A Year of Recipes: #12

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In my haste to prep the night before, I did not get an ingredient shot. I hope this snazzy closeup of sesame seeds toasting is an acceptable substitute.

I always feel a major sense of accomplishment when I am able to cook mid-week.  Between things like keeping my house clean, blogging and squeezing in a workout, I rarely find myself with time to spare. With careful planning, I was able to do a crockpot meal today, however!

The meal I chose was an asian inspired Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken.  The recipe basically involves creating the sauce and then cooking your chicken in it for a few hours.  The night before cooking I prepared the sauce and left that in an airtight container so all I would have to do is pour it into the crockpot.  I also toasted my sesame seeds ahead of time.

I went home on my lunch break, dashing into my house quickly to get the meal up and running. Put the chicken in the crockpot. Coat with sauce. Turn on low.  Done.  I was impressed with how quickly it went.

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Practically fell apart!

A few hours later I returned to a nice smelling house. That’s one of the things I love about using my crockpot – the smells!  The second I open the door from the garage to the house I feel excitement, knowing something tasty most likely awaits.

As per the directions, I removed the chicken and shredded it in a bowl. I barely had to touch the chicken to pull it apart, another great benefit of using the crockpot.  I then used cornstarch to thicken the remaining sauce.  It didn’t seem to get much thicker, so perhaps I needed to add more cornstarch?  Nevertheless, it was fine when I added the chicken back to soak up the rest of the sauce.

The most labor intensive part of this recipe was serving it.  I take my leftovers seriously, so I decided to go ahead and cook six servings of quinoa to go with the six suggested servings of chicken.  Sidenote: my mom taught me it’s pronounced quin-oa, not qui-no-a.  Thanks!

IMG_5083I used a steamer bag of broccoli and realized it was a little small and it would probably be best to only add the broccoli to half of my servings now, and steam another bag later for the last three. I only added the toasted sesame seeds to those three servings as well. In a few days I can toast more seeds and steam more broccoli.

I did not add scallions because as much as I love them, they tend to upset my stomach and I’ve had a lot of Sriracha this week so I didn’t want to test my limits.  I bet they would be a great addition to the recipe.

My mom would be ashamed of my Tupperware collection, but it gets the job done.

I told you I take my leftovers seriously.  My mom would be ashamed of my Tupperware collection, but it gets the job done.

Overall, I am happy with how this turned out. The flavor was a little more soy saucy than I expected and overpowered many of the other flavors. However, that it wasn’t bad, but I would use less next time so I could pick up more of the other flavors. The strong flavor was beneficial, however, because sometimes dishes with a non-creamy sauce like this can end up tasting a little bland as the sauce doesn’t get picked up by much of the food.

Finished product.  My shot of the meal in-tupperware turned out best...oops.

Finished product. And of course the picture of the meal in tupperware turned out to be the best…oh well 🙂

Taste: 2.5/4 – good, just not what I expected, some flavors were overpowered
Ease: 3.5/4
Guiltless: 3/4
Leftovers: 4/4 – As seen in the picture, I made up my tupperware ahead of time. The quinoa soaked up any extra sauce, the broccoli did not get squishy despite already being steamed, and the sesame seeds were fine.  Tasted almost the same as freshly made.

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