Crock Pot ~ Creamy Braised Chicken Pappardelle

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Pappardelle noodles. I’ve never had them or cooked with them.  You will notice in the picture above that those are not pappardelle noodles. When at the store buying the ingredients for this dish, I was disappointed to find that the three remaining bags of pappardelle noodles were crushed to tiny bits. This just wouldn’t do.

So, I bought a pricier bag of fresh linguine noodles instead. They were a fine substitute.

I will definitely be making this again since everyone licked their bowls clean at the table (I’d never seen anything like it) and I will be using pappardelle noodles. What are they? They are wide ribbon-like linguine noodles and they make your dish look pretty.

Where did I get this creamy and delicious recipe? From my new cookbook that I received as a Christmas present:

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Braised Chicken Pappardelle / The New Slow Cooker (pg 113)

Servings: 6

Cook & Prep Time: 25-30 minutes for prepping / 5 to 6 hours for cooking

You will need:

  • Crock Pot
  • Pasta Pot
  • 7-quart stock pot
  • Iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Whisk
  • Chef’s knife
  • Resting plate for the chicken
  • 1 gallon storage bag
  • measuring utensils – dry and liquid

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken about 3.5 lbs, cut into 10 pieces (I did not do this. I used 3.5 lbs of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs – they take the same amount of time to cook and it’s very easy to remove the bones.)

In the gallon storage bag:

1 cup of flour

3/4 teaspoon of salt

pepper

1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1 stalk of celery, finely chopped

3/4 cup of dry white wine

3/4 cup of chicken stock

3 bay leaves

2/3 cup of heavy cream (I used 1 cup)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 of the lemon

2 Teaspoons of chopped tarragon (I used 2 Tablespoons and some additional for garnish).

1 lb of pappardelle

Directions:

Pat the chicken dry. Then, one at a time add a chicken piece to the bag to toss and coat. Shake the any loose flour and place on a cutting board.

In the iron skillet over medium high heat, melt the olive oil and the butter. Brown each piece of chicken on both sides. You will have to do this in batches. I placed the pieces skin-side down first for 7 minutes and then flipped for another 3 minutes.

Once all of the pieces are browned, turn the heat down a bit on the iron skillet and remove some of the fat. Leave some for sauteing the veggies. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and chicken stock and simmer for about 10 minutes.

When done simmering, pour this wine/veggie mixture into the crock pot or slow cooker (I grew up with the term crock pot so that’s what I’m used to). Next, place the chicken pieces on top. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. The chicken should be falling off the bone – that’s when you’ll know it’s done.

When the crock pot time is done, remove the chicken from the crock pot and place on a platter. Remove the skin and the bones, place the chicken in a bowl and shred with a fork. Set aside.

At this time, get the pasta pot ready and cook the pasta by following the directions on the package. The fresh pasta I used only took 5 minutes to cook.

Place the 7-quart stock pot on the stove on medium heat. Pour the contents of the crock pot into the stock pot. Simmer for 5 minutes, then whisk in the cream, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some grinds of pepper. Let simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice and tarragon. Keep the sauce warm until the pasta is ready.

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the stock pot. Stir to coat and combine thoroughly. Then add the chicken and let warm through – about 3-5 minutes.

It’s ready to eat!

To serve, dish into pasta bowls and garnish with fresh tarragon.

This is not a typical crock pot recipe where you throw every in and forget about it. It takes some prep work, but it is really worth it. Trust me.

The Bolognese Recipe You Must Try

Bolognese 004

This spaghetti Bolognese recipe is SOOO goooooood. I’ve tried a few of these recipes and this one is by far the best and the easiest. You can find it on my fellow food blogger’s website, FrugalFeeding.com. Click on this link for the recipe: Spaghetti Bolognese.

The recipe measurements are metric, but don’t let that scare you off! Here is a handy website to use for converting the measurements – Conversion Guide.

After trying this recipe, you will never buy sauce in a jar again!

What do you do with a Pomegranate?

Pomegranate braised short ribs - final

You guys are going to think I’m nuts, but here is another short rib recipe. I love these things – they are relatively inexpensive and really delicious. They take a while to cook, but are worth it.

Today is my husband’s birthday so I picked this recipe to make for his special day. First, because it was a short rib recipe and second, because I was intrigued by the pomegranate. I’ve never cooked with them. However, I do recall eating one as a child and having memories of them being kind of hard to eat, really messy and not very fulfilling as a snack.

