Who doesn’t like the idea of throwing a meal into one pot in the morning and then walking away, knowing that when you stroll back into the kitchen at dinner time, a meal will be ready? No mess, no fuss, just a delicious, hearty dinner that is so incredibly welcome at the end of a cold, busy day.
I absolutely love my slow cooker and I use it so often that I keep it out on the counter all the time. Even through summer. But cooking in a slow cooker can go very wrong if you don’t get one particular ingredient right.
Yep, liquid is not your friend when it comes to cooking in the slow cooker unless you’re making a casserole or soup. The reason being is that as the cooker starts to heat the food, it creates condensation which then drips back into the pot adding more liquid.
I tried for years trying to get the slow cooker to work for me and it was a life-changing “ah huh” moment I had when a friend at work told me to cut back on the liquid. Now I love to cook pretty much everything in my slow cooker, and usually use little (ie half a cup) to no liquid.
This is a whole roast chicken I’ve cooked in the slow cooker. I sprinkled on a few spices and garlic and placed it straight into the pot, I didn’t add any liquid. As you can see, by the end of the day there was a large amount of liquid in the pot.
This chicken was so incredibly soft and moist, it was utterly delicious. And if your chicken skin is soft and you like it crispy, just pop it under the grill for a few minutes. Yum.
You can also use the liquid left in the pot to make a gravy. Just melt some butter/margarine in a small saucepan, add some plain flour and mix to make a roux. Then whisk in some of the chicken liquid. Otherwise you can pour the liquid into a container and use it as chicken stock. It will also freeze for around 3 months.
Here are a few of my favourite recipes that I love to cook in the slow cooker:
Sticky Roast Lamb
- lamb shoulder, or leg is fine
- brown sugar
- sweet paprika
- BBQ sauce
Place the lamb in the slow cooker, drizzle on the BBQ sauce and honey, and sprinkle on some brown sugar and sweet paprika. Set the cooker on high in the morning and by dinner time (normally around 8 hours of cooking), you’ll have a lamb that will fall apart with a fork, it is so tender, and oh-so-good! Serve with your favourite roast vegetables and you’re done.
Easy Chicken Casserole
- chicken thigh fillets
- can of creamy chicken soup
Note: this is a really flexible meal. You can use any type of vegies you like, in any quantity. There is no right or wrong, as long as the lid fits.
Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker, add a little salt and pepper to taste, maybe a bit of garlic too. Set in the morning and it’ll be ready by dinner time.
With winter in full swing, bring out your slow cooker and make some of those winter warmers you love. Just remember to limit the liquid and you’ll have a delicious, easy, and no-fuss meal by dinner time.
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