This time of year offers the best weather. I personally am akin to a polar bear and love it cold. But I hate shoveling snow, so spring is a good trade-off, unless you know of a magical place where it’s in the 40’s all year with no snow. If you do, please let me know.
There isn’t much to say about this week’s recipe. It’s simple, on the better side for you, health wise, and tasty. Oh, and it’s about as easy to put together as it can get. Perfect for not wanting to be inside much.
However, what you are about to read might come off as crazy. Or you might be thinking what you have been fearing all along: “Doug doesn’t know what he is talking about.”
You might be right, but play ball with me here.
We are going to be slow cooking chicken thighs with no water or liquids added whatsoever. None.
How’s that work? It probably has something to do with the high fat content of the thighs mixed with the skin holding in the moisture. But who needs all that science talk when magic is obviously in play here. I’m guessing Merlin was a whiz in the kitchen and all the Knights of the Round Table jokingly called him a wizard, then BLAM! Legend born.
All joking and science aside, this really does work. It produces some of the most tender chicken thighs you will ever eat, the kind that are hard to take out of the crock pot because they fall apart in the tongs.
The best part of the whole thing is it’s set when you leave for work and ready to eat when you come back. Add some mixed vegetable risotto in there and you have one hearty, semi-healthy meal that takes minimal effort.
Slow cooked chicken thighs
6 chicken thighs, skin on
Salt and pepper to taste
Whatever other seasonings are your favorites
1. Place the chicken thighs skin side up in a single layer on the bottom of a crock pot after you have salt and peppered both sides.
2. Place on low and cook 7-9 hours or until tender.
Mixed vegetable risotto
2 cups arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano rice
8 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
1. Heat up your stock and mixed vegetables in separate medium saucepans. This will quicken the cook time of the risotto.
2. Add onions to butter in a large saute pan and sweat down, about 4 minutes.
3. Pour the rice over the onions and stir until every grain is coated with the butter. Add more butter if needed — this is not the time to skimp! Continue stirring the rice until the edges have turned translucent but the center is still opaque.
4. Begin incrementally adding the broth one 1/2 cup at a time, stirring regularly between additions. Wait to add another ladle until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice; dragging your spatula through the rice should leave a dry path where the spatula was. This gradual addition of liquid is key to getting the rice to release its starch and create its own delicious sauce, so don’t rush this step.
5. Add the warmed vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper.