Foodening Friday – September 20, 2013

Progressing with proteins!

I’m not a fan of having to touch raw meat. It just squishes in a wholly unnatural way that makes me squick. But I’ve been attempting to get over that to introduce more varied proteins into my diet, and since chicken is pretty healthy and cheap, I have been experimenting with different recipes.

One recurring theme has been shredded chicken, so I wandered to my trusty Pinterest account and looked for an easy way to make some. I found the following recipe, which was both easy to make, and pretty easily cleaned up.
The crock pot we have in the house is fairly large, and I was able to get 4 chicken breasts in with room to spare. I ended up using an entire container of chicken broth, plus another glass and a half of water to make sure the breasts were completely submerged. Once that was done, it was a very simple matter of turning it on and then going out for a run. I *may* have left the chicken in a little longer then necessary, but the fantastic part of working with a crock pot is that it can keep things “warm”, without cooking them further.
Shredded Chicken

Sept 20_2 When I pulled the chicken out, it shredded perfectly and tasted super juicy. Clean up wasn’t too bad, since it was mostly liquid, in contrast to a previous attempt at making chicken chicken stroganoff with a lovely baked ring that I’d had a lot of fun attempting to clean up. For recipes like that in the future, I’m going to look for crock pot liners to make for an easier clean up.

I haven’t followed any specific recipe with the shredded chicken, but I’ve added it (with great success) to Kraft Dinner as well as to spinach salads: add a little rice wine vinegar, olive oil and some grape tomatoes and it’s super tasty.

I bought some great looking bacon a week or so ago and realized I needed to make something with it, or it was going to go bad. I also had some gnocchi in the cupboard that was running close to its end date so I decided to
kill two birds with one stone and went hunting for a gnocchi recipe on – you got it, Pinterest. Sept 20_3The recipe I found seemed perfect, as I had most of the ingredients already, and only had to go pick up the heavy cream needed for the sauce. Unfortunately, that proved to be a wee bit problematic as the local grocery stores don’t appear to carry heavy cream, so I decided to chance working with whipping cream. The primary differences between the two (if you aren’t aware) is the percentage of fat content – whipping cream has an average of 33%, where heavy cream is normally closer to 39% or even higher. I figured (correctly) that it probably just wouldn’t make for as thick a sauce, but the taste didn’t seem to suffer in any way. And man oh man, the smell of the bacon and the onions cooking down…soooo good. This is definitely going to get made again and again.

Interested in my other Foodening posts? Check them out by clicking the #FoodeningFriday tag at the bottom of the page, or see the whole “Ambrosial Alliterations” blog collection. Enjoy!

  • Crock pots are super easy, I love them. I have two because I use mine so much. If you eat beans (no icky-squish-factor) you can rehydrate them in your slow cooker overnight on low. Just give them a good rinse before you eat them and you’re done.

    I also like mine for cooking pork, which i didn’t start eating until a few months ago. Boneless pork gets tough so fast, it’s a good piece of meat to do in the slow cooker.

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