Slow Cooker Recipes: Chicken, Beef, Pork

Don’t shun the slow cooker (or crock pot, whatever you want to call it.) I love chopping, dicing, peeling, sauteeing, stirring, blending… but I just don’t always have time to spend an hour or so in the kitchen doing all that great stuff. There are slow-cooker days every week. If I don’t figure that out ahead of time, our options are whatever leftovers may still be edible, sandwiches, or (the horror!) fast food. I like leftovers, but I don’t always enough left to feed us dinner. Sandwiches are great for lunch. I usually don’t want them again for dinner. And fast food… Well, do I really have to say anything? The slow cooker can help us…

Sweet Pepper Chicken
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(from Taste of Home’s Slow Cooker Recipe Cards booklet, 2007.)

Ingredients:
6 bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed (you could substitute chicken pieces of any kind)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 medium green pepper, julienned
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 can (10-3/4 oz) EACH condensed cream of chicken soup and condensed cream of mushroom soup
OR skip the condensed soup and make a quick cream sauce from 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 1/2 cups milk.

Method:

In  a large skillet, brown chicken in oil on both sides. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with mushrooms, onion, and peppers.

Combine the soups; pour over vegetables. OR melt 1/2 cup butter in a sauce pan (medium low heat); whisk in 1/2 cup flour until completely blended, then slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups milk, whisking the whole time. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until beginning to thicken. Season well with salt and pepper to taste, then pour over the vegetables and chicken in the slow cooker.

Cover all and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

Serve with hot cooked rice or pasta.

Sweet-Sour Beef
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(from Taste of Home’s Slow Cooker Recipe Cards booklet, 2007.)

Ingredients:
1 pounds boneless beef round or chuck steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups pearl onions or diced onions
1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Method:

In a large skillet, brown steak in oil; transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker. Add the next 10 ingredients; stir well. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender. Thicken (with cornstarch) if desired.

Serve over rice noodles or rice; garnish with chives or cilantro.

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sausages
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(from Taste of Home’s Slow Cooker Recipe Cards booklet, 2007.)

Ingredients:
8 Italian sausage links (2 pounds) (substitute bratwurst or kielbasa, if desired)
48 ounces spaghetti sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 large green pepper, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons minced fresh)
1 cup water

Method:

Place sausages in a large skillet; cover with water. Simmer 10 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add sausage. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Increase temperature to high; cook 1 hour longer.

Serve in buns or over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.