Pomegranates & Wine

This recipe is in my December 2012 issue of my everyday FOOD magazine if you want to review the original.

Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs / everyday FOOD Magazine

Servings:  6-7

Cook & Prep Time:  20-25 minutes for prepping and 3 hours for cooking

 You will need: 

  • 7-quart stock pot
  • small bowl for pomegranate seeds
  • chef’s knife
  • tongs
  • measuring utensils (dry and liquid)
  • platter
  • sauce pan
  • sieve

Ingredients:

12 bone-in short ribs (3-inch pieces)

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 cup of dry red wine (I found pomegranate wine!!!!!)

3 cups of pomegranate juice

1 large yellow onion, sliced into wedges

1/4 cup of flour

10 sprigs of Thyme

1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Salt and pepper

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Season the ribs on all sides with salt, and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in the stock pot to medium-high so you can brown the ribs. Brown them on all sides for about 3 minutes a side. I worked in batches. When browned, remove the ribs and place on the platter.

Turn the heat down to medium and give it few minutes. Then add to the stock pot:  garlic, onions and thyme. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour and coat the onion mixture – about a minute. Next, add the pomegranate juice and wine and whisk together. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently.

Turn the heat off, then add the short ribs back to the pot.

Cover the stock pot with the lid and place in the oven for 3 hours. Bake until the ribs are easily pierced with a paring knife.

Once done, remove the ribs to a platter.

short ribs out of the oven

Strain the liquid into a fat separator and let sit briefly. Since I do not have one of these, I used a sieve and strained the liquid into a sauce pan and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then I spooned the as much fat off the top as possible. Once that was done, I boiled the liquid down about 10 minutes so it looked like a gravy.

For the garnish, cut the pomegranate in half. Holding one of the halves over a bowl, give the pomegranate a squeeze (to loosen the seeds) and smack the top of it with a large spoon. This process, while sounding bizarre, actually works to get the seeds out with too much of mess (it still looked like a mini crime scene, but I’m thinking it could have been worse if I has used another method).

pomegranate

Side Dish:  I served the braised short ribs with goat cheese mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Make sure and cover the short ribs with the gravy and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

This is my favorite of the short rib recipes that I’ve posted so far.

By the way, the birthday boy was happy and that’s all I cared about!

Baked Salmon with Fennel & Cauliflower

Salmon with Cauliflower & Fennel finalThis is another salmon recipe I found in my  everyday FOOD  magazine – the December 2012 issue. We LOVE salmon in our house and I make it about 2-3 times a month.

I’m always on the look out for new recipes.

I did change this recipe a bit from the original – below is my version.

Salmon with Fennel, Cauliflower & Bell Pepper / Everyday Food Magazine

Servings:  6

Cook & Prep Time: 40 (15 minutes prepping / 25  minutes cooking)

You will need: 

  • baking dish
  • rimmed baking sheet
  • small bowl
  • tongs
  • spatulas/wooden spoons
  • chef’s knife

Ingredients:

6 salmon fillets (mine are usually about 6 oz)

2 tablespoon of olive oil

zest of one orange, then orange sliced into wedges

1/2 head of cauliflower, thinly sliced (the original recipe never mentions cauliflower, I just added it)

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 tiny cans of sliced green olives

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

dried tarragon

salt and pepper

Directions: 

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the cauliflower, fennel, orange zest, orange slices, green olives, olive oil and yellow bell pepper. Give it a good stir before placing the mixture on the rimmed cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper.

Cauliflower, fennel ready to be roasted

To prepare the salmon, brush it with olive oil and season it with salt, pepper and the dried tarragon.

Salmon ready for oven

With both dishes prepared, put the fennel/cauliflower in the oven first for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes are up, add the salmon to the oven for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, both the salmon and the fennel/cauliflower will be done! You will want to check the salmon – it should be opaque.

Side Dishes: I served this salmon with a quinoa dish that I’ve made before. Click here for the recipe (the kids LOVE it).

This salmon recipe made it into the “Make It Again” category. I will be honest and let you know that my two youngest kids would NOT eat the fennel/cauliflower side dish. And, that was fine with me and the hubs – more for us!

