01 Jul 2010, Posted by admin in EAT + DRINK, 1 Comments
The slow cooker, happily ever-after known as a Crock-Pot since a 1971 trademark, looks like any other kitchen cabinet space hoarder on first glance. Shiny. Complicated. And with a rather precariously placed electrical cord for an appliance that gurgles and burps copious amounts of liquid all day long.
Still, the slow cooker is probably my favorite modern electrical kitchen appliance. Well, after the refrigerator, freezer, oven and stand-mixer. Blenders, food processors and toasters are nice, too (I could do without milkshake makers, microwaves and electrical ranges, though they do come in handy on occasion.).
Right. Slow cookers. The Crock-Pot is my current prized possession entirely because of The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. A few months ago, I wouldn’t have called myself a slow cooker gal (I pull it out for the occasional beans, maybe a brisket when I can’t give it the attention it deserves.). And then I reviewed the book for the old day job.
Sure, many of these recipes don’t require a slow cooker, and if you happen to have a leisurely weekend to make osso buco on your stove top, all the better. It will no doubt be tastier, and much more fun to make. But who doesn’t like the toss-it-in-a-pot-and-walk-away mantra on occasion? If the end result tastes good, of course.
Actually, what do I know? I don’t have the cookbook anymore. I gave it to my brother because the recipes are interesting (farro salad with roasted red peppers, stewed calamari stuffed with Pecorino Romano cheese, flourless chocolate cake spiked with coffee) yet easy (he got a late but eager start to the cooking game ). The book-giving rule was that he would email me any recipes he tried and liked — say, the slow cooked pork shoulder (hint, hint) or the seafood couscous, as I can’t quite imagine how halibut, shrimp and scallops will weather a multi-hour braise together. Let’s just say I’ve made this chicken with cherry tomatoes, capers and olives many times. Right. I was the sour apple who gave a gift with conditions.
Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers and Olives
Adapted from The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. Reprinted by permission from LA Weekly.
4 pounds of bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (include legs and breasts, if desired)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (red or yellow)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup rinsed and drained imported black olives, such as kalamata
2 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers
Pinch of crushed red or black pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Place the pieces in a slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, garlic and wine.
2. Cover and cook on the low setting until the chicken in cooked through and coated in broth, about 5 hours.
3. Scatter with the olives, capers and additional pepper, to taste. Cook an additional 15 to 30 minutes, until ready to serve.