A Chicken in Every Crockpot

Do you ever buy a deli chicken from the grocery store? I used to…. then I discovered I had food sensitivities to corn and soy, both of which appear in many deli chicken seasoning mixtures. And since it is a prepared food, often the ingredients aren’t listed on the package, so I can’t always be sure which ones are safe for me.

If you just want the meat and you’re not going to eat the skin, I highly recommend cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot.  I tried it for the first time years ago, and it was ridiculously easy to remove the skin and bones and end up with a large pile of tender, juicy, delicately flavoured chicken.

The one mistake I made was using some of the leftover meat in a recipe the next day.  It was so tender that the meat just shredded when I stirred it into the sauce.  It tasted good, but looked less than appetizing.  Next time I’m going to just eat it plain with some veggie and grain side dishes…. It doesn’t even need a sauce!

So here’s what I did…

I put a couple of stalks of celery in the bottom of the crock, to add flavor and to keep the chicken from sticking.

I added a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, a few cloves of garlic and a sliced onion.  I put about an inch of water in the bottom, just to cover the veggies.

I sliced a lemon and stuck it inside the chicken

Then I put the chicken into the crock.  That’s it.

I cooked it on high for about 4 hours, but I started it late in the day.  You could do the same thing on low for 8 or more hours. Then you can head straight home and not stop at the grocery or deli at all!

Community Supported Agriculture

CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is something I’ve been reading a lot about.  I’m thinking about joining a vegetable CSA next year, and  I already belong to a meat CSA with Upper Canada Heritage Meats. I would love to buy organic vegetables, but I know that a lot of the organic produce in the grocery stores travels further and is less fresh than regular produce.  Buying local is important to me as well, so a CSA seems to be the answer.

Here’s how a CSA works.  At the beginning of the year, a bunch of people pay a local farmer some money to grow food for them.  When the food is grown, the farmer picks it and gives it to the people who paid for a share.  The average cost of a share seems to be around $600 for about 17 weeks of deliveries, or about $35 a week, and would feed four people who also ate things other than vegetables, or two hungry vegetarians.

One of the perks of some CSAs is a recipe service.  Because you don’t pick and choose your vegetables, you sometimes end up with things you’ve never cooked before.  Or sometimes things might grow so well that you end up with lots and lots, more than you can eat in a short amount of time.

For Ontario, this is a great website to find a CSA farm near you – if you are somewhere else, a quick Google of “CSA [your area]” should bring up some options.

Spoon!

On Tuesday, September 27, The Magic Fridge will be participating in Ottawa’s first food event celebrating women! There will be chefs, bakers, cheesemakers, vintners and farmers, all sharing their wares. I’ll be bringing my roasted garlic butternut squash soup for sampling…

Here’s the info – I’d love to see you there!

SEPTEMBER.27.2011     THE SIDE DOOR RESTAURANT  20 YORK STREET(behind restaurant 18)  6-11pm

“SPOON” Food Your Mama Fed’ Ya’

THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION’S “FIRST ” GASTRONOMIQUE EVENT CELEBRATING WOMEN+FOOD+WINE

TICKET INFORMATION:EARLY BIRD $55 per person inc HST http://spoonottawa-eorg.eventbrite.com/

Ticket includes: A glass of reception champagne and 2 glasses of Wine + 5 appetizers from The Side Door Restaurant – plus samples from all exhibitors….

A CELEBRATION OF LOVING SPOONFULS & THE BEAUTIFUL OTTAWA WOMEN WHO CREATE THEM!

SPOON celebrates fantastic Women in the Food and Hospitality industry from “Farm to Table”.

From “Garden to Glamour” & “Kitchen Sink to Five-star Plate”.

A fabulous food-fueled evening to celebrate the tantalizing skills of Ottawa’s Female Culinary elite.

