When people ask what my favourite kitchen tool is, most expect me to say my Blendtec. And while I LOVE this luxurious item, it’s #3 on my list. First and foremost is my food processor. If I had to choose just 1 kitchen gadget, it would be that, without a doubt! But in a very close second, comes my slow cooker. It is an incredible tool for saving time, not to mention making delicious meals!
When I first got my crockpot, however, I struggled with how to use it. Every recipe I found was complicated and involved at least 20 minutes of prep. Or the length of time recommended was only 5 or 6 hours. Since mornings were notoriously busy, and I was gone for a minimum of 8-9 hours every day, I struggled to find recipes that worked for me!
After a while, I started to experiment. Turns out most food can cook a LONG time in the slow cooker…and it only gets better!! Here’s my general formula for creating a delicious crockpot meal, in less than 5 minutes on a busy morning:
Tougher, fattier or bone in cut of meat (e.g. chicken thighs/legs, pork butt steaks, flank steak, beef shanks) seasoned with sea salt and pepper
A bit of liquid (either ½ a cup of broth or a can of tomatoes)
1-2 chopped onions
Cook on low until you get home.
You can even put in frozen meat if it’s going to cook at least 8-9 hours!
Take it up a notch, if you have a few extra minutes in the morning, by adding in additional root vegetables on top of the meat.
For those of you who appreciate more exact directions, here’s my recipe for easy Crockpot Chicken Stew.
- ¼ - ⅓ cup of broth
- 4 pastured chicken thighs
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt
- black pepper (omit if strict AIP)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4-6 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- Pour broth into slow cooker. Add bay leaf.
- Season chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper. Place in bottom of slow cooker.
- Throw veggies on top.
- Turn on low and cook until you get home (8-12 hours).
- Get creative! Use other spices or change to a flavoured sea salt.
- Other root vegetables work great as well! Try sweet potato slices or beets.