I’ve made recipes in the slow cooker before that yield broth, like this one. But, I had not seen one where you could take already cooked chicken and turn it into an easy broth. For awhile, I was buying rotisserie chickens from the store and eating them throughout the week for lunch. It was easy and cheap. Well, now I was able to take those carcasses I saved (just in case) and use them for a stock. The original recipe says you need 3-4 chicken carcasses, but I found 2 was plenty. Maybe my chickens run large? Basically, once I filled one of my gallon-sized freezer bags with the bones, I was ready to go.
Sometimes I get really tired of slow cooker meals. They can be easy but not always full of flavor. This one manages to still pack flavor while being relatively simple with the ingredients. I also like that it uses boneless and skinless chicken thighs, which aren’t often called for with slow cooker recipes.
The recipe I am pulling this from said it was a barbecue beef, but I can’t say it really tasted that way to me. It definitely has some Chinese flavor, but not barbecue. Speaking of the flavor in it…we had a slight hitch. I had picked out this meal before I went grocery shopping, so I had on my list everything I needed…which was just the vegetables and beef. Well, it turns out we were missing another key ingredient: hoisin sauce! We normally have it on hand, so we aren’t sure what happened. There are two options: one is that we used it up previously and forgot to replace it (but that seems unlikely since we usually put things on our grocery list immediately, and I know it’s been awhile since we’ve used the sauce), or two, a recent visitor threw it out when she visited. This visitor tossed our soy sauce because she said it had gone bad (cue debate of soy sauce expiration here), so it is possible she felt the same way about our hoisin sauce. Either way, we had no idea where it was and I needed to start the recipe in the morning for it to have time to cook during the day. Obviously you can run to the grocery store, but since I had just gone the day before, and it was only for one ingredient…and the one ingredient I wouldn’t normally buy at a non-Asian grocery store (cheaper at the Asian stores, usually).
Most chicken slow cooker recipes require bone-in chicken, of which K isn’t a fan. I was excited to find a recipe that had flavors we like, and allowed for boneless thighs! There is lots of flavor in this curry.
Since I am all about recipes that can be used in various ways, provide leftovers, and can be made ahead…today’s recipe follows just that. You can make this chicken and eat it as is. Or, you can take the meat and use it in other recipes. Later this week I will provide two more recipes for using the meat. In the meantime, here is an easy way to get the flavor of an oven roaster, without having to use your oven, and you can even leave home! It takes 5 minutes to prep and is one of the easiest dishes I have ever made.
I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been working on using the slow cooker more frequently. This recipe is tasty and allows for some room to improvise. You could easily add different vegetables like parsnips/celery root/etc. to mix it up. I love carrots, and have been buying them by the bunches. It helps that they’ve been extra cheap this year, at least the organic ones. I’m not necessarily all about organic produce all the time, but the organic carrots at my store definitely taste better. They are fresher, and it’s fun when they have the rainbow ones.
So, in this new year of blogging I have now worked with a new-to-me ingredient: short ribs! I wasn’t sure how tricky they would be, but this recipe does a great job tenderizing the meat so that it falls off of the bone. Super easy and really delicious for tacos. Or, you know, a taco “salad”. There is no lettuce in this salad, but feel free to add it.