5 recipes that let your slow cooker do the work

Since its humble beginnings as a lowly bean cooker, the slow cooker has evolved to become a kitchen counter top staple for over 40 years. Not surprisingly, this appliance won favour among busy cooks because its “hands off” nature allows for dishes to cook up while no one is home — no need to fuss over a bubbling pot. It’s also an economical choice that lets budget-savvy chefs simmer cheaper cuts of meat to flavourful and tender perfection.

Here are five tasty ways to make good use of your slow cooker:

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin

6 slices PC Naturally Smoked Bacon, cut crosswise in 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices
8 Chicken Thighs, about 1.2 kg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (750 mL) small cremini mushrooms (about 8 oz/250 g)
4 shallots, halved crosswise
4 cloves garlic
1 cup (250 mL) white wine
2 cups (500 mL) PC Blue Menu No Salt Added Chicken Broth
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon or parsley

1. Heat large frying pan over medium heat; cook bacon for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer to slower cooker, leaving pan on medium heat.

2. Remove skin from chicken thighs and discard. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to frying pan; cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning once, or until brown and crispy. Transfer to slow cooker. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic to pan; cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to slow cooker.

3. Pour wine into frying pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Pour liquid into slow cooker along with chicken stock. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until chicken is tender when pierced with tip of sharp knife.

4. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl; tent loosely with foil to hold warm. Transfer cooking liquid to a saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour juices over chicken. Serve sprinkled with tarragon.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 4-1/2 hours

For more time saving tips and recipes visit pc.ca.

Source: www.newscanada.com

Next savoury slow cooker idea: Slow Cooker Irish Stew