KFC-Inspired Chicken in the Slow Cooker

I wanted to try out Stephanie O’Dea’s recipe to see if it was at all alike, but also just to have a nicely, but not too strongly, seasoned batch of cooked chicken meat to use in a variety of things.  

She originally came up with the idea as some of her kids are gluten free and had never been able to try “the real thing,” as she describes in this NPR article.

She does a whole chicken but I used a tray of chicken thighs, skin removed by Will!

This is the spice rub:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I used half salt, half garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I substituted corriander)

I let the thighs sit overnight with the rub on, then browned them both for flavour and to help keep the thighs a bit intact, rather than ending with a mess of meat and tiny bones!

Now it should cook for at least 6 hrs on low, or 4 hrs on high.


My chicken was done after about 5 hours, as it was small pieces , not a whole bird.  It is reminiscent of KFC but no gross/good greasy deep fried taste.  You could definitely use it anyhere you’d use rotisserie chicken.


I’m going to put the juices in the fridge to get the fat off, then add some broth and thicken with some cornstartch for a gravy.  With leftover mashed sweet potatoes and some roasted cabbage it’s what’s for dinner tonight.

The Verdict:

Very good, will make it again.  Weirdly like KFC but good for you tasting, especially the gravy I made with juices, thickened with cornstarch.

Sprouted Black Lentils

I’ve been reading about sprouted lentils and beans lately and wanted to try them.  Sprouting is supposed to increase nutrient absorbtion and digestibility.  Also we’ve always liked sprouts like alfalfa and bean, but they disappeared from grocery stores for thevlast few years (that I’ve seen). I think there was a food safety issue, esp. with bulk, non-packaged sprouts, maybe salmonella?  

I used 1/2 cup of beluga (black) lentils.

9 pm – rinsed lentils in strainer, then set strainer in large bowl filled with tap water to soak overnight.


6 am – rinsed lentils well, shook off excess water, placed sieve containing damp lentils in a bowl and covered lentils with pot lid to keep out dust and possible floating cat hair, though we probably eat plenty of that! 


Reserved lentil soaking liquid to water plants with. 

Supposedly whatever nutrients came out in the water will feed your plants.  You can do this with vegtable cooking liquid too, as long as you don’t include salt.

9 am –  Rinsed and drained lentils.


1 pm-

7:30pm –  Starting to see more lentils that are splitting open.

Day 2, 8 am-


Day 2, 2pm-

Day 2, 9pm – Thoroughly rinsed and dried by Will.  Tastes really nice as is, haven’t cooked with them yet.

Teething Cookies

I’m thinking of reviving this cooking blog with new experiments in cooking for my 10 month old niece Olivia.

Our first experiment was a teething cookie, based on a recipe from Weelicious.  We didn’t change much from the recipe.

Teething Cookies 

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (we used regular, which I think is sweeter, and dosen’t have as many nutrients)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon rice/soy milk (we used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 tablespoon for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon soy flour
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ (we used toasted wheat germ, available at Bulk Barn)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.Mix all liquid ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

3. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate measuring cup and then add to wet ingredients. Blend until mixture forms a ball of dough.

4. Sprinkle whole-wheat flour on a clean surface and shape into a square, about 1/2 inch thick.

5. With a knife cut into 1 1/2 inch logs.

6. Place the logs on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 10 minutes.

8. Cool on the sheet or tranfer to a wire rack.

9. Serve.

*I wouldn’t start giving these to a baby under the age of 8 months. You always need to be around when baby is eating something they could choke on.

These seemed to be a hit with Olivia, she had one at family dinner and another as part of breakfast the next day!

Chickpea Flour Cornbread

I really liked cooking with chickpea flour in the recipe for Socca (chickpea pancake)from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything so I thought I would try adding some to a cornbread recipe to go with my green chilli tonight.  I subbed half the cornmeal for chickpea flour.

1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup grated old cheddar or more (optional)
2 1/4 cup buttermilk or equivalent milk/water and greek yogurt
1 egg
2 tbsps. oil (I used some hot chilli oil I’d made)

Heat the oven to 375’F and put a cast iron skillet in while the oven pre-heats.

Mix the dry ingredients well, then toss in the cheese so it is coated in flour and evenly distributed.

Mix the milk/yogurt/buttermilk(whatever you use) and the egg together well.bread 001

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, stirring til just combined.  I had to play with the proportions here, it should be a thick batter (not pourable) but not a dough.

