Slow Cooker

Nov 8th, 2023

Slow Cooker

I asked my Mum for a slow cooker for my birthday this year. In fact, she and my brother bought me a much more impressive beast – it is in fact a multi-function cooker which slow cooks, sous vides, roasts and boils. It is also a rice cooker which has pleased R no end, because he has wanted one for ages and I vetoed this on the grounds that we already had one – it is called “a pan”. But regardless, he can now test his theory that all those Chinese people cannot be wrong.

Here is the big beast (6.5l) in question.

I made a chicken tagine to try it out. I browned off an onion, a red pepper, a handful of blanched almonds with two chicken breasts (large ones cut into four pieces) in olive oil in a pan. Then I added a punnet of cherry tomatoes, some chopped black garlic, a lemon cut into quarters (preserved lemon is more authentic but I didn’t have any). I put in saffron, ras al hanout and fried a bit more. Then I transferred it to the slow cooker – here it is uncooked.

I covered the mixture with chicken stock and added some honey. In a sane world I would also have added dried apricots and raisins – but as R doesn’t like them, I didn’t. Then I put the lid on and put it to cook on “fast mode” which takes four hours. The same would work on “slow mode” which takes eight hours. After 3.5 hours I added a goodly quantity of olives and gave it a stir – tasting indicated that it was perfectly cooked at this point.

I left it to the end of the cycle to warm the olives through and served it on a bed of couscous, garnished with lemons and coriander and pitta breads on the side.

It was really good and I am looking forward to using the slow cooker in the future as it is a very trouble free and power efficient way of cooking. I still think that chicken breast is inherently very dry though – the meat in this tagine was tender enough, but it still had a dry texture. I much prefer legs or thighs but sadly R disagrees.