Sauteed Chicken & Olives with Dijon Asparagus

This recipe is a variation of one that I saw in my everyday FOOD magazine. I used sliced green olives instead of capers because that’s what I had available in my pantry.

Both the main dish and the side dish are very easy and quick to fix. And, everyone (and, I mean, everyone) cleans his or her plate!

The kids do pick around the green olives, but they do add a nice salty flavor to the sauce.

Sauteed Chicken with Olives / everyday FOOD (variation)

Servings:  4 (depends on how many chicken breast you want to buy)

Cook & Prep Time: 25 to 35 minutes (15 minutes for prepping and 10-15 minutes for cooking).

You will need: 

  • a large skillet
  • a medium skillet
  • tongs
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon
  • chef’s knife
  • measuring utensils (dry and liquid)

Chicken Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts or 8 chicken cutlets

Olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)

3 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces

Flour

1 2.25-oz can of sliced green olives

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Asparagus Ingredients:

2 bundles of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 oz of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Directions: 

Chicken:

Lay out the chicken breasts on a cutting board, pat dry with a paper towel. Then dredge each piece in flour and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In the large skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add one to two pats/tablespoons of butter and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes. Then flip the chicken and cook for another 3-4 minutes. When done remove the chicken to a platter and cover with foil.

Now add the white wine vinegar to the pan to deglaze. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits. Then, add the butter and the olives (including the brine) to the pan. Stir until the butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and warm for a few minutes.

I fix the asparagus while the chicken is cooking.

Asparagus:

In another skillet, cook the bacon until is crisp (medium high heat). When done, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the skillet to a paper towel lined plate.

Add the asparagus to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add the Dijon mustard and the bacon pieces. Cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Side Dish:   None. The chicken and the asparagus were enough.

To Serve, cover the chicken with the olive sauce and serve with a spoonful of the asparagus.

This dinner is very easy and delicious. We’ve had this a few times. Also, I’ve made the side dish with green beans instead of asparagus (which was more popular with kids).

Chili Coconut Braised Short Ribs

Braised short ribs are the best thing on the planet! I’m really not kidding.

This recipe comes to us from my cookbook, Cook This Now. This cookbook has some great recipes in it. However, some of the recipes require things that I have difficulty finding in my store.

I mean, I could probably eventually find the stuff I need if I went to a couple of different stores, but I’m not that dedicated. I’m okay with substituting and “making do”.

For instance, this recipe called for boneless short ribs.- one of the things that I can’t find. However, I can usually find bone-in short ribs so that is what I used instead.

This dinner was fantastic!! You have to try it.

Chili Coconut Braised Short Ribs / Cook This Now / Melissa Clark

Servings:  6-7

Cook & Prep Time:  20-25 minutes for prepping and 2 hours for cooking

 You will need: 

  • 7-quart stock pot
  • a garlic press (unless you want to mince your garlic)
  • chef’s knife
  • tongs
  • measuring utensils (dry and liquid)
  • zester

Ingredients:

Short Ribs 

8 bone-in short ribs

1 tablespoon of olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced (I press them with my garlic press)

2 jalapenos, minced (since I’m a wimp, I only use 1)

2 inches of fresh ginger, grated (I used 1 tablespoon of minced ginger in a jar)

1 small shallot, minced

1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds (I used 1 teaspoon of ground cumin – I couldn’t find cumin seeds)

1 can of coconut milk

1/2 cup of water

Juice and zest of two fresh limes

chopped cilantro for garnish

Salt, pepper and chili powder

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Season the ribs on all sides with saltpepper and chili powder.

Heat the olive oil in the stock pot to medium-high so you can brown the ribs. Brown them on all sides for about 3 minutes a side. I worked in batches. When browned, remove the ribs and place on a plate.

Turn the heat down to medium and give it few minutes. Then add to the stock pot:  ginger, jalapenos, shallot, cumin and garlic. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice and zest. Also, season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, then add the short ribs back to the pot. Cover and put the stock pot into the oven for 2 hours.

Side Dish:  I served this with cilantro-lime rice and sautéed green beans.

Delish!!

Not Your Mama’s Turkey Sandwich!

My husband came home from a boy’s weekend with a recipe. Yep, people, you heard me, he came home from a boy’s weekend with a recipe.

Weird, right? I thought so too. Aren’t they usually too busy scratchin’, burpin’, drinkin’ and fishin’ to talk about recipes? Apparently not.

