what’s cookin’ good lookin’? (valentine’s dinner at home)

Yes it’s Valentine’s Day, but it is a school night in my house. So I am cooking. Call it family date night.  Believe it or not it is already in the crock pot and will burble happily while I get on with my day.  I will serve over Carolina Gold rice and a salad will accompany.  Dessert is a cinnamon-maple kissed cheese cake.

This chicken recipe is all me and not an exact science. I am a pinch here, to taste there kind of gal.  Sort of Nigella Lawson meets Ina Garten with a dash of Carla Hall – I use recipes as guides and create and tweak from there.  This recipe was born out of reading and being bored by most chicken paprika, chicken rosa, and chicken cacciatore recipes. But it is still quite tasty, my Valentine’s Chicken (it got a name today – after all it is a very yummy thing and deserves a better name than “chicken in the crock pot.”)

Valentine’s Chicken

1 cut up chicken

1 can Italian Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)

1 small can tomato paste

1 bunch of leeks cleaned and cut into thin circles

As many Crimini/Baby Bello mushrooms as you would like

1 small to medium onion, rough chopped

3-4 stalks of celery cleaned and chopped

2-3 cloves fresh garlic MINCED

fresh rosemary

fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

2 red bell peppers chopped

Regular Paprika

Smoked Paprika

Hot Paprika

Tumeric (just a dash)

Salt to taste

Regular Pepper



White wine

Flour to dredge mixed with Paprikas, salt, garlic and a small bowl of milk

Olive oil to brown and sear chicken

BIG crock pot

6 hours to do nothing after

Turn your crock pot on low.  Into the bottom layer part of the onion, leeks, red peppers, garlic, mushrooms.

Warm a pan with a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom.  Set up your dredging station for the chicken: chicken ready to go, small bowl of milk, flour with herbs and spices.  Dunk chicken pieces in milk then dredge in flour, then brown and sear in pan, a couple of minutes a side.

Layer chicken into crock pot with more of the veggies (as above), until done.

Open the tomatoes, pour over top of all evenly.  Open can of paste and dollop on.  Add the herbs, spices, salt, pepper, etc.

Cook on low crock pot setting approximately 6-7 hours.  With my crock pot, six should do it.  At the 3 hour point, carefully remove lid and toss your dish gently in the crock pot to mix, not mush.  Toss in 1/3 cup (or more, depending on your taste and how much room you have in your crock pot) white wine and minced fresh parsley, or red wine and ignore another 3 -4 hours.

Serve over rice.  I am thinking Carolina Gold from Charleston.

This recipe is not an exact science.  It is sort of paprika chicken meets chicken cacciatore.  I do it in the crock pot to give myself a break.

Serves a small army or a family and then leftovers…


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