A crock pot is still a must have cooking tool

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I know it’s kind of “old school” but a crock pot can save your behind if you’re looking to balance a full day of work and chores with dinner time with your family.

A crock pot, slow cooker or whatever you want to call it was one of the must-have kitchen appliances in the 70s and 80s.

For whatever reason, they fell out of favor in the 90s and 2000s. If I had to guess it’s because many of the microwavable meals started to evolve. They became more inventive, more varied, more flavorful and were – of course – faster to cook.

Email newsletter signup

Still, if you find yourself with little time to cook, a crock pot can be a dinner time hero’s sidekick. In most cases, you simply turn it on, dump in your ingredients and forget about it until the evening.

Other thinks a crock pot is only good for large cuts of meat – like a roast or tenderloin. Sure, it’s great for those. Honestly, it’s hard to beat if you want to cook a large roast.

Still, the possibilities of your crock pot are unlimited.

Chicken Cacciatore (that’s catch-a-tori, if you’re countrified like I am) isn’t easy to make, but once you introduce the crock pot, it get a lot easier. The recipe takes all day to cook so the chicken is constantly soaking up flavor. It’s fantastic.

You’ll need:

3 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon salt

dash pepper

1 tablespoon onion flakes

1 green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

15 ounces whole tomatoes, canned and mashed

4 ounces sliced mushrooms, canned and drained

2 teaspoons tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons pimiento, chopped

1 onion, chopped

Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken in your crock pot and stir to combine. Place your chicken on top. Put the lid on your slow cooker and set to low for 7 to 9 hours.

The length of time will be determined by the size of your chicken breasts, or you can substitute thighs if you prefer dark meat. It’s really up to you. You’ll be amazed at how the chicken falls off the bone. You’ll not find chicken this tender in any microwave meal I can promise you that, and it takes all of five minutes to prepare.

This dish is best served over a bed of white rice.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at tiffany@2ate9.com