I’m pretty obsessed with the magic of the slow cooker, but I’m also really putting it to the test…throwing things into it that I just happen to have in the house, using no recipe*, and spending no more on 5 minutes on it before I press the “on” button for the 10 hour cook. So far, it hasn’t let me down. Recently I tried this with a chicken I had bought with the intention of roasting it along with some parsnips, potatoes, and carrots, but on the day I needed to cook it, there wasn’t going to be anyone home to put it in the oven. So I put it in the slow cooker, salted and peppered it, stuffed it with a quartered lemon, rosemary, and sage, and threw in carrots, potatoes, and parsnips. Then I added in some water, probably covering it up to the middle of the chicken, and some sprigs of thyme. I was fully prepared for it to be hospital food, but it actually worked out really well. Granted, it wasn’t something I would say was my finest moment in the kitchen—in a perfect world I would have added the veg in towards the end, so they wouldn’t have been so soft—but the flavor was fantastic. The next day I brought it to work and put the chicken and vegetables over arugula with a garlic wine vinaigrette, and it was delicious. And I gave some leftovers over rice to our daughter for lunch.
*I haven’t found a slow cooker cookbook that I love. I’ve tried several, and they completely put me off with their super-complicated recipes…if the whole idea is that I’m supposed to be using this when I don’t have time, I have no patience for a cookbook that assumes I have plenty of prep time. But I’m all ears if you have a recommendation!