SAMPLE+SHOP+SIP and fall in love with the following participants…

THE RED APRON:Sophisticated Comfort Food

EPICURIA:Executive Chef Tracey Black

TIRAISLIN FARM:Rosemary Kralik

COUTTS COUNTRY FARM:Diana Coutts

UPPER CANADA HERITAGE MEAT:Barbara Schaefer

ALGONQUIN TEA:Kim Elkington

THE WHALESBONE CATERING :Chef Kate Klenavic

DONEGAL HERITAGE FARM:Johanne Zomers

THE MIX COMPANY:Cate Ott

3 GREEK SISTERS

SIMPLY RAW:Natasha Kyssa

THE MAGIC FRIDGE :Julie  Broczkowski

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE:Sabine Quesnel

GEEK SWEETS:Jenny Burgesse

4 POINTS HOTEL:Executive Chef Gabrielle Sexton

THE CAKE WHISPERER:Cathy Campbell

KOKO CHOCOLATES:Jen Winter

FOLIES BERGERES CHEESES

SUZY Q DOUGHNUTS:Susan Hamer

FULTONS PANCAKE HOUSE&SUGAR BUSH

GLORIOUS GREENS:Gerrie Baker

OPEONGO Rainwater Soaps

click here for invitation: http://cinnamontoastnewmedia.com/SPOON/

MEN are Welcome to Indulge and Support this incredible jaw dropping evening of tasteful bites and sips

PLEASE CONTACT CATHERINE FOR GROUP RATES  613-608-1038

Caroline Gosselin(Restaurant 18 & Sidedoor) & Catherine Landry(Cherry Pie)

Heather Hossie(Savor Ottawa) & Taryn Manias (Smash Publicity)

“I Love this idea”~Gay Cooke

“Can’t Wait-Going to be Amazing”~Shawna Wagman

“Anything I can do to support ,count me in”~Sheila Whyte

Salsa Black Bean Soup

  • 1 28oz (750ml) can of diced tomatoes, with juice plus Epicure Selections Salsa Mix OR 1 jar (650ml or larger) prepared salsa
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • Vegetable, beef or chicken broth (see Epicure options on the left) – 3 cups or adjust to make the thickness of soup you like
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a pot and blend with a hand blender. You can use a regular blender, too – the blending can be done before heating, so it is safer.

Simmer for at least 30 minutes if you are eating it right away, or put in freezer immediately… the flavours will blend as it is stored.

Single professional, with healthy eating and global cuisine

The Magic Fridge can help you eat the kind of food you want — quickly, easily and in your own home – no matter what your lifestyle. Take for example this  single professional, with healthy eating and global cuisine as priorities.

Service: Once a month, using individual chef meals mostly during the work week for occasional lunches and/or dinners.

Menu for January 8, 2009

In the fridge:

  • Orange chili salmon
  • Cuban rice and beans

In the freezer:

  • African chicken peanut stew
  • Chicken meatballs in tomato sauce with brown rice pasta
  • Curry fish stew

A 3-hour service ($120.00) plus $58.70 for groceries = $178.70. This breaks down to an average of $44.68 per week, or about $13 for an individual meal.

Professional couple, with healthy eating habits

The Magic Fridge can help you eat the kind of food you want — quickly, easily and in your own home – no matter what your lifestyle. Take for example this professional couple, with healthy eating habits and fitness as a priority. The menu plan comes from a fitness program they both follow, and includes high-end cuts of meat and fish. Most items are frozen.

Service: Once every two weeks, using individual chef meals daily for lunches and/or dinners.

Menu for January 27, 2009

* Miso soup – 6 servings
* Butternut squash soup – 6 servings
* Asparagus soup – 6 servings
* Quinoa as a grain side dish – 6 servings
* 4 pieces of 6oz halibut – individually frozen
* 4 pieces of 6oz salmon – individually frozen
* 15 chicken breasts – sliced and added to salads
* 4 whole chicken breasts – seasoned
* 6 filet mignon steaks – 6 oz each, sliced to add to salads
* Turkey meatballs – 4 servings
* 6 burger patties with meatball mix
* Ratatouille – 6 servings

A 4.5-hour service ($180.00) plus $192.17 for groceries = $372.17. This breaks down to an average of $186.09 per week, or about $12 for an individual meal consisting of meat or fish plus a side of grain or vegetable soup.