• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

13 February 2010

home sick and cookin'

Ugh. I have contracted a cold. Poor Pink Hubby's been sick for over a week now, so it was pretty likely I was going to get it too. Sometimes I don't... but this time, I did. Anyway, I am feeling pretty nasty and was out sick Thursday and Friday. (But I still used my sick time as best I could Thursday by taking the Magic Eraser to our glass cooktop and kitchen sink. Oh, the things you do when you should be relaxing. This is why we need that vacation to get away from it all, yeah?)

Anyway. The dinner plan for Thursday was crockpot-based. If I'm gonna do a crockpot dish, I usually do it either Monday or Thursday because these are the nights I don't go directly to class after work. (Sometimes I have to go back in to the university for a late night class, however.) I don't generally like to cook in the crockpot on the weekends because we don't like to smell our dinner all day. It makes us really hungry at lunch, but then we've lost our appetites by dinner. But I was sick on Thursday and I didn't want to make a new plan (hell, I'd already peeled the goddamn potatoes!), so I decided to just go ahead with it.

Here's what I made. It's based on this recipe, with some changes to accomodate my tastes (and PHub's).

Sweet Beer-Braised Chicken
4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 can/bottle (12 oz) of beer (I used a tasty dark porter)
1 bottle (10-12 oz) sweet chili sauce
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 cup baby carrots
½ medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
¼ cup Fresh or dried chopped Cilantro*
½ tsp celery salt*
1 tbsp honey*
1 tbsp hot chili sauce* (i.e. Sriracha/’Rooster’ Sauce)
4 oz (half a brick) cream cheese (to add at the end)*

Beer Braised Chicken: ingredients

Place all ingredients except cream cheese in crockpot. Cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours, until chicken is cooked through but still moist. Shred chicken with two forks. Add cream cheese during last 30 minutes and stir it up well. Serve as a stew, or over rice or pasta, or with some yummy bread.

*The recipe called for parsley. I don't like it very much, so I used cilantro. I also dislike celery, so I used celery salt. And mushrooms? We both hate those, so I omitted them all together. I added the honey because the dish was very savory. PHubby likes a little sweetness, so I thought the honey would be a nice touch. It was. I added the rooster sauce because we like spicy. This made our noses run. If you don't like spicy, leave this ingredient out. And the cream cheese? It wasn't necessary, but since I had decided to eat this like soup, I wanted something to make the broth a little creamier. This did the trick. If I were to serve the dish over rice or pasta, I would probably leave the cream cheese out.

Ok. Let's get cooking! As I mentioned before, I peeled my taters the night before. Diced the onion, too. I wasn't planning to wake up sick, you see, so I generally like my slow-cooker ingredients to be ready to roll the night before. That way, I can just toss them in the pot before I leave for work.

Peeled, sliced potatoes -- by the way -- will preserve overnight in your fridge if you do the following: peel and slice the potato(es). Put in a bowl, submerged in very cold water and stir them around. Dump the water and replace with new water. Cover it and refrigerate.

So here's what I had in the morning.

Raw ingredients

Here it is in the afternoon, when I added the cream cheese...

Cream Cheese added


And here it is all served up.



I really enjoyed this dish. I thought it was completely awesome. I could have just pulled my chair up in front of the crockpot -- trough-style -- and finished it off. It did not have that 'alcoholly' flavor* that some things cooked with beer or wine tend to have. It was great. A++++++ would eat again. (Good thing too. It made enough leftovers!) Try it.

*Pink Hubby liked it OK, but he didn't seem thrilled. He says he could taste the beer (and he's not a beer fan). It's not that I don't believe him... well, that's a post for another time. He'll eat it again, sure... but it's not on his favorites list.

Try it!!