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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Slow-cooked Chicken with Pan-seared Carrots and Leeks Spinach Salad

pan-seared carrots leeks spinach salad slow cooked chicken

The Crockette® by Rival is a tiny 1-Quart slow cooker that was a garage sale find a few years ago and now has become my favorite cooking apparatus. With very little time left for cooking elaborate meals on weeknights, I look for short-cuts and prepare-ahead methods without sacrificing the variety or taste of our meals.

Before I hit the bed, I throw in a couple of small chicken breasts with some favorite rub or herbs into the Crockette and leave it on all night. With only one setting, and its unique ability to never dry out and burn the foods, this slow cooking renders the chicken breasts superbly moist, flaky, and tender by next morning. And sometimes, I've forgotten to unplug it when I rush off to work and it still keeps the chicken perfectly done till dinner time that evening.

I like to combine this juicy fall-apart chicken with a fresh warm salad for a filling weeknight meal. Carrots and leeks cooked in a high heat cast-iron skillet gives the charred rich flavor. Toss the hot carrots and leeks with a bunch of baby spinach leaves and allow the spinach to wilt a bit. Drizzle with red wine vinegar if preferred.

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