I normally don’t buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, because I find them expensive and frankly extremely over-priced. Skinless-boneless chicken breasts may be a healthy cut of meat, but they are not the tastiest, and anyway, removing bones nor skin is not a big issue for me. (In fact there is something perversely satisfying about removing skin in a similar way that it’s satisfying to peel an orange or chestnut.) It’s easy to remove skin from chicken, and if you’re using a slow cooker, the meat should pretty much fall off the bone if cooked properly. But lately, chicken of all kinds has been on sale, so I’ve purchased quite a bit of it, including the skinless boneless variety. And I’ve been experimenting with creating my own slow cooker meals. It’s pretty fun to create a meal of your own imagination, and it gives you extra satisfaction if the food turns out remotely tasty, because the credit is all yours.
Recently, I invented a dish I call Slowcooker Mediterranean Chicken, which included skinless-boneless chicken breasts, peppers (red, yellow and orange, which were on sale – I love it when brightly coloured peppers go on sale!) sliced onion, a clove of garlic (also sliced) and some sundried tomatoes and capers. I poured about a third of a tin of diced tomatoes in, was generous with the olive oil, and added some balsamic, salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes. It made quite a tasty dish and yielded quite a bit of food. Tonight I ate the rest of the leftovers by slicing up the chicken and filling up a couple of whole wheat tortillas with the mixture, topping just with some sour cream.
Pictured above is another dish I created; Chicken with Bok Choy & Thai Broth. Okay, so the thai broth may not be completely authentic, but it tasted great. I mixed some olive oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, thai fish sauce, and red curry paste, and maybe a cup of water. I poured the sauce over chicken breasts that were layered with bok choy, onion and red pepper; the red pepper added some nice sweetness. I was pleased with myself for being able to make a tasty broth that seemed at the very least reminiscent of thai flavours.
My one word of caution when cooking this kind of meat in the slow cooker is to be cautious about not overcooking it. I almost always overcook chicken breasts and I most certainly did in the case of the Bok Choy Chicken. Cooking on low for just a few hours, maybe 4, is probably all that’s needed. Cooking for 8 hours as you may do another dish could dry the breasts right out. Obviously you will want to make sure the chicken is done, but test it earlier than you would expect.
Are you making any chicken slow cooker dishes that you love?