a teaspoon, but I do know how to estimate. So, all of those measurements: estimated. Of the spices the only one I want to warn about it is the cayenne pepper. Now when reading over the original recipe it states that how spicy you want the dish depends on how much cayenne pepper. I didn’t really take that warning seriously, so I went for it. And I mean I put in a nice helpings of three teaspoons, which equals SPICEY! So as the original recipe says, cayenne pepper = spiciness, and plan accordingly.

At this point I had the sauce done (I had all the spices and the yogurt added in with the onion, garlic, ginger and tomato purée) and I had cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces. Now, because I had made this dish the night before, I ended up stirring the chicken into the bowl with the sauce and setting that over night in the fridge (this is not needed but worked best with my schedule). The whipping cream (my mom told me that’s not the same as heavy cream but oh well) and the corn starch are to be used for the last twenty minutes of recipe.

Cooking the next morning was a breeze. I put the bowl in the crockpot before heading out to a powder day of snowboarding, and when we came home around lunch time the house smelled awesome. All it needs is 8 hrs on low. My timing though proved to be a bit misleading, as I was using a new crockpot that doesn’t have a warm setting (this crockpot is from the 70s and is awesome but very outdated), so while we went to the movies I ended up having to let the recipe sit for two hours on off and continue cooking in its own heat. When I came back, I turned it back on to low and added the cornstarch and whipping cream for additional 20 minutes. After sitting all together and removing the bay leaves, the dish was ready to be served with some white rice.

Review:

My family loved it, and it did have a kick, that’s for sure. I thought it should have been creamier, but I think that is because I used whipping cream instead of heavy cream. Everyone had seconds, and everyone was impressed with my cooking skills. (This is the first crockpot dish I had made for my family.) I will for sure be making this version of chicken tiki masala again.

The Nitty Gritty:

– Total Cost: $50.00 – chicken again was the most expensive as I could only find organic
– Total time: 30 minutes prep and 8.5 hours cooking, so 9 hrs
– Serving Size: 5-8 (with everyone able to get seconds)

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The dish after the meal with Skiing Santa and some wine.

Happy holidays!

Chilly Chili

As it is the season of holiday parties galore and pot lucks, I made this dish for my office holiday part. I should start by saying this dish took me multiple days because I soaked the beans for 24 hrs (when I told one of my friends I was soaking the beans, he was a bit worried I only had done it for 20 minutes, but I some how remembered beans have to soak for a long time. The rest of the recipe did not go as smoothly.) and then had the recipe itself sit over night in the fridge. This helped with the flavors, but I missed some other important parts of the recipe.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

– 5 lbs lean meat ground turkey (the original calls for a mix of beef and turkey, but I don’t like beef so oh well)
– 5 large garlic cloves minced
– 1 large yellow onion
– 3 cans of 14 oz diced tomatoes with sauce
– 1 can of 29 oz of tomato sauce (the original calls for 2 cans of 14 oz of tomato sauce, but you get more sign for your buck if you be just buy the 29 ouncer)
– 3/4 cup tomato sauce
– 1 can of 15 oz black beans rinsed and drained
– 1 can of 15 oz kidney beans rinsed and drained
– 1 tbsp corn meal (this will be explained later)
– 6 tbsp of chili powder
– 2 tsp dried oregano (the original calls for Mexican oregano, I will explains this as well)
– 3 tsp ground cumin
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– salt and black pepper for taste
– (there should also be some beef stock, and I will explain why this is missing as well)

So this recipe was again made for a holiday party with about 20 people, so I went big! Just an FYI, this recipe needs way more than just one crock pot or just one really big one. I found this out the hard way.

Let’s start with my grocery shopping experience for this recipe. First of all I had made a mental list while at work of all of the things that I would need for this recipe. In my mind, I had corn starch, so I didn’t even put that on my list. False. I had corn meal at home, not corn starch. Hence, why I put in 2 tbsp of corn meal instead of the 1/3 cup of corn starch. Who knows how it would have tasted had this been different? (People who cook regularly probably know, but I am still learning). Next, while reading the ingredients I decided that I had oregano, and in fact I did, just not Mexican oregano. Another ingredient that may have changed the taste of the chili, but it did enjoy the oregano I used. (I have really got to start reading all the details.)

