Thursday, November 7, 2013

Slow Cooker Meals: Recipe Review

Whew! I've made it through another round of tech rehearsals and opening night! I love working in theater, but it sure can be exhausting.

Because of all the late nights that come from opening a show, I made up a few slow cooker meals for the freezer back in September. Since I'm fairly new to using the slow cooker in general, and especially new to freezing and then cooking, I wanted to pop back in and share what we thought of each recipe.

To recap, I made the following three meals:
Apricot Chicken from A Year of Slow Cooking
Thai Peanut Chicken from Practical Stewardship
Chicken with Kumquat Chutney (based on the Barbeque Chicken at Practical Stewardship)

The Chicken with Kumquat Chutney was the first meal we tried. It was simple and tasty, though I would use more chicken or less sauce next time. The only drawback to this was that it only covers the main dish; Sean whipped up some salad to go with it, which worked well. But it does mean that, when planning to pull this meal out of the freezer, a veggie side dish also needs to be planned.

The Thai Peanut Chicken was the next meal that got pulled from the freezer. This is a great meal for a busy day since you can do chicken and veggies at once. It's also an awesome recipe for using up those random veggie scraps I sometimes toss in the freezer. I will say, as someone who grew up in the SF Bay Area with all the culinary diversity around, this was blander than any Thai food I've had at a restaurant. I may tinker with the sauce a bit to give it more spice or depth, but overall I think this is a pretty successful recipe.

The Apricot Chicken was actually my least favorite recipe. It was just far too sweet for me. Growing up, my mom made some Apricot Ginger Chicken Wings...maybe tinker with the recipe and add in some ginger to cut the sweetness? Reduce the amount of jam? It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't make it following the original recipe again.

Even though I want to tinker with these recipes, I'd still say my experiment was a success! Despite long tech days, we got to eat some real meals without all the additives of store-bought freezer food. I think I'll keep experimenting with slow cooker freezer meals...maybe try to do one a week? We'll see, but I know I'm definitely happy to have the time to get back into my blogging groove!

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