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Slow cookers and slow cookery

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  • Si_ClistSi_Clist Forumite
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    Thanks folks.  It somehow escaped me that I don't necessarily have to use slow cooker recipes.  That's probably because although I'm good at following instructions, I actually haven't a clue what I'm doing yet when it comes to anything beyond baking bread, biscuits or scones :)
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  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    you you don’t need to look for slow cooker recipes, just do your normal stuff only cook it in the slow cooker instead of the oven.  If you want a really easypeasy chicken casserole, use onions, maybe some carrots, maybe peas, maybe celery (I.e. whatever veg you fancy/have lying around) plus chicken pieces and bung a can of condensed chicken or mushroom soup in instead of chicken stock.
  • Si_ClistSi_Clist Forumite
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    Hopefully one final question - it looks like the cheapest chicken thighs are bone-in, skin-on.  Are they OK for making a chicken casserole?
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  • mrs_motivatedmrs_motivated Forumite
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    Yes, they will be fine. The skin won’t crisp so you will need to remove it after cooking and fish the bones out as the chicken will fall off the bones. 
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  • missychrissymissychrissy Forumite
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    just to confuse you Si I never see much point in doing chicken in the SC. Thighs will cook in half an hour in oven and in less time chopped and on the hob. SC is great for tougher cuts. Sometimes I buy a small frozen beef or lamb joint in Aldi. Defrost and add with a bag of dried soup mix, carrots and onions. You need slightly more water when using pulses cos they absorb the water as they cook. Don’t add salt either if using pulses or they can go tough, add salt after. 
    I agree to some extent about potatoes in SC. If you put them in at beginning they not so nice but you can add them about an hour from the end. 
    I have had 3 SCs now and they were all different.  I had one that was too slow. You just have to try it and see. 
    Tomorrow, I am buying a ham joint. Then il soak 1 kg of marrowfat peas overnight and then following day I’ll SC with the ham and onions and enough water to just cover. Nice with mashed pots and plenty of portions of ham and/or peas to freeze. I live on my own but always cook in bulk, saves on fuel and effort.
  • MontysmamMontysmam Forumite
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    I call my slow cooker, my personal chef! I have health issues so can really not face cooking sometimes, the slow cooker is brilliant! I use a 3.5l for 2 of us (My DD is vegetarian so cook hers separately in a smaller one), we tend to have a portion each one day, then again the next. I cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker (place it on top of balls of foil to keep it sat up out of cooking juices) I pop it on low for the day and it literally falls apart! Chicken thighs cook extremely well in the slow cooker too, delicious with some chopped peppers, courgette, aubergine, tin tomatoes, crushed garlic and a vegetable stockpot. Enjoy !
  • Si_ClistSi_Clist Forumite
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    Montysmam said:
    I cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker (place it on top of balls of foil to keep it sat up out of cooking juices) I pop it on low for the day and it literally falls apart!
    Love the idea of the balls.  Forgive the dumb questions, but is that "a whole chicken" as in cheapo chicken straight from the supermarket bunged in the slow cooker straight out the bag, or what?  And what do you do with it when it's fallen apart?
    BTW, hopefully Morrison's won't still be OOS of what I need when they deliver tomorrow morning, then with any luck I can do something in the slow cooker ready to surprise The Lady Wife when she gets back from the hospital :smile:
    A positive attitude might not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to make the effort worthwhile
  • edited 6 July at 12:56PM
    NargleblastNargleblast Forumite
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    edited 6 July at 12:56PM
    You can plonk your chicken on a bed of onions, carrots, potatoes. Just add water or stock to about half way up the chicken (some people add more to generate more stock) and cook, you need to check on amount of time depending on size of chicken. When cooked, fish out  bones and skin and put all the meat on a plate. Some you can eat with veg and gravy, some can go in a pie, some can be curried, some can go in sandwiches or salads, in other words anything you use chicken meat for. When the cooking juices are completely cold there will be a layer of fat on the top which can be used in frying or roasting, or used in making Jewish-style dumplings. The stock can be boiled up till it has reduced by half, to make chicken stock for recipes, or you can use it as is in soups and sauces and gravies. 
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  • coffeehoundcoffeehound Forumite
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    missychrissy said:
    ... but I use a lot of pulses: lentils; split peas; marrow fat peas; barley etc. 
    @missychrissy -- can I ask: with lentils, can you put them in raw, or do they need to be soaked etc?
  • edited 6 July at 12:57PM
    greenbeegreenbee Forumite
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    edited 6 July at 12:57PM
    I poach chicken in the SC - chicken, onion, carrot, celery, leek, parsley stalks, bay leaf, peppercorns and then fill up with water. That way I get delicious tender chicken, AND broth. If I have chicken wings I add those. And once the meat has been dealt with I then use the bones (which i may freeze if I want to wait) to make another batch of broth. The veg from the broth is whizzed up with some of the broth and possibly some of the meat to make soup. 
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