One of the wives sent these pre-made sandwiches with her husband for the boys’ weekend. I sent nothing. Hmmmm….

Kudos to her though because these sandwiches are the best and easiest dinner I’ve made in a while. And, it was a HIT. Everyone loves these! My husband called these turkey sliders and the name has stuck.

Turkey Sliders

Servings:  5 or 6

Cook & Prep Time: 40 minutes (10 minutes prep / 30 minutes cooking)

What you will need:

    • 9 x 13 dish
    • small sauce pan for melting butter
    • cooking spray
    • bread knife
    • whisk
    • aluminum foil

Ingredients:

1 lb of shaved turkey

2 packages of King’s Hawaiian rolls (use NO substitute)

12-16 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 stick of butter, melted

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons of garlic salt (I’ve made this twice and 1 teaspoon is good, I think)

2 teaspoons of poppy seeds

Equal parts of honey & Dijon mustard

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Begin melting the butter in the small sauce pan on medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and poppy seeds. Mix with the whisk.

Spray the 9×13 dish with cooking spray. After cutting the Hawaiian rolls in half, place the bottoms in the 9×13 pan. Squeeze as many as you can in the dish – I can usually fit about 20 rolls.

Next, evenly distribute the shaved turkey over the rolls.

Next, cover the shaved turkey with the shredded mozzarella cheese. I usually go through one and a half of the 8-ounce bags. When done spreading the cheese, place the tops onto the sandwiches.

Next, pour the melted butter mixture evenly over the sandwiches and cover with foil.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. For the spread (if you want it) –  mix equal parts of honey and Dijon mustard for a honey mustard spread for the sandwiches.

I served these sandwiches with fruit and chips. As you can see, this recipe is very easy and your family will tell you that it’s super yummy. Enjoy!

Chicken Poached in Cream Sauce

This is a recipe from the cookbook, Harvest to Heat. I had a free night (no taxing driving services needed) so I could make something that took some time.

The recipe calls for Morel mushrooms, but yeah, they aren’t in season and even if they were, I couldn’t afford a pound of them for this recipe! I substituted the morels with baby bellas.

Just FYI, this dish is not part of a heart healthy diet. You have been warned.

Poached Chicken with Mushrooms and Asparagus / Harvest to Heat

Servings:  4

Cook & Prep Time: 90 minutes (20 minutes for prepping and 70 minutes for cooking).

You will need: 

  • a high-sided large skillet
  • a smaller skillet (for the asparagus)
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon
  • tongs
  • chef’s knife
  • measuring utensils (liquid)

Ingredients:

4 skinless, bone-in chicken breasts

1 lb of asparagus, whole or cut into 1-inch pieces

5 tablespoons of butter

1 pound of sliced baby bellas (mushrooms)

4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems

1 small shallot, minced

3/4 cup of white wine

2 cups of heavy cream

2 cups of chicken stock

1/2 cup of creme fraiche (or sour cream)

a pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper

Directions: 

Lay out the chicken pieces on a cutting board, pat dry with a paper towel, and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In the large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and saute the shallots for 5 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and a slight crust has formed on the bottom of the skillet (about 5 minutes).

Deglaze the skillet with the white wine and cook until there is a about a tablespoon of liquid in the pan (about 15 minutes).

Now, add the heavy cream and the chicken stock. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken breasts to the liquid, bring back up to simmer, cover and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 25 minutes.

When the chicken is done, remove the chicken from the skillet to a platter and cover with foil. Turn the heat up a bit to reduce the sauce – reduce to about half (about 10-15 minutes.)

While the sauce was reducing, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the smaller skillet, add the asparagus and cook for about 8 minutes. 

When the sauce is done reducing, add the creme fraiche (or sour cream) and heat over medium heat until just warm. Add the cayenne and season with salt and pepper.

The meal is ready!

Side Dish:   Spoon the sauce over the chicken and plate the asparagus. I served this with rice.

This was really, really good. Too bad it’s not really good for you. Despite that bad news, I would definitely give this one a go!

Taco Ring: Vegetarian Style

Taco Ring – if you’ve been following either of my blogs (this one or The Engledow Chronicles), you know that my family loves this recipe.

