My hope is that this blog will help beginners out there. I'm a beginner myself, and I usually want, more than anything else, reinforcement that I'm cooking food correctly. So I take as many pictures as I can throughout the process so you know what yours should (pretty much) look like.
This was my amazing Valentine's Day dinner, and also my first go at using my Crock Pot! The end result was delicious and even easier than I had expected it to be. All you have to do is plan the timing, put the ingredients together, and let it sit. All day long. Then make some rice and vegetables at dinnertime (I skipped the veggies - - bad, I know, but I always forget something and this is usually it).
THAT'S IT!!! That's all you have to do!
So here is my adventure...
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 garlic clove, minced (if you only have the jarred stuff, I've found about 1/2 tsp. = 1 clove)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar (don't forget to pack it tight)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar; I'm pretty sure it's the same thing...)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
Here are my ingredients:
2. Remove chicken and shred or cut into chunks. Return to slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve over rice with more crushed red pepper flakes on top.
I don't know if my Crock Pot is large or not. I don't think it is; it's only 5 quarts. The chicken didn't get completely covered by the liquid, so every hour or so I sloshed some of the juice on top of the chicken to make sure it wasn't drying out.
Here are all of the raw ingredients in the pot:
And my lovely Crock Pot:
After about an hour and a half, I noticed the ketchup didn't seem to be going anywhere...
...so I stirred the pot a little!
About halfway through, I flipped the chicken over to make sure it was evenly cooked since it wasn't submerged in the sauce.
After a little over six hours, we were more than ready to eat (especially after smelling this deliciousness all day!), so I tried to take the chicken out to cut it into chunks, according to the recipe. The chicken was SO tender, though, it literally fell apart in the tongs. Scrumptious!
I'll admit, it's not the most appetizing-looking dish ever created, but it is SO good! You will quickly get over its ugliness.
As you can probably see, I served the chicken over brown rice, and I also had some Italian bread to soak up the rest of that yummy sauce. There was plenty left over for next-day lunch and later-in-the-week dinner. There are only two of us eating here, though, so I would say this recipe could feed a family of four or five, depending on how hungry you all are!
Hope this helps any beginner Crock Pot users out there, and happy eating!