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Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken

The problem with having a small gas BBQ is not being able to do a beer can chicken because the lid is too low! For those who do not know what I am speaking about, normally one places a seasoned chicken upside down over a full, but open beer can. NOT alive sillies!!! The hot juices from the can permeate the bird as it cooks. Pinterest to the rescue again.

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Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken (without the beer can!)

Ingredients

  1. 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  2. 2 teaspoons salt
  3. 2 teaspoons coarse pepper
  4. 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  5. 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 4 (6-inch) strips aluminum foil, each bunched into a ball
  9. 1 can (16 ounces) beer
  10. 1 (6 1/2 to 7 pound) whole chicken

Instructions

  1. Mix smoked paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Place 4 balls of aluminum foil on bottom of slow cooker crock. Pour beer into crock.
  3. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  4. Rub chicken with seasoning mixture. Place chicken on top of foil in crock.
  5. Cover slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5 to 7 hours. Chicken is well done when meat temperature registers 165°F in the breast or 175°F-180°F in the thickest part of the thigh.

Notes

  1. USDA recommends 165°F as the safe eating temperature for chicken. Chicken is done when meat temperature registers 165°F in the breast or 175°F-180°F in the thickest part of the thigh. For more information on food safety, visit foodsafety.gov.
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Slow Roasted Ribs

Sadly, my Maple Chipotle Rub being sent from Canada seems to have gotten lost along the way. In desperation I sought out another rub recipe on Pinterest as I bought some lovely boneless beef ribs at Costco. The recipe was posted from inthekitchenwithkath.com. (It had been adapted from Mark Bittmans How to Cook Everything the basics). It can be used on beef, pork or poultry. Below are the instructions with the recipe for Southern Barbecue Rub below that. The rub will keep in the fridge…

Slow Roasted Ribs (one 3 or 4 lb. rack)

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 250˚F*
  2. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is easily done by loosening an end with a knife and then grabbing the piece with a clean paper towel and pulling it off.
  3. Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet, meaty side down. Rub a generous amount of the barbecue rub on both sides of the rack.
  4. With the ribs bone-side down, put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 2 hours.
  5. Turn the ribs over and roast for another hour.
  6. Turn the ribs over so they are again bone-side down and roast for one more hour, or until the ribs are fork-tender and practically falling off the bone.
  7. Cut the ribs into serving pieces and enjoy!

*NOTE Because my ribs were boneless I was able to reduce the cooking time! I cooked them first for 1 hour at 300 degrees F  and then turned them over to cook for another half hour, reducing the heat to 250 F. They were done, but you should check them before turning off the oven, depending on the thickness of the boneless ribs.

*Southern Barbecue Rub (Adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking)

 Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (You could use smoked paprika instead.)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional) I used this

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

What to do when your stove gets taken away for repairs? Three choices – BBQ, Microwave or Slow Cooker. Oh, and company for dinner… Pinterest to the rescue as always. The best part is that we had everything in the house! Hope you will try this sometime soon, it beats cooking inside, as we can put our cooker outside, A great way to enhance the BBQ season!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces red potato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 4 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and corn into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir in half and half mixture and butter during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.

 

 

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, (spelling gaspacho), particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.

Our friend Bev had us over for dinner a while back and served this wonderful WHITE gazpacho. It would make an incredible appetizer before your Easter dinner. Serve it very cold with the slivered almonds as indicated.

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup
Ingredients
6 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed
4 cups water
2 ½ cups (8 ¾ ounces) plus ⅓ cup sliced blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 ounces seedless green grapes, sliced thin

Instructions Serves 6 to 8
This rich soup is best when served in small portions (about 6 ounces).
1. Combine bread and water in bowl and let soak for 5 minutes. Process 2 1/2 cups almonds in blender until finely ground, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed.
2. Using your hands, remove bread from water, squeeze it lightly, and transfer to blender with almonds. Measure 3 cups soaking water and set aside; transfer remaining soaking water to blender.
3. Add garlic, vinegar, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and cayenne to blender and process until mixture has consistency of cake batter, 30 to 45 seconds. With blender running, add olive oil in thin, steady stream, about 30 seconds. Add reserved soaking water and process for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer set in bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids.
4. Measure 1 tablespoon of soup into second bowl and stir in almond extract. Return 1 teaspoon of extract mixture to soup; discard remainder. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Heat vegetable oil in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Add remaining 1/3 cup almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to bowl and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
6. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Mound an equal amount of grapes in center of each bowl. Sprinkle cooled almonds over soup and drizzle with extra olive oil. Serve immediately.

EGGS BENEDICT or EGGS MADELEINE WITH HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

I first had eggs Madeleine in a small restaurant on Hazelton Lane in Toronto back in the early 2000s. Needless to say I fell in love with the smoked salmon version of Benedict. Finally got up my nerve to try it since we always have smoked salmon in the fridge. Thanks to Tyler Florence of Food Network for his version, which I modified to include the salmon!

Hollandaise Sauce (Tyler Florence)

The sauce is the trickiest part. Have all of the sauce ingredients ready, put your muffins in the toaster BUT don’t start them. Have a pan ready to make your poached eggs!

Ingredients

4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice OR sour orange juice if you can get it
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch salt

Directions

Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
EGGS BENEDICT/EGGS MADELEINE
4slices Canadian bacon* OR smoked salmon
2English muffins, split
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hollandaise sauce, recipe above
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

*Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon OR smoked salmon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon Hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings
Great served with fresh cooked asparagus spears!

Peach Cranberry Chutney

AND…we are back in our new house after five weeks in the north. Finally got the computer up and running!Had the opportunity to sample my nephew’s chutney while in Canada. It was awesome served with pork tenderloin! Thanks David!

 

Peach Cranberry Chutney (David Rogers)

9 cups chopped peaches
4 cups brown sugar
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups chopped red or white onions
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp. mustard seed (coarsely ground if possible)
3 tsp. cinnamon
2-1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2-1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fenugreek seed
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cayenne (more if you like it hot) I doubled the cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a full boil.
Reduce heat to a moderate boil and cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency.
Stir often to prevent scorching.
Should take 40 minutes or so.
Ladle into hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2 an inch of head space and seal.
Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Remove and let stand until the lids pop down.
Check seals after 24 hours and refrigerate any unsealed jars.

Enjoy