To start off the recipe it calls for the browning of the ground turkey. This actually took a while, as fitting 5 lbs of turkey into one frying pan doesn’t really happen. Trying to put 2 lbs in was really the top/max. So I browned the ground turkey 2 lbs at a time and 1 lbs at the end. While those were browning, I cut up the yellow onion and the garlic. To be honest, I wouldn’t suggest cutting while the turkey is browning if you have never brown ground turkey before, cause it browns quicker than I expected. The first batch definitely was way more than brown. It was crispy on one side.

Next came the cans: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, and both beans. At this point, I have two crockpots going. There was so much food, so the rest I ended up splitting the rest of the ingredients into each crockpot, and it just didn’t put in any stock of any kind. Two reasons there: there wasn’t any beef, so did I need beef stock? No. Secondly, there really wasn’t any room for any kind of stock in either of the crock pots, so oh well. Then came the ketchup, the brown sugar, chili powder, oregano, cumin and corn meal (which should have been corn starch). Then I put the two crockpots on low for 8hrs. At this point the chili had set/seemed to only need one crockpot and a bowl, so the chili was condensed. (My roommate also needed her crockpot back, so as Tim Gunn says “Make it work!”.)

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So much Chili!

Review:

Well reheating the chili after having it in the fridge proved to be difficult, so if the chili had been warm, then it would have been awesome. No one complained, and most got second. I did add avocados, sour cream, cheese and chips as an option to add to the chili. I would make this again,but a smaller batch and make sure I have a chance to heat it up all the way.

The Nitty Gritty:
– Total Costs: $45.00 – the meat was the most expensive
– Total Time: 45 minutes of prep, 8 hrs of cooking and 1.5 hrs of reheating, so 10.25 hrs
– Serving Size: 18 -22 people

Honey Apple Cinnamon Pork

When I lived in Chicago is when the whole crock pot blog began, so it only seemed fitting that upon my return I cook another crockpot. Now, I really can’t take much credit for this recipe or even the production foo making it as one of my old roommates really did the hard work of finding this recipe, buying the materials and really making it into our own. Shockingly, my old roommate is probably the reason that this recipe went so smoothly. In fact, I know it is the reason it went so smoothly, because the only part that was messed up was the part I did.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

– 4 lbs pork tenderloin
– 3 thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
– 1 full onion sliced thinly
– 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup of honey (this was eyeballed, so give or take a little bit)
– 8 cinnamon sticks

So when I arrived in Chicago, I was given the star treatment. My roommate had bought all of the ingredients needed for recipe, included a few additional ones that really made the dish (ie. the onion and the cinnamon sticks). It is a well known fact that I have difficulties cutting onions aka I have to wear goggles because my eyes water so much, so my old roommate took one for the team and she cut up the onion to put in the bottom of the crock pot. I should also note that we had a full day planned ahead of us, so she and I were doing all of this at 7:30 am on a Saturday morning. This turned out to be a great decision as this dish does take the full 8 hrs on low that it says in the recipe. (And this is why reading the full instructions is so important. It really does make it all easier in there end).

So while one of us was cutting the onion, I cut up all the apples in thin slices. Some of these pieces of apples went into the bottoms of the crock pot while other went into the slits that were cut into the pork tenderloin.Now, for some reason I thought that the slits shown on the example pork tenderloin were cut horizontally. Nope. I was suppose to cut the slits vertically or diagonally if I really wanted to make it look good. So there was the mess up of the recipe, and all because I couldn’t remember how the slits were suppose to look. Paying attention to details is important.

So, after putting all of the slices in the pork tenderloin and filling them with apples, the bottom of the crock pot was covered with honey. Now, both my old roommate and I found this a bit weird as we thought that the honey should go over the pork tenderloin, but no. The honey went over the apples on the bottom of the crock pot. Then came the pork tenderloins with the rest of the slices of apples on top. Lastly came the sprinkling of the ground cinnamon over the top of the whole crockpot and the addition of cinnamon sticks through out the whole dish. After that, let the low heat do the rest for 8 hours.

