Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Slow cooker chicken paprikash recipe

I've wanted to try this recipe ever since I watched "When Harry Met Sally" about 20 years ago. I'd never heard of Paprikash until Harry said "Waiter, I need more pepper on my paprikash" in the museum scene, but it sounded good. I was right. It is very, very good. I'm starting to learn that finishing a braised meat dish with sour cream, as they often do in Eastern European cooking, works extremely well. I'll soon be posting a stroganoff recipe that works the same way. In the mean time, do try this. And if you can think of any other meals from movies I can try, let me know!

Ingredients for 4:

8-10 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks (or breasts, but I find they have less flavour)
4 tsps sweet (i.e. standard, not hot) paprika, ideally Hungarian
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp flour
1 cup / 250 ml chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup / 4 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp flour


This looks long-winded but isn't complicated or time-consuming in reality.

Put the chicken pieces into a large frying pan / skillet. Sprinkle half of the paprika, salt and pepper over them. Turn the chicken over and sprinkle the other half of the seasoning over the other side. 

Put the pan onto the burner on medium to high heat. Watch the chicken pieces carefully as you're adding no extra fat which means they will brown quite quickly - that's exactly what you want as it adds flavour. Cook for 2-4 minutes each side until browned without moving them about too much.

Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker and throw the onion into the frying pan to fry using any drippings left by the chicken. Sauté the onion for several minutes until it starts to soften then add the flour and cook, stirring well, for around 90 seconds. Add the chicken stock and allow it to bubble until the sauce starts to thicken. Tip the sauce and onion over the chicken.

Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or on High for 3-4.

30 minutes before you want to eat, mix the sour cream with the remaining 2 tbsp flour in a small bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of stock from the slow cooker to warm the sour cream. This prevents it from curdling when you add it to the chicken. Add the sour cream mixture to the slow cooker and stir well. Through all of this, try not to leave the lid off the slow cooker for any longer than necessary as it takes a while to regain heat. Continue cooking for 30 more minutes.

Serve with noodles, rice or mashed potato. Lick the plate clean and put me in your will. Leftovers freeze well. Apparently!


You may have picked up that this was absolutely awesome. The house smelt amazing. The method meant that the chicken had good colour and that lovely, slightly charred "umami" taste. The sauce was creamy and had body but wasn't hot or spicy. 5 stars all round. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Slow cooker Lamb Navarin recipe

No, don't worry. You've not got a bad link. This great recipe is moments away, right here

I'm gradually transferring all my Blighty recipes to a new blog called The Errant Sock. As well as slow cooker recipes, you'll get lots of other conventional recipes with lots designed to avoid common allergens, plus crafts, reviews, parenting and home hacks, all with the same dash of realism and humour that you get here. So do take a look around and let me know what you think!

Hope to see you in a few seconds over on the Sock!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slow cooker candied parsnips recipe

We're still in the hungry gap here in the UK when spring is definitely on its way but the only seasonal veg is the end of what was stored over the winter.

We love parsnips in this house anyway but if you want to taste the true essence of pasnip, then cooking them like this may be just the ticket, especially if you're a bit sick of them roasted or mashed after so many months of winter veg.

Ingredients for 4:

6 parsnips, peeled
1/2 cup (about 120 g) of brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup / 120 ml orange juice
1 tsp grated orange rind
4 tbsp butter


Grease the insides of your slow cooker. You'll thank me later.

Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and combine well. A qucik stir 15 minutes into cooking won't go amiss either once the butter has melted but it's not crucial.

Cook on High for 7-8 Hours.


Awesome. A deep but not inappropriately sweet taste, I guess balanced out by the orange notes. The parsnips still had some bite to them but no crispiness. These woul d be great with roast meats, sausages or alongside some cold ham.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ali's easy-peasy Indian Spinach dish - the slow cooker way

Well folks, I'm back, dabbling my toes in the blogging water after 6 months of caring for an insomniac baby. There hasn't been time to write, but cook you must and the slow cooker has bubbled away merrily in the corner on many occasions. Sometimes, I even remembered to get out the camera.                                                                                       
This is a delicious and easy dish. I'm not entirely sure of its provenance as it was passed on via several people and then adapted by me for the pot but it is a lovely side dish for any Indian meal or can be a vegetarian main dish with some rice, ideally brown for preference. The Ali in question though is a very English Alison, not an Ali Babar, or an Ali of any other exotic provenance. She's also the best kind of best friend a girl could have so this one's dedicated to her!   

400g / 2 boxes frozen spinach, whole leaf or chopped, ideally partially thawed but not drained
(if you haven't thawed the spinach, add a little extra cooking time)
150 - 250 g feta cheese or paneer (optional)
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

dab of butter to fry the spices in


Fry your spices in the butter  in a small frying pan or skillet, stirring gently for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Dump everything except the cheese or paneer into the slow cooker and switch onto Low. Cook for 4-7 hours. Add the cheese, if using, in the last 10-30 minutes to heat through and melt slightly. Serve with rice.


In a house where few recipes, even good ones, get a second outing, this has been repeated many times. Adapting it for the slow cooker has made a lazy dish even easier to prepare.  The spices were very balanced and make the spinach interesting but not hot spicy. I used a bit more ginger than this but it was a little overpowering so I've adjusted it down here. You can leave out the feta or paneer if you are having it as a side dish but it's an easy veggie main course with the cheese. The spinach didn't come out watery - just enough water evaporated to make it perfect.