Oops! I Started The Crock Pot Too Late!

Okay how many times does this happen: you find a great pin, idea, recipe, or saw a video on your wall and just had to make the dish. You go to the store (or add it to the meal plan and incorporate it in the grocery list) get all the ingredients and then WHAM! It’s 6:30, you are getting hangry, your husband is getting a little hangry and neither of you have eaten since brunch. What do you do when you have this great idea?

Cook the thing on the stove!

What?!

Okay hear me out.

I happen to have just lived through this yet I totally was able to save the day! The dish in the crock  pot will be amazing, however, because it takes 8 hours to cook and I put it in there after prepping about 10 hours too late  I had to figure something else out for dinner. So I took the principle of the idea and made it on the stove top. We will totally have this dish tomorrow night! Don’t you worry about that! And because we’re working on minimizing our food budget as much as humanly (and nutritiously) possible (I can’t eat ramen and bologna sandwiches forever), I’ll be sure to use the food creatively for future dishes. I’ll even freeze some I’m sure.

So what’s the recipe, you ask?  CHICKEN! Something I chose for frugality and variety reasons. I intend to use the chicken for about 4 different recipes and freeze any left over after that. Cooking a whole chicken and using the entire bird rather than just purchasing breasts is much more economical and generally tastes better, to me. I’ll also use the juices from the crock pot for home made chicken stock (which I hate purchasing since it’s basically free when you think about it.)

I saw the recipe in one of those quick 90 seconds or less cooking videos on my Facebook wall of how to cook an entire bird. I was excited and had never done so and couldn’t wait to give it a go! So, we added the ingredients to the meal plan for this week, purchased it with our budgeted money (ha….the money left after the bills, more like it) and I couldn’t put it off any longer, today was the day that it was going to be made!

But, my day hadn’t gone according to plan (when do they?) and instead of getting up at 9 and putting it in time for dinner, we put it in right before we ate our dinner. But, I figured out what to do so we wouldn’t kill one another, or just snack for the next 8 hours.

Ready?

I took frozen chicken from the bag that we had, defrosted it, seasoned it with the same seasonings we put on the slow cooking chicken, and cooked it up on the pan! I cut up my chicken when I cook it on the pan so it cooks even faster (and thus doesn’t dry out from over cooking parts). I chopped an onion and few cloves of garlic, sauteed them about three minutes while cutting up the chicken and threw them in the pan on just above medium heat. I went for the stainless steel pan as the cast iron was being used to bake bread in the oven at the time. I let the chicken cook a bit before stirring it all and then covered and let cook the rest of the way (maybe 10 minutes). Toward the very end I turned the heat down low to keep it warm without cooking and when I thought my hubby would come home from a “quick” trip to the store to help our neighbor out, added frozen peas and carrots with a bit of butter. Boom. Done.

huge fan of one-pot-meals. I grew up with each dish separated from the others to accommodate picky eaters and I don’t think I’ll do that with my family when we have kids. To each their own, but it sure does make a big job of dishes later. I just as well stick it all in the same pot.

While finishing the chicken dish, the bread needed to be taken out of the oven so that was great timing and I used that instead of potatoes for the starch. The bread was such a treat as it was still warm and moist and soft from being so fresh. I dipped mine in the sauce on the plate and it was delicious.

Next Time:

Had we not just baked bread, I could have served this over rice or noodles as the chicken made like a sauce.  We also had a leftover baked potato in the fridge that would have taken, like, 15 seconds to chop before adding it to the pan to warm. I thought to myself as we ate that if I had moved the meal over to one side in the pan before serving I could add a little flour or corn starch and thickened up the sauce for the dish nicely. Also I would have waited for my husband to actually come home before adding the frozen veggies as he took a bit longer than anticipated which led to more soggy than preferred veggies. Oh well.

YOUR TURN

What do you do if your planned meals don’t turn out as hoped?

Have you ever cooked an entire chicken in the crock pot?

What is your favorite chicken recipe from leftovers?

 

 

Until next time,

Blessings,

Moriya

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