Take the skillet out of the hot oven, pour in the oil (or bacon dripping or whatever fat you like) and scrape in the batter, spreading to cover the skillet.

bread 003Bake for 30 minutes.  Adding corn kernels, crumbled bacon, chopped peppers or whatever else takes your fancy would be nice too!

bread 004This was really tasty, lighter than cornbread, with the added toasty nutty flavour of chickpea flour.bread 005We had ours with our dinner of green chilli!bread 006I’d definitely make this recipe again and I want to find more ways to cook with chickpea flour!

Celeriac and Bacon Hash

Heat oven to 400’F.

hash 001Chop up about 6 slices of bacon and add to cold skillet with some water.  Turn heat to medium-high and cook bacon until crisp and fat has rendered out.

hash 002Add cubed leftover celeriac, and toss well so it is coated in fat, add more oil if needed.

hash 003Add in chopped onion, garlic and herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme).  Toss well.

Roast in oven for 30 minutes, til browned, stirring occasionally.

It actually took a lot longer, more like 45 minutes to get the celeriac browned, although it was cooked – maybe because it is more wet than a potato?

Add in blanched kale and stir, hash 001then top with cheese (I was lucky to have some Balderson double smoked cheddar – not a normal staple for us!) hash 002and put back in oven til cheese is melted and browned.

This was a really tasty meal that made the leftovers different – it was so popular some of it got eaten before I could take a photo.  hash 003Will just made a sandwich with the last of it between bread spread with ketchup (shudder!).

Whole Celeriac with Barley and Kale in the Slowcooker

I first came across this recipe as “Zombie Brains” in Jaime Oliver’s Save With Jaime.   After looking for online for accounts of people who’d tried it, I found this post on the blog Eat Simply, Live Well. She had the clever idea of turning the idea into a one pot slow-cooked meal in the oven.  This seemed like a natural progression to a slow cooker meal, so I’m making a trial attempt.  I’m not sure how any of it will work out as I’ve strayed from both her and Jaime’s versions, but that’s have the fun.  For example, I just noticed she used pearl not pot barley.  We’ll see how that goes I guess!

1 large celeriac (celery root) (mine was 1.25 pounds)4 cups any chopped mushrooms (oyster and button)
1 onion chopped roughly
5 cloves garlic chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 cup pot barley, rinsed and drained
3 cups water / vegetable or other broth (Knorr’s veg. broth powder)
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (I could only fit 3/4 bunch)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon each minced fresh rosemary, thyme and sage (or use dried to taste)

Saute mushroom, onions, and garlic in a bit of oil over medium heat (or use bacon dripping if you want to ruin a perfectly good vegetarian recipe like me!).  I was lucky to find some oyster mushrooms in the discount bin at Pete’s. celeriac 005

Deglaze pan with about 1/4 cup of water, flavoured with a few splashes of worsterchire sauce.celeriac 006

Combine carrots, kale, barley, sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onions in slow cooker.  Pour broth or water over top.

Clean celeriac.  Mine was pretty clean to begin with compared with some I’ve seen online.  celeriac 001celeriac 002I soaked it in warm soapy water and then scrubbed it really well with a long bristled brush.  Examine it carefully, especially any little crevices, cut off tiny protruding pieces if they seem to be holding in dirt or much.  I found the top of it had some (previously, now decaying – and vegetarians thing meat is gross!)  leaf matter trapped by little protruding pieces that I had to dig/cut/scrub out.  celeriac 004celeriac 003I also sliced off the bottom as I thought it would have grit but I think it was actually fine.

Now place your root on top of everything in the slow cooker.  If you need to move things around to make a well for it, mine just fit.

Place a blob of butter on top or some olive oil maybe.  I used some garlic butter I’d made and had leftover.  It fit right in the little gully I had to dig the muck out of on the top of the root.celeriac 007

Cook on low for 8 hours.  We’ll see how this one goes!

After about 5 hours on low the butter in the middle was foaming and the root was getting more tender, but still had resistance when poked with a fork.celery 002After 8 hours, it was very tender and sliced extremely easily, a butter knife might have done the job:celery 003The barley and kale had cooked down completely and there wasn’t any extra broth left.celery 004It was an interesting, tasty, and filling meal – the root is kind of like a super-mild turnip crossed with a potato and some celery flavour.  The kale and barley were especially nice and I will defintely slow cook it again!celery 005I think this recipe trasitioned to the slow cooker really well, but I’ve not tried the oven baked version so I’m not sure of any real difference in quality.

Tomorrow night I think I will cube up the remaining root and fry it up with some bacon in a hash.