I absolutely love cooking with a crock-pot, especially now that the weather is cooler. Yes, it is for the most part effortless, but there is another reason I love the crock-pot. I love to walk into the house and be engulfed in aromas of food that's been cooking all day. Sometimes I will put something in the crock-pot and go do some chores outside just so I can walk back in and see if it smells good yet. It’s like I have my very own chef that has been working so hard on dinner all day and has it ready at the exact time that I’m hungry and ready to eat. You get the point.
I also love crock-pots because you really can’t mess up… for the most part. Yes, I have overcooked things, but they were fixable, and when you slap that “caramelized coating” description on, it goes from burnt to fancy gourmet in less than 15 seconds.
Back home in New England, apple season is a pretty big deal. Anything and everything is made with apples, looks like apples, smells like apples or you can mix spirits with to make it a “harder” apple drink, AKA, a lazy hard cider. The last one on that list is obviously my favorite and, if you warm the cider up in the crock-pot and then add some nice spirits you have yourself the perfect drink for in front of the woodstove. Ah, the woodstove. Something that I never thought I would miss; splitting wood, stacking wood, bringing wood in from the freezing cold to start a fire ... staring at the warm flame dance while feeling the warm glow on your face while curled up in a fleece blanket, the dog cuddling at your side and a nice warm mug of hard cider in hand.
So, now that I have you thinking about the perfect winter night in New England, let’s talk about chicken! Since you know the real reason I keep cider in my house as long as the season allows, you probably won’t believe I actually really love to cook with it as well. Boiling carrots, adding it to Yankee Pot Roast, etc. So the other night I wanted hot sandwiches, something warm and with BBQ; since I’m not a pork fan, something like pulled pork but without pork. I had chicken and a crock-pot. Not only was this a big hit, but every lick of leftovers was gone! That doesn’t happen very often, if ever, at our house!
What you will need:
- (3) skinless chicken breasts
- (1) large onion (I happened to have a white onion)
- (3) cups of BBQ sauce
- (2) Cloves of Garlic, minced
- (2) cups of apple cider
Ready? This is so easy you won’t even believe it.
- Cut up the onion in rough larger pieces and layer on the bottom of the crock-pot.
- Add the minced garlic to the onions.
- Place the chicken breasts over the top of the onions and minced garlic.
- Pour the apple cider into the bottom of the crock-pot.
- Pour the BBQ sauce over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Pull the chicken out and pull apart with two forks and then add it back into the apple cider and BBQ mixture.
- Mix it up and serve on some nice big sesame Kaiser rolls.
That’s it! And let me tell you, it tastes amazing!
If you want something a little different than another sandwich for leftovers, let me share the salad I happen to be eating with it as I write this article.
- Baby Spinach
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Cold ‘pulled chicken’
- Sunflower Seeds
Mix it together and eat it! I actually don’t use dressing on it because I still have a nice sauce from the chicken. If it happens the fridge took out some of moisture you can use a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and pepper.