Saturday, January 8, 2011

Caribbean Chicken & Squash

Since I was going travelling to visit my family and my fiance over Christmas and New Years, I was worried that I would have to take a long break from the crock pot blog because I wouldn't be making anything.  But, since I had gotten my sister a crock pot for her birthday and she was driving home to my parents' house before Christmas, she said she would bring it and we could make the very first recipe in it!

She wanted to make a chicken recipe, so we searched online for an interesting recipe to make, finally settling on Caribbean Chicken & Squash.  (In fact, has a whole section dedicated to crock pot recipes, which is useful if you don't have a cookbook and want to get some ideas.  I actually have a feed from that site on my igoogle home page.)  My sister went out and got the ingredients the night before and we prepared it together in the morning (as you can see from the dual cutting station in this image).

This recipe is super easy because you are just putting everything in the crock pot together (except for the chicken): butternut squash, onion, a can of diced tomatoes, water or broth (we used just water), curry powder and fresh ginger root.  If you've been reading this blog you will not be surprised to know that I did not add the salt.

Then you just stir all of this together before laying the chicken on top (the recipe calls for chicken thighs, but we used boneless, skinless chicken breasts).  Now, my sister and I had a debate about the chicken while we were making this recipe.  She thought that it would be much better if the chicken were on the bottom or mixed in with the rest of the dish, because then all the spices would get mixed in with the chicken.  Generally, I agreed with her, but since what I do with this blog is review recipes, I cannot really give the recipe a fair review unless I follow the instructions to the best of my ability.

So, we put the chicken on top before cooking it on low for 8-10 hours.  Of course, after the chicken is done cooking, you actually just cut it into pieces and then mix everything together so it does end up just all being mixed together in the end.  And honestly, were I to make this recipe again, I'd probably cut the chicken into pieces and mix everything together from the beginning.

So this is what it looked like when all finished.

We served this dish with rice and actually when my mom and I had leftovers for dinner after Christmas, we served the dish on top of the rice which was even better.  The funny thing is that I'm not even sure that my sister had any of this dish because she decided after we put the crock pot together that instead of having dinner with us, she was going to go stay over with one of her friends from high school.  My thoughts?  It was good.  It might have been slightly better if we had "hot" curry instead of just regular curry because I thought it could've used a little more kick to it (and I even added Tabasco sauce to it when I ate it as leftovers).  In terms of whether or not the chicken should have been placed on top of everything like the recipe says or not, my sister was right in the end about how best to cook this dish.  As I said above, were I to make this again, I'd cut the chicken into pieces from the beginning, throw everything in together, and stir.

My mom and I each had two servings of this while I was at home, and I estimate that there were maybe three more servings to be had when I left--a lot more than the 4 servings it says the recipe makes.  In terms of cost, my sister only spent $9.93 on the necessary groceries (tomatoes, chicken, and squash--my mother already had an onion, curry powder and ginger root), making this dish come out to about $1.42 per serving.  Even with the other ingredients, ginger root is about $4.99/lb, you can get onions in a bag for next to nothing (online at my local grocery store, they're $1.00 for a 3lb bag), and curry powder is probably about $3.00.  Even with all those ingredients added in, you're not going to go much over $2.00 per serving.  In terms of healthiness, if you're trying to watch your weight, this dish only has about 125 calories in it (not counting the rice--brown rice is about 109 calories for 1/2 cup).  So, not very heavy on the waistline or the wallet... perfect for the graduate student lifestyle.

1 comment:

  1. When John was home he actually turned it into a soup and added some more 'kick' to it. He, mom, and I all had some and it was really good. Can't tell you what he did, but it was goooood.