Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew

A friend got this out of a magazine... I'm not sure of the author or magazine, so I am sorry for not giving them credit. It was a simple, yet delicious dish. I will definitely have this on my winter rotation. Nothing like a hearty stew, made simply in a crock pot, on a cool night! I was a little hesitant to make this since many times I make chicken in a crock pot it doesn't come out that great. The chicken was super tender and flavorful. We served with kale salad and crusty Rosemary and Olive Oil bread. This would also be good served over jasmine or sticky rice!

Slow Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew

The recipe asks for chicken thighs but I just used 3 breast and cut them up into bite size pieces.


* 6 tbs plus 1/2c all-purpose flour, divided (I used 4T since I cut down the chicken)
* 1 tsp salt, divided plus more to taste
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

* OPTIONAL- a few dashes of ground cayenne red pepper* 2 1/2lbs of chicken ( your choice) (I think I used just under 2 lbs)
* 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 3 pieces bacon, chopped (I used 4 pieces... I know, rebel!)
* 14oz of stout beer ( i used 1 bottle of guiness- I think the bottle was 11.5 oz)
* 1lb of whole baby carrots (Cut stems off)
* 1 8oz pkg cremini or button mushroom, halved if large (I used reg white whole mushrooms and cut them in half)
* 2 c of chopped onion (I used one medium sweet onion)
* 4 cloves of garlic, minced 
* 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme ( i just used whatever i had) (I used fresh thyme, about 1 tsp)
* 1 c reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 2 c frozen baby peas, thawed (I'm not a big pea fan so I used 3/4 c of frozen baby peas)

1.) Combine 6 tbs flour with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper in shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in mixture to coat completely; transfer to plate. (I added a few dashes of ground Cayenne Red Pepper to flour mixture to give a bit of a kick)

2.) Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook all the chicken till browned and then transfer to slow cooker.

3.) Add bacon to the pan and cook, stirring often then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly for 2 min or more. Add beer and use a wooden spoon to scrape up andy browned its from the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme, spreading in even layers over the chicken. Pour broth over the top.

4.) Cover and cook until the chicken is falling apart tender, 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low. (I cooked mine on medium for 6 1/2 hours, then added peas and cooked on low another 30 mins)

5.) Stir in peas, cover and cook until the peas are heated through, 5 to 10 min more. Season the rest with salt and pepper to taste. If you want the stew thicker and flour or corn starch towards the end.

I cut up 3 chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Mix flour with seasonings)

Coat chicken in flour mixture

Brown chicken in a bit of olive oil (just enough to coat bottom of pan) Once browned, remove chicken and put into slow cooker.

Add chopped up bacon to same pan you used to fry up chicken

Once bacon is done and crispy, but not burnt, add the extra flour

Stir well mixing that yummy bacon grease with the flour

Add your beer...

Stir well, scraping sides. Add mixture to slow cooker and stir in with the chicken.

Chicken and beer/bacon mixture in slow cooker

Baby carrots, chopped onion and mushrooms cut in half

Place veggies on top of chicken in slow cooker along with garlic, thyme and more seasoning if you wish.

Add chicken broth. Cover and cook on medium-low for 6-8 hours

hour left to cook...

added defrosted baby peas with 30 minutes left

Tender and flavorful. 


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