The original recipe comes from The Pampered Chef Busy Mom’s Cookbook  that I bought at one of the gazillion Pampered Chef parties that I attended in the 90s. However, I will admit that I do love my round pizza stone.

You can read my revamped carnivorous version here – click.

Why am did I make a vegetarian version? Well, my oldest started college this fall and two of her roommates are vegetarians. This recipe is pretty inexpensive to make so I thought Rachel could treat her roommates to this family favorite.

Vegetarian Version of the Taco Ring:  

1/2 cup of rice, cooked (use whatever kind makes you happy)

1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg of taco seasoning

2-3 cups of shredded cheese

3 containers of crescent rolls

sour cream (as much as you want)

salsa (as much as you want)

1 lime

handful of cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon of butter      

Directions:

Cook the rice (follow the directions for whatever rice your using – I cooked my rice in veggie stock to give it some extra flavor). Once the rice is cooked, add the tablespoon of butter, juice of the one lime, taco packet and handful of chopped cilantro. Give the mixture a good stir while still in the pot.

In a large bowl combine the rice mixture, black beans, all of the cheese (however much you want), as much sour cream as you want, and as much salsa as you want.  Mix all the ingredients until it has a nice filling consistency. I use a cookie scoop to put the mixture into the crescent rolls – the kicker is to arrange the triangles from the crescent roll package in to a circle so you get the “ring” effect.  (see pics). Then pop into a 375 degree oven for about 17 minutes.     

    

Step 1:  Make a circle / Step 2:  Fill Crescent Rolls with Rice Mixture / Step 3:  Flip the Triangles & Seal the Ring

It’s very easy and super yummy. It also reheats well in the microwave.

I think you will find that this will become a favorite of yours (it’s soooo easy) and of your family’s (because it’s so darn delicious). Enjoy!

Tangy Cilantro Chicken Tacos

This is another recipe from my Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine. I think I can honestly say that I’ve never made tacos for dinner. Why? I’m not really sure. I’ll have to think about it and get back with you on that one.

This one had chicken and sounded really good. So what the heck? There’s a first time for everything, right?

This taco recipe called for tomatillos – before this meal, I’m not sure I could have identified one if put in front of me. I was intrigued so I decided to give this recipe a try.

It was pretty easy to put together and everyone gave it good reviews.

I did tweak this recipe a lot, but kept the essence of it.

Tangy Cilantro Chicken Tacos / Everyday Food Magazine

Servings:  5-6

Cook & Prep Time: 1 hour (15 minutes for prepping and 40-45 minutes for cooking).

You will need: 

  • a bowl
  • stock pot
  • zester
  • tongs
  • chef’s knife
  • basting brush
  • measuring utensils (dry and liquid)

Ingredients:

8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs (some packages have 5 thighs and some have 4 – it’s a crap shoot).

2 tablespoons of canola oil

3/4 – 1 lb of tomatillos, large dice

1/2 package of grape tomatoes, quartered

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin

3/4 cup of chopped cilantro

2 fresh limes (some lime zest from one lime)

8 oz of shredded cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, whatever)

shredded romaine lettuce

1 avocado

12 taco shells (soft or crunchy)

sour cream for garnishing

salt and pepper

Directions: 

Dice the tomatillos, onion and tomatoes.

Lay out the chicken pieces on a cutting board, pat dry with a paper towel, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Then, quarter them (no need to dice).

Heat the canola oil in the stock pot to medium-high heat. Brown the chicken. While browning, zest the lime over the chicken and squeeze the juice of half of a lime over the chicken.

Then add the diced onion, tomatillos, tomatoes and the ground cumin to the pot. Stir for about 3 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup of water to the pot. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce is reduced and thickened (about 25 minutes) and the chicken can be shredded with a fork. You may need to add another 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees to warm the soft shells – about 10 minutes. I wrapped mine in foil. No need to do this until the chicken is almost done cooking.

When done, shred the chicken with forks, add the cilantro and squeeze the juice of the other half of the lime.

Remove the soft taco shells from the oven, place the chicken mixture in the taco shell and garnish as you like:

Garnishes – cheese, cilantro, yellow tomatoes, lime (I cut this lime into 8ths), sour cream, shredded romaine lettuce, diced fresh avocados.

Side Dish:   I served this with a salad and chips with salsa.

Look at the dessert that my Maddie made from scratch for us tonight! YUMMY!