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Before the pork was cooked.

Review:

The dish was very good, very festive for this time of year, and the pork just fell apart at the end of the 8 hrs. The only criticism some had was that it is a sweeter dish. But, yes I would make this dish again as it was very good. Maybe next time I can get the slits right.

The Nitty Gritty:
– Total Cost: $40.00 (the pork was the most expensive part)
– Total time: 30 minutes prep, 8 hrs cooking. 8.5 hrs
– Serving size: 15 people

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tis the season of parties and gatherings, so this dish was made for a small gathering of friends. While trying to figure out what I wanted to bring, I talked to my friends and some of them were bringing buffalo chicken dip or cookies. I decided I would bring spinach artichoke dip because a) I haven’t had it in a while, and I wanted it, and b) I was pretty sure you can make it in a crock pot. Turns out spinach artichoke dip isn’t a crock pot specific dish, and you can make it many different ways. This recipe turned out to be pretty darn good, but really was no competitor for the amazing buffalo chicken dip made by my friend.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of frozen spinach
  • 1 14oz can of artichoke hearts
  • 16 oz of light cream cheese (cubed)
  • 2 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese (cubed)
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 large dashes of black pepper

The big reason I chose this recipe was because it looked really easy and you could adapt everything to be light or “healthier” (more like less calories). So the first thing I must admit is that while grocery shopping, the original recipe called for 1 lb. of frozen spinach. Now while shopping for frozen spinach I could only fine descriptions of how much the spinach weighs. Instead, I would lift a bag and guess if that was equal to a pound or not. Twelve ounces felt about right slash equal to a pound, so that is the amount that I grabbed.

During the prep time, cutting the cheese and the cream cheese proved easy and more time consuming than I thought. The recipe calls for the cheese to go into the crock pot first and then turn it on high, which was easy to follow. But the cutting of the spinach, (which was supposed to be thawed and apparently I just did not read that part right, so it went in frozen) and draining and chopping the artichokes took a lot longer than I thought. This lead for the cheese to melt and some burn to the side. After that I realized that you need to stir the pot pretty frequently to prevent the cheese from sticking to the sides. Then came the garlic. The original recipe called for 3 cloves of garlic, but that didn’t seem like enough garlic. I like garlic, so I thought I would go a little bit heavier on the minced garlic, which for sure worked in my favor. Then just some dashes of black pepper, and boom – all done.

Review:

This dish was good, even better on the second day. It was no comparison to my friend buffalo chicken dip (I will have to get her to write up her recipe), but still a good option. I would for sure make this again for a dinner party or a get together. The dish just needed more garlic!

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $15.00
  • Total Time: 20 minutes prep and 2 hrs for cooking on high, 30 minutes on low – 2 hrs and 50 minutes
  • Serving Size: 10 – 12 people

Chicken Teriyaki with White Rice

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About a month ago my older sister sent me an article with a bunch of crock pot options, so I sent them to my friends and said pick one. My friend responded very quickly that she would like me to make the teriyaki chicken recipe, so I got after it.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup chicken broth (gluten free)
– 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (gluten free as well)
– 1/3 cup brown sugar (I went with light brown sugar, because I think this is the more healthy version, but to be honest I’m not sure.)
– 1/4 cup soy sauce (this was gluten free as well)
– 5 chicken thighs
– 1 two second poor of sesame oil
– 2-3 green onions diced (just for the topping)
– white rice

So making this dish proved to be very easy, and not time consuming at all. Basically all I did was combine the ingredients above, only to find out that I didn’t have chicken breasts. Instead I used the rest of the chicken thighs I had in the freezer from last week when I made jambalaya. The recipe called for a teaspoon of sesame oil, but I really didn’t want to have to wash the teaspoon so instead a solid two second pour seemed like the same. I’m sure it isn’t, but it didn’t effect the taste!

