Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore and Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

Have I ever told you how much I love my crockpot? I don't love it quite as much as my beautiful Kitchenaid mixer, Ruby, but as much as I love Ruby, my crockpot (which does not have a name) gets used quite a bit more.

Lately I have been trying to use my crockpot at least twice a week. It's really convenient on busy days, and if I time it right, we usually have leftovers on days that I don't get home in time to cook dinner. I have quite a few go to recipes some of which I have on my crockpot Pinterest board, but every now and then I take a favorite recipe and try my hand at turning it into a crockpot recipe. I also try to turn most recipes into grain free sugar free recipes as well.

Last week I was totally victorious! And by victorious I mean I recreated a regular recipe into a no sugar , no grain crockpot recipe and on top of that, every single person in my house loved it and even asked for it again on leftover night!!

So here it is. I have a tendency to not really measure, so you can kind of go by feel. It's pretty hard to mess up, I think! Also, I am clearly not a food photographer, so don't judge by the pictures too much! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore with Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower
(adapted from Real Simple)

1 lb(ish) skinless boneless chicken thighs
olive oil
salt and pepper
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced (I dice all the veggies in my food processor)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme (or ~1tsp dried)
1 bay leaf
1 28-oz diced tomatoes (I love fire roasted)
1/3 cup red wine (or ~1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar)

for Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
~1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
many cloves of roasted garlic (I get these at the olive bar at Wegmans)
1 Tbsp. grass fed butter

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and brown salted and peppered chicken thighs on both sides. Put into crockpot.

2. Saute carrots, celery, onions, garlic and thyme in same pan. (You can add a bit of water if things start to stick.) Put into crockpot.

3. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and wine or vinegar to the crockpot and give everything a nice stir.

4. Set crockpot on low for 8 hours and walk away. Don't you dare open that crockpot!!

5. When you walk in the door from work, your mouth will begin watering immediately. Quick! Make your mashed cauliflower. While the cauliflower is steaming, shred the falling apart chicken, remove the bay leaf, and give everything a nice stir. Serve over the cauliflower with a  sprinkle of parmesan on top.

for Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

1. Cut cauliflower off the stalk and steam until tender ~10 minutes. (I do this in the morning while I am preparing everything else and just leave it in the steamer basket over a pot of water, so all I have to do when I come home is turn on the burner.)

2. Once tender, puree in the food processor with butter, parmesan and garlic (I add salt and pepper as well), until smooth. If you don't have a food processor I think a mixer or a potato masher would also work, it just probably won't get quite as smooth.


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