Joseph is on this great kick where he’s trying all these slow cooker recipes from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. It’s wonderful. Slow cookers are great because you just throw stuff in the slow cooker and then several hours later you open it up and there’s your meal, hot and succulent, just waiting to be ladled and eaten up. I think it would be great on a snowy day. Just imagine going out to play in the snow and this spicy dish welcoming you home to a warm kitchen.
Slow cookers are just awesome when you plan ahead — throw some ingredients in before you head out to work and come home and dinner is ready, literally just sitting there waiting for you. It’s slightly problematic, however, when you don’t quite plan for it the way you meant to. Like when you head out on a beautiful Sunday and don’t come home till 3:00 in the afternoon and you remember that this is what you’re making for dinner and you don’t feel like changing things up because that chicken really needs to be cooked and besides, you were really looking forward to it, but you’re just not sure about a 9:00 dinner. Well, we would of course never fail to plan ahead, but hypothetically if we had, well, luckily the chicken is likely to be completely cooked through even if you skimp on the full 6 hours. And in this hypothetical case, I’m confident that even though the chicken hadn’t marinated and stewed the full 6 hours, it would still be super delicious and tender.
Chicken a la Veracruzana
Adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday
Don’t have a slow cooker? Put chicken and potatoes in a heavy, ovenproof pot and cover with the sauce. Braise covered in a 300 degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the chicken is tender. Finish the sauce as directed below.
4 medium (about 1 pound total) red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
6 (about 3 pounds total) chicken leg-and-thigh quarters, skin pulled off and discarded
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted), drained
4 to 6 canned pickled jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to season to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup coarsely chopped green olives (preferably Manzanilla olives)
1/4 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, Worcestershire, thyme, cloves, cinnamon and scant 2 teaspoons salt. Spread potatoes over bottom of slow cooker and top with chicken. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the chicken. Cover and cook in a slow cooker on high for 6 hours (can be kept in the “keep warm” function for an additional 4 hours).
Using a large slotted spoon, carefully transfer a portion of chicken and vegetables to each of 6 dinner plates, leaving as much sauce behind as possible. Mix olives and parsley into sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Spoon sauce over chicken.