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Review:

I ended up sharing this dish with five people, and everyone spoke very highly of the dish. It was very delicious, but the only thing that was a bit strange was that the sauce didn’t thicken in the way that I thought it would. Perhaps the sauce isn’t suppose to thicken, but maybe it is. Also, next time I would add vegetables to the dish such as broccoli, snap peas, and carrots. Overall, really good!

The Nitty Gritty:
– Total Cost: $30.00
– Total time: 5 minutes prep and 5 hrs of cooking so 5 hrs and 5 minutes
– Serving Size: 8

Jambalaya Part 2

So, while I was home over vacation, one of my friends told me how he enjoys reading my blog and I realized that I have let it fall to the wayside. Well I am only home for a few days, so I decided it was time to get cooking and one dish I had really liked previously was jambalaya. This dish I must admit that this recipe is even better then the first one, and with more improvisations (not on purpose but because I didn’t read the whole entire recipe through, which in case you didn’t know has really become apparent to me that I need to start reading the recipe completely through before I start cooking. I would save my self a lot of uh-ohs in the process). So here it is, jambalaya part 2:

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • ~ 1 lb of chicken tenders (I bought 2.18 lbs, but I think I only put in around 1 lb or 5 thighs)
  • 14 oz of smoked turkey sausage (I don’t eat beef)
  • 1 large green bell pepper chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 of white onion
  • 1 large can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of gluten free chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of white cooking wine (I couldn’t find nor do I know what dry wine is)
  • 2 tsp. dried leaf oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. of paprika, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. of black pepper, 1/2 tsp. italian seasoning, dash of cumin, multiple dashes of garlic powder, and dash of coriander (I was suppose to use cajun sauce, but I didn’t have any, so I added my own spices).
  • 1 lb. of cooked shrimp (preferably de-tailed, I did not do this and that stunk)
  • 2 cups of wild rice

To be honest, it was a pretty easy assembly. The part that took the longest was the cutting and chopping of items. I dumped the can of crushed tomatoes in, followed by the small cubes of green pepper and 1/2 of onion (I didn’t measure the onion, I just put half in because I was unaware that the recipe meant cup. I just read it as half an onion). Then came the sausage, chicken broth, and cooking wine. I ended up cutting off a lot of the fat off the thighs, before I realized that I am not suppose to be doing that. The fat was the part that made the meat a bit more juicy and flavorful, but I was trying to be healthy so whoopsies.

Then came the big oh dear moment. I went to put in all the spices, and I was doing pretty well until I came to the add cajun. That’s when I realized that I don’t have any cajun. So of course I use handy dandy google, and find that I can’t make my own cajun spice, but I have some of the essentials. So I add a majority of the essentials (hence the 1/2 tsp. of certain spices), and then I was like oh well, let’s try a dash of that and a dash of this. It was like I was a witch above her caldron.

At that point, I put the crock pot on low and let it go. After about 6 hrs, I turn back to the crock pot and add the shrimp. Remind you, I had to remove the tails from all of the shrimp (I had let the shrimp de-thaw, so there was a lot of water in the bag. De-tailing the shrimp kept the water out, but I really wish I had bought a bag of tailless shrimps). Then I added the 2 cups of wild rice. Now the recipe said wait 35 – 45 minutes. To be honest, I wasn’t that patience, so after about 30 minutes (very close to 35 mind you, not that close to 45) I got my self a serving. My lack of patience pants lead to some uncooked rice, but I was okay with that. After about 20 more minutes, I decided to have another serving and again the rice was still under cooked. Upon further reflexion, I now realize that perhaps I should have stirred the rice, because the rice at the bottom of the crock pot was nice and cooked. So note for next time (and I probably said this last time), stir the rice a few times at the end of the crock pot cycle for jambalaya.

Review:

Many of my friends had this for lunch, and we all agreed good! Really good! I will for sure be making this again as it also make a lot of servings (I will be having it for lunch all week, with servings to spare).

The Nitty- Gritty:

  • Total cost: $25.00 – the meat was the most expensive
  • Total time: 30 minutes prep + 7.5  hrs cooking = 8 hrs
  • Serving size: 8 – 10 depends on the sizes, but a lot!