"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Slowly Braised Whole Organic Chicken

Wednesdays are usually a little harder than the other work days because, as they say, Wednesday is a "hump" day.  Today was one of those days.  At 3:00 p.m., it felt like I had been at work for 12 hours. I guess the long busy weekend last week is catching up with me mid-week.

But, as I pulled into my garage this evening, I was welcomed by the most aromatic, delectable, and mouthwatering smell emanating from inside my house.  My spirits were instantaneously uplifted.  I opened the house door, put my work bag down, and rushed into the kitchen where my kids, my husband, and our wonderful Au Pair Ten were waiting for me to start a lovely family meal together: Slowly cooked Whole Organic Chicken, with Steamed Thai Jasmine Rice, and Sugar Snap Peas.  I had never felt more at home than I did at that moment!

How did this delicious meal come together so magically you ask? Well, it's actually teamwork - something that the Warner Family has become an expert at lately with all the things that we are juggling every day.  It all started this morning.  As Ten and Patrick were getting the kids ready for school (making breakfast, packing lunches, remembering to pack "beach towels" for the Faith Family picnic, and making sure that I left the house on time so the kids were not late for school), I hurriedly prepared the chicken and the other ingredients and placed everything in the Slow Cooker.  I managed to get the kids to school on time - barely - but I made it.  Ten made the rice when she and the kids got home in our rice cooker. And, she (along with my 6-year-old son) cleaned the sugar snap peas and steamed them before I got home. (He loves trimming the ends of the sugar snap peas.)

  • 1 Whole Chicken, cut up in about 8 pieces (I got an organic chicken from Berkeley Bowl last Sunday, and had the Butcher cut it up for me, without the guts).
  • 2 Medium Carrots, diced.
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled.
  • 1 bag of Pearl ("baby") Onions peeled (or 1 large yellow onions largely diced) [Trick to peeling those baby onions: Boil water, put the onions in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, run under cold water, and peel easily.]
  • 1 large (28 ounces) can of whole Plum Tomatoes (with juice).
  • Fresh herbs (a few sprigs of parsley, cilantro, and thyme; 1 dried bay leaf if you have it). Tie them with some twine or string. [Can use dried herbs too, if you don't have fresh ones.]
  • A cup of chicken stock (maybe a little bit more, depending on the size of your chicken; make sure the liquid is covering the chicken about 1/2 way only).
  • Rinse the chicken under cool water.
  • Pat dry to remove any excess water.
  • Season with salt (generously) and pepper
  • Arrange chicken in slow cooker.
  • Add carrots, onions, and garlic.
  • Tuck the bundle of herbs under the chicken in the middle of the Slow Cooker.
  •  Add the tomatoes, with juice.
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Sprinkle a little bit more salt and pepper on top to make sure the vegetables are seasoned too.
  • Cover and set the Slow Cooker on LOW for 8 hours.
Serve with some steamed rice and your favorite vegetables.  Enjoy a wonderful, healthy, home cooked meal with your family and catch up on the day's activities.  In our family, we usually take turns going around the table telling each other what we did today, what we liked about the day, and what didn't go so much our ways.  I guarantee you that you'll forget all about whatever stress and headaches you had to deal with during the day.

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel


  1. Great post, Adel! I've been debating about getting a slow cooker, but I think it's now a must! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You're so welcome! Let me know how it turns out. And, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! -:)