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
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!