As a busy working mom committed to serving my family real food at every meal, avoiding processed foods and eating organically with the seasons, I often rely on the slow-cooker for dinners.
When I plan ahead, I can usually come up with a quick-prep meal that will cook slowly at home while my kids are in preschool and my husband and I are at work. (Or when I’m home with the kids too busy breaking up sibling squabbles to watch a pot on the stove!)
There’s nothing quite like realizing it’s 5:00 pm, we’re all cranky and hungry, and dinner is already ready. It’s much easier to make a side of brown rice or quinoa and steam or saute a side of veggies, and serve it along with a slow-cooker meal, than it is to plan a meal from scratch at 4:50pm.
Here’s a slow-cooker dish I came up with on the fly yesterday morning, when I realized it was 7:00am, I had no plan for dinner, and we all had to be out of the house for the day. I picked some fresh herbs from our garden (while still in my PJ’s), and chose organic chicken thighs because that’s what I had fresh in the fridge. You could easily substitute chicken breasts if you prefer.
Serves 4, with leftovers
Prep Time: About 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 hours in a large slow-cooker
6-8 Organic Chicken thighs (boneless)
4 organic Russet potatoes, sliced into small pieces
6 organic carrots, peeled and diced into small pieces
1/2 organic red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic (whole & peeled)
1/2 c Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (cold-pressed)
2 T. Shoyu or Tamari
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T. raw Apple cider vinegar
3 T Really good local raw honey
1/2 cup water
1 sprig fresh thyme (cut into pieces)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (cut into pieces)
8-10 leaves of fresh sage
6-8 generous pats of organic grass-fed/pastured butter
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1) Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a glass bowl.
2) Place the potatoes, onions and carrots at the bottom of the slow-cooker.
3) Put the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables.
4) Pour the marinade over the chicken and vegetables.
5) Sprinkle the sesame seeds & sea salt over everything.
6) Tuck the fresh herbs between and on top of the chicken thighs and vegetables.
7) Place one pat of butter on top of each chicken thigh.
8) Turn the slow-cooker on LOW for 5 hours.
9) Serve over brown rice or another grain of your choice. I also served with a side of sauteed fresh zucchini, which is what was ready for picking in our garden.
Try making this for your family, and let us know what you think!