Friday, January 13, 2012

Crock Pot Adaptaions - Learning from Failure

I had an underwhelming cooking day on Sunday. I wanted to stay in the kitchen so I wouldn't care about the Falcons game (yep, they lost), so I decided to make this s'more cobbler and a variant of this chicken, rice, and broccoli. Well, the s'more cobbler was a'right. It was rich and gooey and needed less melted marshmallows and more graham crackers. The chicken, rice, and broccoli was just a mushy mess.  It was the first I'd ever heard of converted vs. unconverted rice and I tried to speed the process along by cooking it all on high for 3-4 hours instead of on low for 6-8.  I think that's what caused the mushiness. However, my bf eats anything and both are all gone 4 days later. Whew!

My friend Heather has requested I take a stab at converting this recipe here for Great Green Chili to a crockpot recipe. Given the crockpot mushiness, I'm not sure how good at this I'll be, but I've learned a few things from my failures.  Namely, rice needs to be cooked low and slow and undisturbed OR cooked separately and stirred in at the end. I've also learned other little tricks, such as small veggies (mushrooms, green peas, pearl onions, etc.) don't need to cook all day. You just add them in for the last 30-60 minutes. Also, fresh herbs added just before serving add a little freshness to anything!

So, if I were to cook this in the crockpot (and I just might have to try it soon), this is what I would do:

1. Let's combine their steps 1 and 2 for the most part. Put the chicken, chilies, garlic, cumin, jalapeƱos and hominy* in the crockpot. Mix the gravy mix with the broth and pour on top of everything else.
2. Cook on low for 6 hours or high on 3. I don't think anything will turn to mush here.
*A note on hominy. I don't have much experience with it. If this does turn out mushy or you're scared of the hominy going mushy, add it for the last hour of cooking.
3. You'll notice I left out the cilantro, one of my most favorite flavors. I would add that 1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro during the last 30 minutes or so to just keep the flavor extra fresh.
4. Proceed with steps 3-5 and enjoy!

Heather, if you try this in the crockpot, do let us know how it turns out. And if it sucks? Well, I apologize in advance! Thanks for the blog post suggestion!


  1. Thank you! I may have to try this out on Sunday and will report back to you. Maybe a Guest blog post? :-)