Apple Chicken with Stuffing

Oops!  This post was suppose to have been published with a picture but umm… the cat ate it!  The picture I mean… not the chicken.  Well… okay so he ate some of the raw chicken but… you know what I mean!  So yeah… umm… no pics, sorry!

One of my favorite autumn/winter dishes is Apple Chicken.  Aside from it being incredibly easy to make, it’s unbelievably tasty and can be made in large batches for freezing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs
  • Apple Cider
  • 2 cups apple sauce
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • Cranberries
  • Stuffing Mix

Directions:

  1. Place chicken breasts and thighs into crockpot.
  2. Add 2 cups apple sauce.
  3. Add enough apple cider to barely cover the chicken.
  4. Stir.
  5. Set slow cooker on high and cook until chicken is done (generally 3-4 hours).
  6. Add enough stuffing mix to absorb the apple cider and allow to set.
  7. Peel and dice your apple.
  8. Incorporate apple and cranberries into chicken/stuffing.
  9. Serve.

Easy California Rolls

Okay, I’m going to give you TWO huge cheats here on how to make rolls at home.  Yes, I’m a cheater.  I’ll gladly admit it because honestly, it’s tasty and it doesn’t look like my rolls exploded once completed.  And besides… is it REALLY cheating when it tastes better?  Don’t answer that.  So without further ado, here’s your two cheats on making rolls:

  • Cheat One: Purchase a the gadget to make perfect rolls.  There are several out there on the market and are usually under $10.  Kids can use it too!  Very easy and very handy to have.
  • Cheat Two: When you don’t have sticky rice, you can use regular rice mixed with cream cheese!  Yup.  That’s right.  I never seem to have sticky rice when I need it, never remember to pick it up from the store, and honestly, I love Jasmine rice far more.  So in order to make rice sticky, I just add some cream cheese to the rice while it’s still hot, stir thoroughly and let cool.  I use about 1 cup prepared rice with 1 8z. container of cream cheese but you can vary it according to your tastes.  Also, this is a great time to add some spice to your rice such as ginger (if you don’t have the fresh stuff)!

So that’s technically two and a half cheats!  Everything else is simple.  Pack the mold with rice then seaweed (or seaweed then rice depending on the type of rolls you are making), layer your favorite innards (fish, veggies, avocado, whatever), pack more rice/seaweed on top and pack with the roll mold.  Pop out the roll and cut it to desired lengths.  Now won’t that impress your friends?

This is Bre cracking up over the mess we were making with this!

And this is her threatening a food fight with the sticky rice. =)

Slow cooker whole chicken

Yet again, no image for this one but mostly because this entry is more like a quick reference.  If you want to cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker, this is a general idea of weight & time.

Meat:

  • Meat that falls off the bone = 1 hour per pound on high + 1 additional hour for every 3 lbs. ( 3 lb. bird would cook for 4 hours on high, a 6 lbs. bird would cook for 7 hours on high – though temperatures vary in slow cookers so always check your bird after 4 hours then every hour after until you have the meat as desired): This is great for chicken stock, boiled chicken, chicken soup base or deboning a cooked chicken.
  • Whole chicken intact = 45 minutes per pound on high with NO liquids except for what naturally comes from the chicken during cooking: This is for when you want more of a presentation chicken.

Liquids:

  • For boiled chicken, soup stock, or to make a broth base: Add 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water to the crock pot before adding the chicken.  [NOTE: Chicken in the slow cooker is very moist to begin with especially if it is cooked with the skin (can be easily removed after it’s done cooking), adding any sort of liquids to the cooker is only recommended if you are making a soup/broth base or boiled chicken.]
  • For soup stock or broth WITHOUT boiling the chicken: Cook chicken as desired, remove from cooker but leave any liquid at the bottom.  Debone and/or skin the chicken, add them back to the cooker, add 2 cups chicken base (see below) and/or six cups of water.
  • Chicken Base:  Every time you make a chicken in the slow cooker, keep the drippings for a chicken base.  If you aren’t making a broth/soup right away, simply allow the drippings to cool, pour them into a container and freeze.  If you want something with less fat, allow the container to cool in the fridge first; remove the layer of fat that rises to the top and then freeze the remaining.

Making Soup:

  • Egg noodles: Cooked in the drippings plus water for twenty minutes (with base already hot)
  • Frozen veggies/potatoes: Added after base and noodles are done cooking
  • Fresh chopped veggies/potatoes: Added an half hour before the noodles are added
  • Thickening Agent: I highly recommend Bisquick as a thickening agent for your chicken soup – remove 2 cups of the base from the slow cooker and pour it into a microwavable bowl.  Slowly whisk in the Bisquick until it is MUCH thicker than desired (remember it will be added to the base again and therefore much thinner).  Keep the base hot to allow the mix to completely dissolve and not produce lumps by putting it in the microwave for 30 second intervals as needed.  Pour and stir the mixture into the slow cooker base.

Stock/Base:

  • Cook the entire chicken: skin, bones, meat, etc.  You can even cook the giblets and neck if so desired.
  • Remove the meat from the cooker once it’s fully cooked.
  • Debone and/or skin the chicken.  Set the meat aside.
  • Add the bones and skin to the chicken drippings plus 1 cup chicken broth or water.
  • Cook till bones become soft.
  • Remove bones and skin (skin can be chopped in a food processor if you wish to use it in the stock).
  • Pour into single use containers and freeze.