Jul 21, 2010

Hot, Desperate, Out of Control

It's girl gone wild over here!
In a foodie way.

I'm hot.  But not the thick flowing hair, perfect tan, big boobs in too-small shirts, tight butt in short shorts type of hot.  My hot is "conditions in your area...heat index of 109 degrees."  Sorry to disappoint.

I'm desperate.  But not the doe-eyed, pouty-lip, need somebody to love type of desperate.  My desperate is I want something dark, velvety smooth, rich & comforting...

ya know...something over rice.  Like rice and gravy or smothered pork chops.  But hot trumps desperation in this case.  

Being hot and desperate has led to a loss of control.  Again, in the foodie sense.  I've turned over the cooking duties to my crockpot. 

And that's a big dang deal for me.

I'm normally not wowed by crockpot meals--they just don't do much for me.  But more importantly, it's hard for a control freak like me to give power to a little old pot.  So when I pull out the crockpot my family knows that I've reached a high level of desperation and the kitchen has reached that intolerable level of "too hot to cook."

My mom sent me a huge file of crockpot recipes.  Huge.  But very little jumped off the page at me.  One recipe title did catch my eye: Chicken Creole.  But I started reading through it more so I could say "oh, please!" than because of a desire to actually try it.  Now I need a slice of pie to go with the chicken...humble pie.

I don't mean to be such a little snot, but I have big ole issues with recipes that call themselves "Cajun" or "Creole" just because there's a bunch of Tony's and cayenne dumped into them.  Feeling like your tongue just got bitten by a mound of red ants is not what Cajun & Creole foods are about.  I was surprised that this recipe actually had Creole style elements besides Tony's.  It had the trinity: onion, celery, bell pepper...to which I added garlic.  And the gravy has a tomato base.  Classic! 

Results: I was surprised by this recipe considering I scoffed over the word Creole in the title and considering crockpot meals usually don't interest me.

This reminds me of a chicken stew my mom would throw together.  It also reminds me of a Creole style gumbo, but thinner since there's no roux or okra to thicken the gravy.  In fact, next time I'll consider serving this in a bowl...don't tell me you didn't see the gravy running all over the plate.  I know you noticed.

But the mushrooms...  I don't like fresh mushrooms in the crockpot, but I'm not wild about canned ones no matter what the cooking method.  They didn't really do anything here except gag The Boy.

After the first time making this, I had to make some changes.  The sauce was like water and that wasn't going to fly.  I decided to add some tomato paste and that helped...but I think I could get away with adding the whole can instead of just a few tbsps.  We also found the original recipe on be on the bland side, so I bumped the seasonings up.  And there was no garlic in the recipe and I'm sorry but I just can't cook like that!

Mise en place:
3 lbs chicken--I used white & dark as well as a mix of boneless and bone-in...had a little-a this, little-a that going on in the freezer
1 sliced onion
1 sliced bell pepper
1 rib celery, chopped
2 huge cloves garlic, chopped
salt, pepper, Tony's, thyme, paprika
chopped parsley
1 can tomatoes
5 tbsp to 1 can tomato paste (I'm still playing with this)
small can mushrooms--Next time, I'll skip 'em
green onions & cooked white rice when it's time to eat

Add everything to the crockpot and don't forget to turn it on.  Low for 8-10 hrs, high for 4-5 hrs.  (Crockpots vary; you know yours best)
I know mine fairly well...it's nearly 20 years old. 
Don't laugh.  It's very sensitive about it's age and cheesy looks.

Don't forget to make some rice before you're ready to eat.  And chop some green onion or more parsley while you're at it.

I like to remove the chicken and chop it before serving.  I think it stretches the recipe into more servings.  But it is more work.

Serve over rice & top with green onions.
Come on over, there's plenty.
pictured with Butter Beans w/ Roux

I'm submitting this to:
Hun...What's for Dinner
 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg
Food On Friday: Slow Cooker Dishes @ Carole's Chatter
 What's on the Menu Wednesday @ Dining With Debbie
and a Slowcooker Recipe link up @ Seaside Simplicity

Slow Cooker Recipes For September @
  Thrifty Texas Penny


Crockpot Chicken Creole
adapted by Ms. enPlace from someone named Sammie

3 lb. chicken pieces (used a mix of white and dark, all skinless, some bone in pieces, some boneless--in other words use what ever you want
1 med. onion, sliced thin
1 med. green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 celery rib, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
¼-1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2-2 tsp Tony’s Creole Seasoning
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 cup chopped parsley
16 oz. diced canned tomatoes (don’t drain)
5 Tbsp tomato paste (probably ok to use the whole can)
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
1/4 c chopped green onions for serving
cooked white rice


Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours (high 4-5).  Serve over rice, topped with green onions.  

12 comments:

  1. I can only imagine just how hot and humid it is down there- whew! I'm with you. I'm thinking no cook meals (like sandwiches), but then I start craving food that I can really sink my teeth into like your crockpot chicken creole! The crockpot is good way to do that without heating up the house. I like how this recipe makes a lot so that you can eat on it for days. And, the plus is that it probably tastes better every day that it sits. Looks great!! Stay cool!

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  2. Looks delicious. Will have to try it. I think it would be right up DH's alley.

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  3. This looks great to me and I've been looking for new chicken cp recipes. I'm not laughing at your crockpot because I think the older one's actually work better!

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  4. I'm not a fan of canned mushrooms. The taste and texture just feels off to me. If I had a crockpot I would definitely make this. Looks very yummy to me, especially over white rice.

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  5. This looks like a nice warm dish for the recent cold weather. Mmm.

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  6. Thanks so much for linking this up to my slow cooker recipe index! This is exactly the kind of wonderful meal I was looking for - I'm not a real fan of foods from the slow cooker either - but this looks and sounds delicious!

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  7. This looks great! I found the link to your recipe on Seaside Simplicity, and I'm glad I visited your blog.

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  8. Making this for supper right now! Thanks for linking up at Dishing It Up!

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  9. I agree, I'd skip the mushrooms! Looks great though. Thanks for linking up :o)

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  10. I love this - so many cajun dishes have 45 ingredients - and this looks so yummy!

    Found you at Hunwhatsfordinner!

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  11. I am also from Louisiana and scoff at "Creole" and "Cajun" recipes... in fact, that is the reason I clicked on this on Pinterest! lol Glad to find a good recipe. I LOVE my crockpot and am totally ok with it doing all the work. Especially for good hearty soups and stews in the winter! :)

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