I asked for a crock pot cookbook for Christmas this year, thinking that an actual book would help me stay motivated and organized in my efforts to complete #10 on my 30 Before 30 list. I have a tendency to bookmark random recipes on blogs or from friends’ links, and it often means that I’m left without anything very appealing when I actually decide to cook. Or, I’m left with endless recipes for things containing black beans, sweet potatoes, or both.
I am going through a pretty intense sweet potato phase right now, and the obsession seems to be mostly confined to baking the sweet potatoes and topping them with a little butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Sweet potatoes are so good that they really don’t need much embellishment, and the few times that I have tried recipes with sweet potatoes and a bunch of other crap, I’ve been disappointed.
This stew is very, very, VERY simple – it basically contains carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and chicken. It is proof of either my dedication to this Handmade52 project or my interest in this particular recipe that I actually bought, cleaned, and cut chicken breasts. I am really intimidated by raw meat, and this was actually the very first time that I bought and cooked chicken on my own. In spite of my poor parents’ endless lessons on cleaning and cooking chicken in any number of ways, I am both grossed out texturally and squicked by the whole “it’s raw chicken be carefullllll” thing. But I suffered through it, and maybe it wasn’t as bad as I feared. (I’m not going to start cooking it often, but at least I’ve, you know, done it.)
The main problem with this recipe is that it sort of doesn’t fit into my easy-quick-set it up before work crock pot expectations. There’s a lot of peeling and cubing of the ingredients. It took me about a half an hour to get this all ready, and adding a half hour to my morning routine to cut up raw chicken is not really in the cards. So I saved this for a day off, and that meant being able to cook it on high rather than all damn day. It started smelling really tasty just as I sat down around 5pm to get through the end of the book I’ve been reading this week, and it was hard to wait the remaining two hours to eat. The flavor is hard to describe, and not one that I’ve tasted before. Something about the combination of spices made this much tastier than I expected. Maybe it was the celery seeds? Either way, I really enjoyed this, and am looking forward to having it again!
Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
From Crock-Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes
Makes 6 servings
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (mine were gigantic)
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used a whole hell of a lot of baby carrots)
1 can (28 ounces) whole stewed tomatoes, undrained (I might just used diced next time)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Combine chicken, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes with juice, salt, paprika, celery seeds, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and broth in the slow cooker. Cover, cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. To serve, sprinkle with basil.