Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crock Pot challenged. Thai Basil Chicken

OK, you might have noticed that here is a lack of crock pot recipes on this blog (there are 13 tagged/filed under crock pot and about 500 posts) . If you're wondering why it's because I SUCK at crock pot cooking. I don't know what it is. I can make things like roasts, carnitas, stuff like that but for the most part everything I make is over cooked, and feels/tastes all mushed together. I've tried it all. I've used frozen meats to make sure it's not overcooked (which is perfect for roasts).  I've tried cooking them lower and for shorter periods. I've tried adding ingredients at separate times. But really all that effort is absurd. The whole point of a crock pot is to throw everything in and forget about it until dinner time right? There have been two meals I can clearly remember that DH and I- even the girls are like this isn't good. AT. ALL. There are many recipes I just don't even blog because they didn't work for us. I've looked through books, blogs galore, gotten recipes from people. Remember the lasagna? It looked great in the crock pot. We just threw out over 2/3rds of it out. What a waste! That's not like us,  we usually eat stuff anyway. The other meal is this one. It was edible and we ate it. God bless DH because he ate it all without a word. He never complains but he does rave at times. After dinner I asked him how the food was and he said, "not good, kinda gross" LOL! I said, "yeah, I thought the same." 
Crock pot 1
Me 0
The thing is,  I decided that I NEED some easy throw in the pot recipes. Something I don't need to babysit this chocolate season. So I'm challenging myself. my requirements for crock pot meals. Something truly throw it in and forget it. Other than chopping stuff, I don't want to brown anything stir every hour etc. AND very limited/if any Cream of whatever soup. 
I decided to try to adapt a recipe. Thai Basil Stir Fry. I knew that if I cooked the chicken quickly it wouldn't get dry and over done, OK in theory anyway. I have cooked chicken breasts in the crock pot on high for a couple hours or less to shred and it's usually perfect. Not so much this time around. Overcooked chicken, flavorless. I The onions were crisp tender though- that's a plus. Flavor just was off. What is it about the crock pot that just sucks the flavor out of foods and makes it soggy? Unless you drown it in some kind of sauce or something?
I'm posting this recipe anyway and maybe I'll get some feedback/HELP!

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans washed, ends trimmed and sliced
1 small onion sliced
1 pound sliced/cubed chicken breasts

Sauce ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (not packed)
2 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce- I used a paste because I didn't want to add any more liquid
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
ground white pepper
1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cup chopped Thai basil leaves
Stir Sauce ingredients together.
I put the chicken  at the bottom of the crock pot, layered the onion and green beans on top.Pour the sauce on top.
After two and a half hours stir. Check to see if the chicken is done.

Stir in the fresh basil and serve over rice.

Let me know how it goes if you try this!
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