Monday, November 09, 2015

More Cooking Wins

Did you want my blog to be about something else besides food? I'm sorry, you've opened a peephole on my life at the wrong time. Go back and read my archives from 2009. They're plenty exciting!

(No, I'm serious. I was re-reading them the other day and even *I* can't believe most of that stuff happened. AND I WAS THERE.)

(The other years aren't bad, either.)

Two big wins today:

Dry Cooking Chicken In Your Crock Pot. This is thing, this is totally a thing, and IT'S AWESOME. I was puttering around my "kitchen"* a few nights ago and happened upon this post and realized I had some frozen chicken thighs (with bone and skin) in my freezer. They were so old that they had frozen into one solid mass, and I figured I had nothing to lose, so I microwaved them just enough to be able to pull them apart (1 minute 30 seconds in total), nestled them skinless-side down in my slow cooker, sprinkled them from On High with a lot of salt and pepper, and turned on the slow cooker. Then I went to bed. (Yes, I realize that night time--or in this case, 2 am--is not the traditional time for starting a crock pot project, but I've never done anything in the traditional manner and I'll be damned if I'm going to start now.)

I woke up the next morning, the house smelled great, and I had EXCELLENTLY COOKED CHICKEN. They did turn out just a hair dry at the end, but only by my standards--I prefer all my meats dripping with fat and grease and sauces, so I'm an extreme case--and the skin is just delicious. I would happily microwave one and serve it to someone, as long as that person was a good friend, and I will absolutely use this chicken in sandwiches and salads next week. It will be awesome. (Note: this does not make shredded, pull-apart chicken. This makes properly cooked chicken pieces, like you'd get at a restaurant with the skin golden and crispy and a side of, say, mashed potatoes or whatever.) The point is, you take frozen chicken and you add salt and pepper and you go to bed, and you wake up with perfect chicken the next day. Although I might cook it a little less, next time, and I could probably stand to season both sides, not that it would matter much if they're frozen anyway.

Note: This compares favorably to the Pepperoncini chicken that is widely touted as The Easiest Crock Pot Chicken Ever. I've done the pepperoncini chicken and although it's delicious and extremely tender, the vinegar taste is a bit strong, and I tend to love vinegar.

UPDATE: After combing the internet, I've decided that somehow I dreamed up this recipe, because apparently the very popular Easiest Crockpot Meat Recipe Ever is Pepperoncini BEEF. You cook a BEEF rump or shoulder or any other tough cut with a jar of pepperoncinis in your slow cooker and shred it, for tacos and and sandwiches and such. That is what you do. The pepperoncini recipes involving chicken and slow cookers also include Italian seasoning (although I bet Ranch would be even better, the buttermilk would balance out the pepperoncini) and some include chicken broth.


Picture of my chicken:

As I bagged this up, I kept sneaking pieces "just to taste." They were perhaps larger than they technically needed to be. I think that's always a good sign.

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