For sure, the crockpot is my best kitchen friend. I keep searching for recipes to use during the spring and summer that aren't very stew-ish and seem too much like cold weather. (I don't know why the slow cooker is always used in the winter when it would actually make more sense to use it in the warm weather and keep from using the stove or oven!) I've got a couple of good chicken ones so far. These are both from Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook.
8 chicken drumsticks, skins removed
1 can (8 oz) pineapple tidbits or chunks in juice, undrained
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried marjoram leaves (or you could use italian seasoning)
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric (or ginger)
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP cold water
1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives
1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1. Place chicken in slow cooker. Mix pineapple, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, marjoram, red pepper and turmeric; pour over chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low setting 4 to 5 hours (mine took much longer about 7-8 hours) or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from cooker, using slotted spoon; place in serving dish, cover to keep warm.
3. Remove fat from sauce. Mix cornstarch and water; stir into sauce.
4. Cover and cook on high setting for about 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir in olives.
5. Pour sauce over chiken. Sprinkle with parsley. (I served over rice! Yum!)
Pineapple Chicken Stew
(which of course is ironic since I am talking about the opposite of stews, but to me the pineapple says spring!)
2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-in pieces (I use a LOT more carrots because we love them!)
1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1-in pieces
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
2 TBSP finely grated gingerroot or 1 tsp. ground ginger
1 TBSP (or way more, lol) packed brown sugar
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp red pepper sauce (we omit)
1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks in juice, drained and juice reserved
1 TBSP cornstarch
1. Mix all ingredients except pineapple and cornstarch in slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low setting 7 to 8 hours (or low setting 3 to 4 hours) or until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink in center.
3. Mix reserved pineapple juice and cornstarch until smooth; gradually stir into chicken mixture. Stir in pineapple.
4. Cover and cook on high heat about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
(The recipe says to save the pepper and stir in with the pineapple on step 3, but we prefer the pepper to be really cooked. Up to you!) We also serve this over rice!
P.S. Clearly I have been in a pineapple mood. I am also making the chicken stir-fry recipe that my dad has made for years and years and adding pineapple to that this week!!