Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crock-Pot Cider Chicken with Root Vegetables

I LOVE my Crock-Pot. It is an undying love that grows more each time I cook in it. It’s the easiest way to make dinner. It really doesn’t get much better than this. My apartment smells like good food all day and when I’m done working, I can just wander into the kitchen and fix myself a plate of something delicious. It’s like someone else made dinner for me.

Last Friday, my parents arrived in Pittsburgh for a visit. Knowing that they’d be tired after their drive, I wanted to make dinner for them. Also knowing that they might like to chat with me upon their arrival and/or go out for coffee, I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen for an hour or two. I looked through my cookbooks, pantry, fridge, and freezer, and came up with cider chicken with root vegetables.

I put all the ingredients in the Crock-Pot and had plenty of time to clean the kitchen before Mom and Dad arrived. By the time they did, the apartment smelled like apples and onions. 

Root veggies relaxin' in the crock

Crock-Pot Cider Chicken

6 medium turnips, peeled
8 fingerling sweet potatoes, peeled
Bunch of small carrots (or 3 large carrots), peeled
Small sweet onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 ½ c. apple cider
2 large (or 4 small) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen ones from Trader Joe's and didn’t thaw them before cooking)

Layer all vegetables in the bottom of the crock. Place chicken breasts on top. Pour cider over all. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serves 4. (This made lots of extra sauce. It may be a good idea to use less cider next time, although this time I’m planning to use the leftover as a base for soup.)

All done...everything is moist and falling apart (but not mushy). Didn't even need a knife for the chicken.

Wine pairing: I served the chicken with Pinot Gris from Bet the Farm Winery and Gourmet Market (in the town where I went to college). The Pinot Gris is dry and fruity, matching the cider flavors and cutting the mild sweetness of the dish. With or without the Cider Chicken, I bet you'll love this wine.

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