Here is a totally different flavored chicken laced with some subtle spices, currants, and honey in a tomato based sauce that uses cooked salsa. It is a recipe designed to feed 2 to 4 in a small slow cooker. Everyone will love it and it is a great go-to recipe for the winter holidays as it can be multiplied to feed more than two and made in a larger slow cooker. It is a brilliantly simple recipe that tastes like a whole lot more. It is adapted for the slow cooker from one of the best cookbook series in print, The Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough (Houghton Mifflin). This came from year 1999. Serve with my microwave couscous (recipe follows) for the authentic side dish.
Recommended Size: 1 1/2 to 3 quart cooker
Machine Setting: Low
Cook Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours
Serves 2, maybe, with leftovers
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 (3/4 to 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and dried
- 1 cup jarred tomato salsa (Mexican-style: I use Salsa de Luna or Newman’s Chunky)
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt, to taste
Spray the cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 minute. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels; coarsely chop. (Alternatively, you can just use packaged toasted sliced almonds.)
Add garlic to skillet and cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add chicken thighs and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. (Alternately, you can broil the thighs.) Transfer to the crock. Combine the salsa, currants, honey, cumin, and cinnamon and pour over the thighs.
Cover and cook on LOW for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the chicken is fork-tender and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Season to taste. Serve over couscous, topped with the toasted almonds.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook for Two, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2005, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Couscous is the Moroccan version of pasta, made from finely sieved semolina, durum wheat that has had the germ and bran removed, the endosperm (the semolina) steamed, dried, and cracked. We adore this microwave recipe and end up eating it with just about any chicken braise, vegetable dish, or lamb tagine. Once you prepare couscous, you might find yourself making it as often as rice and potatoes. It is a wonderfully satisfying grain side dish. If you do the couscous plain with just water, add a pinch of salt. There is now a whole wheat couscous available.
Cookware: 1-quart or 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup
Microwave Wattage: 1,100 to 1,300
Total Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes
Standing Time: 5 to 8 minutes before cooking
2/3 cup couscous
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/3 cups couscous
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth, room temperature
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Place the couscous in the measuring cup (use the 1-quart for 2, and the 2-quart for 4) and add the oil; toss with a fork to coat the grains. Add the liquid and stir. Let stand on the counter; it will be absorbed in 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and microcook on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot and steamy. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and fluff with a fork and serve immediately.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cooking, by Beth Hensperger (c) 2010, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.