Making, Recipes

Slow Cooking #2

March 15, 2014

Flushed with the success and energy saving smugness of the slow cooker chicken, I decided to make further use of the slow cooker with the leftovers.

Stock
I put the carcass, the giblets, the carrot tops and tails and some very sorry looking brussel sprouts back in the slow cooker (saved on washing up as well!) with some water and turned it onto low for the rest of the evening after tea. The resultant stock was the real deal, and once it had cooled, it went a bit jelly like, like the posh stuff you see in the tubs in the likes of M&S :)

Slow Cooker Risotto
I was a little dubious about trying this one, but I did, and much to my surprise it worked pretty well!

This is what you need:

  • 300g risotto rice
  • a knob of butter
  • 2 leeks-sliced thin-ish
  • a splash of white wine or vermouth (optional)
  • 800ml chicken stock (see above!)
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon, or other herb you might like
  • leftover chicken meat-as much or as little as you want
  • mascarpone/parmesan/cream if you fancy

This is what you do:

  • turn your slow cooker on the High
  • melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the leeks
  • add the rice and fry for a minute or so
  • add the vermouth and stir until it has nearly all been absorbed
  • add the chicken stock, chicken meat and tarragon
  • bring to the boil
  • chuck in the slow cooker and leave for 45mins
  • check and add more boiling water if necessary
  • at the end of the cooking time, stir in some mascarpone or cheese etc

I was really surprised at how quickly the ‘slow’ cooker cooked the rice, and it was yummy, and saved all the standing around stirring-not that I ever constantly stir my risotto, but I do need to keep remembering to periodically dash back and add more stock before it sticks..!

Energy Saving
I was unsure whether or not the slow cooker would still add up, for such a relatively short cooking time, and it is hard to compare really, as the hob is gas, and the slow cooker is electric. AND i couldn’t find much information about the energy usage of gas hobs. The best I could come up with was that the ‘average energy use per use’ of a gas hob, was 0.9kWhrs. According to my calculations yesterday, the slow cooker on for an hour, would use 0.29kWhrs.
So as my kids like to say, “Winner winner chicken dinner” again for the slow cooker!

Anyone got any tried and tested Slow Cooker recipes?
I am intrigued at the idea of jacket potatoes (how long do I cook them for, and is the skin still crispy?), and I really want to try a cake in it!