Friday, September 26, 2014

Crockpot Pulled Chicken

I just googled the phrase, “who invented the crockpot”. This is going to sound really sexist, but of course I thought it HAD to be a woman. Who else but a busy workingwoman would think of a way to quickly create a hot, nourishing dinner deserved by her family? (Please, no hate mail – I live with a man who when asked to make dinner creates air popped popcorn. Okay, okay, he does clean my kitchen up beautifully, and that’s enough for me!)

I was wrong about the slow cooker. But not entirelyJ The crockpot was invented by Irving Naxon, who dubbed his cooker the “NaxonBeanery All-Purpose Cooker”. But whom was Irv inspired by? Why his grandmother, of course. She told him stories of a dish from her native Lithuania called cholent, which took hours to cook in the oven. The Rival Company bought the cooker in 1971, and the rest is history.

Here in Atlanta it’s about late September before I start thinking of to warm and comforting soups and stews in the crockpot. The nice folks at RED GOLD Tomatoes are starting to think about them too, and sent me a six-pack of their delicious cans of tomatoes to play with.

They sent me not only just tomatoes, but recipes, too! Loved their inspiration, and this week we made dinner for a wonderful group of prostate cancer survivors and their friends. What a super time to pull out the tomatoes and create a luscious pulled chicken full of lycopene – one of the super nutrients to aid in prostate cancer prevention.

Here’s my version of one of their super crockpot recipes. Their tomatoes are really good, and added a bright flavor to the long cooking stew. Hey! The Red Gold folks are also giving away TWO Slow Cookers per day through October 8th. Click here to learn about it: 2 a Day Slow Cooker Give Away

Instead of buns, we served the pulled chicken on a bed of wild rice blend, you can use any kind of grain you want, or pile it on buns like the original.

Crockpot Pulled Chicken

3 TB Dark Brown Sugar
1 TB Sea Salt
1 TB Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 TB Smoked Paprika
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 TB Dry Mustard
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
3 LBS Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, (thighs work MUCH better in the crockpot.)
3 Roasted Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers, chopped coarsely
3 Cans (15 oz) Red Gold Diced Tomatoes
2 TB Fresh Lemon Juice
Parsley for Garnish
Brown Rice Blend, Ancient Grains or Buns for serving

Step One
Create the spice mix by combining the sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, mustard and garlic powder in a bowl. Put the spice mixture in a zip bag and rub the chicken thighs to distribute the spice mixture. Place in the fridge overnight.

Step Two
The next morning, pitch the thighs into the slow cooker, top with the peppers and tomatoes and cook on low for 8 hours. When done, stir in the lemon juice and remove and pull apart the chicken, Add the remaining tomato sauce as desired, garnish with parsley and place over rice – or on a bun.

What to serve with this easy dinner? I’d suggest a Chianti, made from the delicious Sangiovese grape, full of the flavor of cherries and just a little earthy bitterness. You can find a Chianti for less than $20 in your grocery store than will pair perfectly!

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