Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Mable Hoffman's Crockery Cookery" by Mable Hoffman - Red & Gold Sweet-Sour Crockpot Chicken

Date I made this recipe: January 20, 2007

Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery by Mable Hoffman
Published by: HPBooks © 1995
ISBN: 1-55788-217-7
Recipe: Red & Gold Sweet-Sour Chicken – p. 139

Well, it had to happen sometime. The weather got colder here in Minnesota, we actually had a snowfall that stuck around for a while and so you know what that means, right? It’s time for the Crock Pot.

Now, once upon a time, my Crock Pot got quite the workout. I used it at home and I even took it on the road when friends and I went on cross-country ski trips. I mean, what’s not to love about a pot to which you add almost all your ingredients and then plug in to cook slowly over the day?

Except in today’s world, I don’t have time to wait 10 to 12 hours for my dinner to be done. And the thing that really annoys me is deciding what I want to eat 10 to 12 hours in advance. I’m kind of an “I want what I want when I want it” gal.

So yeah, team, there on page 139 was a recipe that took only 5 hours with minimal ingredients and so I was all set and ready to go…except, I left the grocery shopping too long and ended up starting this dish at 3:00 p.m. For those keeping track of time, this meant that my husband and I ate around 8:45 or so. Oh well, it was worth the wait. Besides, the football playoff games were on so it’s not like I didn’t have something to grab my attention in the meantime.

Red & Gold Sweet-Sour Chicken – serves 4-6
Mable notes that “You’ll be proud to present this colorful dish on a bed of rice” so that’s exactly what I did!
1 (2 ½ to 3 ½ lb.) broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 red bed pepper, cut into chunks
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup jicama strips

Place chicken and onion in a slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine broth, brown sugar, vinegar, hoisin sauce and salt. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW about 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Turn control to HIGH. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into chicken mixture in cooker. Add bell pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in mango and jicama. Cover and cook 5 minutes.

And now for some notes: In one of my recipe reviews, I bemoaned the apparent loss of a 4 pork chop package. I found 3 chops but never 4 which was what I needed. The same thing happened with the chicken: I went looking for a whole boiler-fryer but instead, could only find packages of legs, or packages of thighs or packages of breasts, but never the whole enchilada. So I bought a 4 pound (the only size they had) package of breasts, and even then, the breasts were so large and there were so many of them that I ended up freezing two of them. I’m feeling another crock pot recipe coming on (from another book, naturally).

As to the vegetables, I think they need to cook longer. I’m okay with crunchy peppers but I prefer them to be a little softer.

And then there was the jicama. I took my chef’s knife, split it in two and….ew….it was rotten to the core. I have no idea how I could have figured that out before buying it but suffice it to say, the entire thing ended up in the trash. So alas, dear reader, I cannot comment on whether or not the jicama added anything to the dish but the rest of the meal was just what this gal needed on a colder-than-we’ve-had-for-weeks Minnesota winter night.

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