Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Slow Cookin'

I just got my new crockpot slow cooker from Target in the mail the other day, and I could not wait to use it, so I made myself a yummy chicken chowder for dinner yesterday. I did all the prep work in the morning while I still had a modicum of energy, and by the time I got home after a long day of class, my apartment was full of delicious smells telling me that dinner was ready. What a lifesaver!! I'm making everything in the slow cooker from now on. Seriously. Not only is it convenient, the chowder turned out delicious. I enjoyed it with a glass of a French table wine from Vaucluse called Culture du Sud, 2004, but it would go nicely with any light red, like a pinot noir. The chowder itself is really hearty (good for a cold Boston winter night), it's pretty healthy (if you use fat-free half and half), and it has the best dill flavor!

Dill has always been one of my favorite herbs. I grew up associating it with salmon because my mother never made salmon without heaping tons of fresh or dried dill on top. It's a great combination for sure, but there are lots of different uses for dill. You can whip it into herbed butter, veggie dips, and of course, infuse it into dilled pickles. Dill has such a clean and simple taste that you can incorporate it into a great many
recipes. Most people recommend using fresh dill to get maximum flavor, and fortunately, dill is a hardy plant that is easy to grow yourself (although I admit I don't have a dill plant).

Fun fact about dill: The ancient Greeks thought of dill as a sign of wealth, so richer members of society flaunted their success by burning dill-scented oil. And throughout history, dill has been used medicinally for its calming and soothing properties - in the 8th century, Charlemagne placed little vials of dill on his tables to stop the hiccups of guests who ate and drank too much!

Slow-Cooked Chicken Chowder
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. garlic pepper
  • 8 new potatoes, cut into fourths
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 15-oz can corn, drained
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. half-and-half (I used fat-free)
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Sprinkle chicken with garlic pepper and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot. Add remaining ingredients except half-and-half and cornstarch. Cover crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender. In a small jar, combine half-and-half and cornstarch and shake until well-combined. Stir into the chowder and mix well until blended. Cover crockpot again and cook on high for 30 minutes until thickened.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, the weekly blog event where people write about recipes featuring their favorite herbs, plants, veggies, and flowers. This week, WHB is hosted by Pookah at What's Cooking in Carolina. Be sure to check out her round-up of recipes when she posts it on Sunday or Monday!

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Blogger WhItE_PoPlAr said...

This sounds so good. One question though, is dill weed the same as the normal dill? I can substitute fresh dill with it?


2:51 AM  
Blogger gattina said...

What a delicious soup/dish! I haven't thought of pairing dill with chicken/potato, but I think it's a very good idea.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

I love to cook soup in the slow cooker. I think it's good for lots of things, but not everything. Your chowder sounds fantastic.

7:48 PM  

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