I adore my crockpot. Attendees at my bridal shower several years ago would be able to tell you exactly how much I love this appliance. I actually squealed with joy when I opened up the gift, and the rest of the ladies laughed at my excitement. You see, I had been following Stephanie O’Dea at A Year of Slow Cooking and her resolution to use her crockpot every day in 2008…and I couldn’t wait to try out her creative recipes. However, I didn’t own a slow cooker at the time and I was specifically told NOT to purchase one since I had hand-selected one for our wedding registry. To my delight, I did receive my own crockpot a month or so later and set off to start (slow) cookin’!
Here’s a crockpot recipe you can throw together before work so dinner will be ready to serve when you get home, not to mention your house will smell divine with a scent of cumin and sweet spices. The only additional item you’ll need to prepare is either rice (could use quick brown rice), fast-cooking GF couscous or quinoa for serving. Or, if you’re like me, you can defrost extra rice you have lying around in the freezer to speed up the process.
Are you tired of the same old slow cooker recipes? Instead of your usual beef roast with potatoes, give this recipe a try. I can almost guarantee it won’t be the last time you’ll serve this dish!
Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 1/2 lbs chicken pieces, skinned (I’ve used chicken breast halves only before and it worked fine, but could use a combo of drumsticks, thighs and breast halves)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 14-oz can low sodium chicken broth
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 Tbsp tapioca starch/flour (could sub 2 Tbsp rice flour or all-purpose flour if not gluten free)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce, optional
Hot cooked white or brown rice, quinoa, or couscous (GF brown rice couscous is available at grocery stores too!)
Slivered blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1. In a 5-quart or 6-quart slow cooker, add onions and carrots. Place chicken on top of vegetables and sprinkle with sea salt.
2. Sprinkle raisins and chopped apricots on top of chicken.
3. In a small mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients (broth through pepper) and whisk to combine. Pour over chicken.
4. Cover and cook on low for 6 1/2 to 7 hours or 3 1/2 to 4 hours on high.
5. Add rice/quinoa/couscous to bowl and spoon chicken mixture on top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes: If you are using boneless chicken pieces, you always shred the chicken in the cooker, then stir to combine and serve over rice, if preferred to chunky pieces.