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Posts Tagged ‘slow-cooker’

When we think of cinnamon, we always tend to associate it as an ingredient used primarily in sweet dishes and deserts, however many Middle Eastern main dishes use cinnamon as part of their spice blend.   When cooked with meats and vegetables, the  cinnamon takes on an unexpectantly different flavour that adds extreme warmth to this wonderfully fragrant dish.   As traditional Moroccan dishes often contain chickpeas and/or potatoes, I’ve paleoize this one by substituting these ingredients for various paleo and primal friendly root vegetables and served it with a side dish of steamed kale. 

Ingredients:

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in 1 inch pieces and season with salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 parsnips, peeled, core removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes broken into bite size pieces 
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Cook it up:

  1. In large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat
  2. Add chicken and saute until golden, but not cooked all the way through.  Remove and reserve in bowl
  3. Add onion and saute until golden
  4. Add garlic, cinnamon, curry and cumin, stir to combine
  5. Add  turnips, parsnip, rutabaga and chicken stock.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add butternut squash and continue simmering for a further 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender
  7. Add tomatoes and chicken.  Simmer until chicken is cooked through  5 minutes
  8. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro on top

Note:  This can also be made in your slow cooker, but it does take about 2 steps.   To cook in slow cooker, add all ingredients with the exception of the tomatoes and butternut squash.  Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours.  When there is approximately 3 hours remaining in the cooking time add the tomatoes and butternut squash and continue cooking. 

I have cooked this stew both ways, the first using the slow cooker and the second on the stove.  The slow cooker method is equally as delicious, but you may find that your veggies and chicken get quite soft and may break apart a bit more than the stove top method where you can better control the desired tenderness of your veggies.

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We all lead very busy lives which means on most days, we arrive home completely ravenous and look to grab the quickest thing to eat, or even worse you hit the drive-thru on the way home where you’re hard pressed to find anything primal or paleo.   But with only a little pre-planning you can have a delicious primal/paleo friendly hot meal waiting for you the minute you arrive home. 

This chicken stew recipe uses another one of my favourite kitchen appliances – the slow cooker a.k.a. the crock-pot.  It has to be one of the simplest ways to cook as you literally throw in a bunch of ingredients, plug the slow-cooker in and let it do all the work.  What you end up with is tender vegetables and fall off the bone meats.  This stew has become one of my favourite hearty winter meals and I usually make a big batch every few weeks.  Not only does it give me a wonderful fresh meal to arrive home to, it also leaves me with lots of leftovers that I freeze in individual lunch size servings to take to work keeping me primal happy all day long.

Ingredients – 4-6 servings

  • 9 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 celery spears, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 lb white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup organic chicken stock
  • 1 28 oz can italian plum tomatoes – look for low sodium ones
  • 1 tsp each dried rosemary and parsley
  • 1/2 tsp each dried basil and sage
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

  1. Place carrots, celery, mushrooms, onion, garlic and spices in slow cooker and toss to combine
  2. Dissolve tomato paste in chicken stock and add to slow cooker
  3. Add canned tomatoes to slow cooker and roughly break up tomatoes
  4. Stir everything to combine
  5. Add chicken thighs and stir to combine
  6. Cover with lid, plug-in the slow cooker and set it on low for 8 hours.
  7. Carefully remove chicken thighs, trying to keep them intact as the meat will want to fall off the bone.
  8. Stir sauce and veggies together. 
  9. To serve, place 2 chicken thighs on plate and cover with about a cup of the sauce and veggies. 

Quick Morning Time Saver – place all the ingredients in the cast iron slow-cooker pot the night before, cover with lid and place in the refrigerator.  In the morning, just drop the pot into the base, turn it on and let it cook away!!

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