Wednesday, October 20, 2010

fall recipe exchange, part one: dinner!

i deface books.

sadly, the last of my homegrown basil 

my new favorite shortcut

Crock Pot Chicken Spezzatino or Chicken Zoooooop (as the two year old calls it)
*adapted from an original recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in Everyday Italian, one of my favorite books.  Buy it!

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 celery stalks, cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 chicken breasts with ribs (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
2 (15 ounce) cans great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

Saute the celery, carrots, and onion in olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute another minute.  Dump this mixture into a slow cooker set at high.  Add salt, pepper, tomatoes, broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme. Stir well.  Add chicken and press to submerge.  Cover slow cooker and cook on high for one hour.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 6 to 8 house.  About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, remove the chicken and let cool about 5 minutes. Discard the skin and bones and shred chicken.  Add beans to stew and heat through (about 30 minutes.)  When ready to eat, return chicken to the stew.  Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with more fresh basil.  Serve with warm crusty bread to soak up the yummy broth.

Cook's notes:
1. Honestly, I have no idea how much broth I add.  I pour in "just enough."
2. Sparky and I like things spicy but our girlies aren't quite ready for it.  I've found that swirling a tiny bit of Sriracha into our bowls right before eating adds a nice amount of flavor and heat.  (Where as when I add straight red pepper to the finished stew, it tastes like straight red pepper and not a part of the dish.)
3.  Al dente pasta is a nice addition.
4.  I'm sure you could cook the stew for 8-10 hours on low without the first hour at high.


Thanks to the Pretty Mommy Michelle for organizing the fall recipe exchange and allowing this newbie to take part!


  1. What a nice surprise! I didn't even realize it was your "day" today.

    I love that cookbook, and it's hilarious that you 'deface' your books (I have to admit- no idea why, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books... of course I always fail to keep them in "perfect" condition- especially cookbooks!).

    The soup sounds wonderful and I look forward to trying it. Thanks for the Sriracha tip too. That will definitely solve our spice issue in our home:). On my way to check out your dessert!

  2. Can't wait to put this in the crock pot...and I LOVE that you deface books ;)

  3. I have been wanting to get Everyday Italian but haven't. I just might have to ask Santa for it!
    This dish looks so yummy~ I'm planning on making it Saturday for dinner!

  4. Yum. I love that you write in your books, I can't bring myself to write in mine. However, they have sauce splatters etc galore all over them! I will be making this asap! And the Siracha sounds like a good addition. We are a siracha family (add it to eggs, mayo...)!

  5. Um, yes. This recipe is 100% up my alley. Will be making. Bookmarking now....

  6. Team Crock Pot! (And also Team Deface! I love having a record of making stuff—especially so I don't forget!)

  7. Ok I bought the frozen garlic from trader joes....I had seen it and was quite skeptical until you mentioned it here. I used it last night in my bruscetta. Amazing! So great to have on hand in a pinch. Thanks!!

  8. Yummy! And perfect for cool weather. I too use your shortcut garlic.

    I love the thought that someday your daughter, granddaughter will cherish your handwriting in your cookbooks! It's not defacing; it's recipe journaling!:)

  9. Makin' this tonight! Chicken was on sale- and need a make-ahead dinner... I'll let you know how it turns out!