We are heading into our first “real” winter. The Godfather and I have never actually lived somewhere with “seasons” in the traditional sense. We knew rainy season and not so rainy, blistering hot, and the beach at Christmas – not snow. I really don’t want to think about that right now. I want to cling to the last few rays of warm sunshine, revel in the amazing fall colors and crisp apple-picking weather to come, and not think about what’s coming after. It’s still swimsuit season here and we shall eat accordingly.
Kidding. Kind of. But it never hurts to have an easy and healthy tropical-inspired dish to provide a pick-me-up in any weather (even if it is actually still really nice outside right now).
One thing I love about Cuban food is that so many of the recipes rely on using fresh herbs and vegetables for flavor, making it a very easy cuisine to incorporate when eating clean.
This chicken recipe is inspired by the standard grilled chicken you’d get at most Cuban restaurants – lots of citrus, lots of garlic, a little parsley, and onions. I used limes in the recipe because they’re easier to find, BUT, if you can find fresh naranja agria (sour orange), please please PLEASE use this in the same quantities. The flavor is amazing and it’s even more authentic.
Clean eating with Caribbean flair - a Cuban-inspired crockpot chicken
Author: Goodie Godmother
Recipe type: Main Dish, Slow Cooker
2.5-3 lb organic chicken, gizzards removed
8 cloves garlic
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
½ c fresh parsley, roughly chopped
½ tsp kosher salt
1 medium onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Slice the onion into strips, then toss with the olive oil. Put the onions in your crock pot and set aside.
Smash the 8 cloves of garlic and then using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, combine the garlic, lime juice, lime zest, parsley, and salt to form a very chunky paste. If you use the food processor, just pulse 2-3 times for about a second.
Rub the garlic mixture all over the chicken, then place the chicken in the crock pot. Pour over any remaining marinade.
Cook the chicken on low 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours until cooked through.
Can you be BFFs with a website? Because I think my BFFN (best friend for now) social media website has to be Pinterest. I thought it was Instagram (and I still love my picture feed), but Pinterest is my favorite way to pass a few minutes before bed each day looking at pretty pictures, planning my dream closet, getting ideas for our next home, discovering recipes, it’s a wealth of inspiration!
As with all friendships though, one must be realistic. I know you aren’t perfect Pinterest, and that’s okay. I will never be able to get my nails to look as lovely as the tutorial examples filling your pages, and I know better than to try some of the “there is no way this is as easy as it looks” DIY ideas waiting to go wrong, but I was drawn to your promise of crockpot bread. That, and I had some bread flour I needed to finish using before we began our road trip. I swore this was going to be a Pinterest Fail (and a likely submission to this Pinterest Fail blog), but IT WORKED!
Not only did it work once, I made it AGAIN, and it worked that time too! And then I found out that the bread blog that held the original link to the inspiration recipe not only had one crock pot bread recipe, but an entire section in a cookbook devoted to bread in the slow cooker. So my guaranteed “I can play with this recipe as much as I want because it’ll never work” Pinterest fail turned into a pretty impressive success. Yay me. And soon yay you.
Place the warm water, sugar, and yeast into a large bowl and allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes until the mixture bubbles.
Add the salt. Mix in one cup of the flour, then add half a cup of the asiago cheese and the rosemary, then a second cup of flour, then the rest of the asiago, and then the last cup of flour.
Mix just until the dough is wet, you don't want to over-mix the bread! Add water if needed to make sure all the dough is wet. It is a sticky dough.
Allow to rise for about two hours, or until doubled in volume. This rise can also be accomplished overnight in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to bake, cut a sheet of parchment paper large enough to fit into your crock pot and sprinkle with flour to prevent the bread from sticking.
Flour your hands and gently lift the bread out of the bowl, shape carefully into a round and place on your parchment paper.
Lift the entire sheet of parchment paper into your crockpot, top with the remaining cheese and rosemary then allow to bake for either 3-4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low. The sides will be golden and the top will be lightly firm when the bread is done. If you'd like the nice brown color on the asiago cheese topping, use a kitchen torch or your broiler for a few minutes to heat the top of the bread.
Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.
This post updated October 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project. There are no old photos because apparently I was so embarrassed that I removed them previously and left the post without pictures.
Baby Girl entered our lives just under twelve weeks ago. Some things have changed dramatically, and other things have stayed the same, but the one thing that absolutely floors me is how quickly the time is passing. I saw one of her birth announcements on our living room table this weekend and then looked at the little girl in my arms and I paused as I marveled at the amount of change that has happened in such a short time. Then, as if to really emphasize this, I baked for a friend’s son’s first birthday two weeks ago and I’m baking for another friend’s son’s first birthday party this weekend. I clearly remember having cinnamon rolls and Dance Revolution parties and baking for her baby shower while she was expecting. This happened last week I’m pretty sure, but the calendar is saying something different.
Since my calendar is clearly trying to cheat me out of “living” time (maybe you too), we must devise crafty ways to fight back! Enter the slow cooker. Ya’ll know I’m a fan after discovering that not all crock pot meals have to include processed “cream of something”.
This soup makes me happy. I love how filling it is and it makes the house smell amazing. The barley is a great substitution to rice or pasta because it doesn’t get all mushy in the slow cooker or the refrigerator if you have leftovers (we did). I’m not sure if you can freeze the leftovers with the barley. Maybe? If you’ve had experience freezing barley I’d love for you to leave a comment below and share your wisdom.
If you have an herb garden, this recipe also serves as a fabulous excuse to use up any basil you have on hand for the pesto (or try an arugula pesto for a bit of a spicier kick since really, leftover basil?). You can also just use jarred pesto, but seriously, homemade pesto is easy with a food processor. (Future blog post? Check!)
Now go forth and reclaim that time the calendar keeps sneaking away!
This slow cooker pulled pork recipe post was updated 8/2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better pictures to already delicious recipes!
Hello dolls! That chill is in the air and I’ve finally spared a minute to blog again!
The Godfather and I were in Florida for a few weeks visiting family; I didn’t pack a computer and I abhor typing long messages on my phone. Then we came back and I had a wild baking schedule, but it felt so good to be back in the kitchen with my tools. Neither the Godfather’s mother or my own are bakers and we had to get a little creative in the kitchen when working with limited tools. Regardless, it was a wonderful trip. One of the downsides to being a military family is living far from relatives most of the time, so we cherish the moments when we do get to see them. (more…)