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Slow Cooker Comfort

After a busy day there is nothing better than coming home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal. Yes! It’s time to dust off the crock pot!

When gloomy weather has you feeling a little down, a warm and hearty meal can be so comforting. You can do all the prep in the morning, and dinner can be ready right when you walk in the door! Simply “Set It and Forget It”!

Slow Cookers are wonderful way to utilize tougher cuts of big-flavored meat. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili, spicy pork, or a delicious lamb curry. My recipe for Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt is a household favorite – it’s bursting with flavor!

And crock pots aren’t just for entrees either – I also love to make a batch of Slow-Cooker Citrus Maple Oatmeal.  Top it with some Greek yogurt, dried fruits, or coconut milk – it’s the perfect way to start off a lazy Sunday morning!

And the best part about these cozy meals? They make incredible leftovers! So turn on your crock pot and let d’liciousness simmer away!
-Kathy

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.

Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.

Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Slow-Cooker Citrus Maple Oatmeal
Be sure to use steel cut oats for this preparation. Serve with some fun toppings, like fresh blueberries or sliced bananas—and brown sugar for those who like their oats a touch sweeter.

Makes enough for 6 servings

3 Sunkist® Cara Cara Oranges, juiced
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together orange juice, water, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Generously spray inside of a 3-4 quart slow-cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add oats and then pour in liquid mixture; stir. Set cooker to low heat and cook for 7-8 hours.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

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