slow cookerSLOW COOKED BARBEQUE CHICKEN

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups barbeque sauce, store-bought or homemade
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Mango Salsa (recipe follows)

Tortillas

Mango Salsa

Can be made ahead of time and will keep for up to four days.
2 mangoes, diced
¼ red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice and zest of one lime
1-2 tsp. minced ginger (I go heavy on the ginger)
1 tsp. canola oil
coarse grain salt, to taste

Add chicken breasts, barbeque sauce, chicken stock, oregano, and olive oil to slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When chicken is done, shred using two forks. Any remaining cooking liquid can be strained and mixed in with rice or beans.

SLOW COOKED THAI INSPIRED CHICKEN

This dish requires a little more work only if you want to make the fresh sauce for the final dish. If not, buy a good Pad Thai sauce to mix into the rice noodles and slow cooked chicken.

For the marinade and cooking sauce…

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(2) 14 oz. cans coconut milk
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. Thai seasoning
1/4 cup miso paste
Dash of coarse grain salt
1 package rice noodles (the thick ones) cooked according to package directions

1 cup unsalted peanuts, smashed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cucumber, julienned or grated on cheese grater
3 carrots, shredded or grated on cheese grater
In place of store-bought Pad Thai (or other) sauce,
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1 tsp.)
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime

Optional: scrambled egg, bean sprouts, dried shrimp

Marinate chicken overnight. Add the chicken plus the marinade into the slow cooker. Cook on low setting, 8 hours, or high setting, 4 hours. When done, shred chicken using 2 forks.

When chicken is shredded, place in bowl and mix with store bought sauce, or add: ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, Hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce, and lime juice. Mix well. Set aside.

Cook rice noodles. When done, drain noodles and place in serving dish. To keep the noodles from sticking, you may want to add a little sesame oil or canola oil to them.

Add chicken mixture over rice noodles. Top with cucumber, carrots, peanuts and cilantro.

“Feed me!” “I’m hungry, Mom!” “What’s for dinner, honey?”

It never ends, I swear. Especially at this time of year, when ball games, extended daylight hours, activities, school projects and summer planning are at their peak, I have to bring my A-game to secure a winning dinnertime.

Dinner, in my home, is the only time the five of us are really all together under the same roof. After school my kids disperse; one child at practice, the other at a friend’s house, the toddler doing something destructive I will later have to clean, my husband working or working out, you get the idea. From about 6:30 p.m. on, I try my best to gather the cubs and Papa Bear back into the den. It’s re-charging time, and if I pull them back from having fun, I better have something good waiting. It starts with a slow cooker.

I have witnessed slow cookers go from crock pots to digital masterpieces. When I was the hungry child, my Mom would make “Malibu Chicken” in the slow cooker. Her slow cooker/crock pot was round, beige and brown, with vegetables painted on the outside. Do you know the one I mean? It had a thick, black cord and a switch that illuminated red, when it was “ON”, it’s only setting. It wasn’t as sophisticated as the slow cookers now – now slow cookers are high tech and have a following of cookbooks devoted to them – back then, I remember crock pot “recipe collections” spirally bound, my Mom borrowing the cookbook from one of her office mates. Who knew we’d be downloading recipes years later, or buying slow cookers that came with a memory of 300+ recipes, multiple settings, and a “Keep Warm” feature, designed for our busy lives?

Me the Mommy now, I am grateful for such advancement. And my own memory full of crock pot dishes, I believe I do have the slow cooking gene. I am so happy after returning from the beach or ball game to have dinner ready for us. Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all,

As busy as life gets, the most joyful days for me are when I relish in the details, when I see them as stones in a path leading me to our family’s evening re-grouping in our castle. Sitting down to dinner, despite the day we have had, is the journey and the destination for me. I feel safe. I feed the ones I love food they enjoy. That slow cooker I romanticize, it’s an enchanted vessel that aids me in my culinary fairy tale.

And it takes me to different lands, too. This past Sunday, escaping a heat wave and heading to the beach, my slow cooker rewarded us with Thai-inspired chicken when we got home, sandy and exhausted. Last week, after my son’s ball game, we came home to shredded barbeque chicken waiting to be wrapped in tortillas and topped with mango salsa. And next week, I’m attempting my Mom’s Malibu Chicken, I don’t know how it got its name, but it is comprised of chicken breasts wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese, slow cooked with Cream of Mushroom soup. I’ll update it by using prosciutto, provolone, and a béchamel infused with dried porcini mushrooms, garnished with some Italian parsley and basil.

I’m saving time. I’m using it wiser. I’m remembering it past. I’m doing something right. And I’m making it taste good,what else can I do?

© Samantha Gianulis, 2016

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Crock Pot Chowder

Crock Pot Chili

Slow Cooker Stew

Smantha Gianulis

Smantha Gianulis

Samantha recently released my her family food memoir, Little Grapes on the Vine…Mommy's Musings on Food & Family .

Samantha is a self-taught chef. She worked in the Catering and Special Events industry for seven years before becoming a stay at home, now a work at home, Mom.
She appeared on NBC's ivillage Live.

 
Smantha Gianulis
https://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/slow-cooker.pnghttps://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/slow-cooker-150x150.pngSmantha GianulisApron Strings RecipesCookingbarbecue chicken,Slow Cooker,thai chicken recipeSLOW COOKED BARBEQUE CHICKEN 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 cups barbeque sauce, store-bought or homemade 1 cup chicken stock 1 tbsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. red wine vinegar 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil Mango Salsa (recipe follows) Tortillas Mango Salsa Can be made ahead of time and will keep for up to four days. 2 mangoes, diced ¼ red...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities