Late to the Party

So, I’ve cooked from Julia to Lidia and everywhere in between. But I’ve never in my cooking life used a slow cooker, or as I knew it growing up, a crock pot. Until this weekend!

When my co-worker, Brooke, offered me an adorable, small crock pot, I took it with some hesitation. How is it possible to throw everything into it and ten hours later have dinner ready? Though I will continue to be mystified by this question, I will no longer ask  but just gratefully accept the fact that “someone else” is making dinner for me!

For Sunday dinner, I usually roast chicken or pork. But since the weather has turned cooler, I thought it was a perfect night for chicken stew! In the morning, I threw some chicken, wine, and veggies in a pot and had a succulent, warm, and creamy dinner in a mere 10 hours! I hardly knew what to do with myself during my usual time I’m making dinner!

This recipe was originally called Blanquette de Veau and came from an old Weight Watcher’s cookbook. Veal? Ew! So I took their suggestion and substituted skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Served over whole wheat egg noodles with steamed green beans and a late summer tomato salad, it warmed the body and soul. I will mention it’s a touch on the bland side, so you might want to add a little bit more salt.

I have a feeling my Sunday dinners this winter are going to be filled with warm stews, soups, and braised meats! I can’t wait!

Blanquette de Poulet
From WeightWatchers® In One Pot
Serves 4

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized cubes
½ pound fresh white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen whole small onions
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons cold water
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I left this out)

1. Place the chicken, mushrooms, and onions in a slow cooker. Stir in the broth, wine, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and bay leaf. Cover and cook until everything is fork tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

2. About 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, combine the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth; stir in about ¼ cup of the hot liquid from the slow cooker until blended. Stir the flour mixture and peas into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high, until mixture simmers and thickens, about 25 minutes. (Cook’s Note: Hmmm…as I’m typing this, I realized I missed the part about turning it to high. I just left it on low and it was fine.) Discard the bay leaf. Stir in chopped parsley, if using, just before serving.

* * * *

Also with the turn of the weather comes apple season! This Saturday morning, I will arise at my usual pre-dawn hours, but this time I go to work in my kitchen. It’s our annual Harvest Festival and this year, I have entered the apple pie contest! Since I don’t normally write down my recipe, I’ve been practicing my crust and fillings for about a week now. First pie went off to a book group, pie number 2 is so ugly it’s staying home! I’ll chronicle my quest for the perfect apple pie next week! Who knows, it might be a blue ribbon winner!

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4 thoughts on “Late to the Party

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