Recipe Contest: Crockpot Shabbat Chicken

crockpot chicken

Each day this week we’re posting a new recipe from one of our First Annual Recipe Contest finalists. Then on Sunday at CrossRiver Kosherfest, we’ll announce the contest winner. Today, Jane Strauss’s crispy hamantaschen. The judges liked the spice profile of her dish, but took some issue with the presentation. One judge said it’s, “Something new for the American Shabbas table — good, flavorful food.” Below is the recipe!

Title of Recipe
Crockpot Shabbat Chicken

Yield: Feeds 6, fewer if one or more are teen males
Prep time: 10-15 min
Cook time: 4-8 hours

List of ingredients
1 chicken, cut into eight pieces
2 cups Basmati Rice
1 medium onion sliced thin
1-2 large carrots sliced thin
1 green pepper, sliced vertically, or a handful of tiny red-yellow-orange sweet peppers, sliced thin
2 15 ounce cans of petite diced tomatoes, or one large can of same. (I usually use the ones with Jalapenos, or you can use one with and one without to lower the spiciness, or use those with garlic , or with “Italian seasoning” – garlic, basil, oregano.)
(optional) 1-2 cans of Black Beans or Garbanzos
(optional) 1/2 can pitted black olives
(optional) extra garlic
(optional) 1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro. ( I use Cilantro but some don’t like the taste or are allergic)
Cooking Instructions
Put the rice on the bottom of the crockpot
Pour the beans and their liquid over the rice (if using)
layer the vegetables and olives (if using) on top of the rice or beans.
arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables
sprinkle cilantro, garlic, or parsley over chicken (if using)
Pour the tomatoes over all.

Close the crockpot and cook at low setting for 8 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked. If you have less time, start it at high for 2 hours and then turn it down to low. If you are at home, it could also be made in a closed casserole or tagine and cooked on low heat in the oven or stovetop. For safety, however, if you will be away, the crockpot cannot be beat.

If you are around, you can check it about half way through and if it seems too dry you can add a little chicken broth, vegetable broth, water or tomato juice. Usually there is plenty of liquid from the chicken and tomatoes. This recipe can also be “stretched” to feed more people and get a little protein boost by adding 1-2 cans of black beans or Garbanzo beans, with their liquid, on top of the rice in layering.

Serve the chicken on a plate and the rest in the crock, or if you are serving on individual plates, put the rice on the plate with chicken on top of it.

“When I started working outside the home years ago, my Shabbat preparation time was suddenly eliminated, especially in winter. I had five hungry kids, no time, but still wanted to have a nice Shabbat dinner. What to do?

I got a crockpot, and started playing around with staples on hand. I always had rice, chicken, and canned tomatoes, and built from there. It’s now our standard shabbat and Yomtov dinner, with a salad or salads on the side. 

Two years after I had developed the recipe as reported here, my late father shared with me that he had found out our family was actually Sephardic, and that my great grandmother, for whom I was named, had always cooked her shabbat chicken with tomatoes and rice.

This year, one of my goals was to learn Moroccan cooking. I have at times modified the recipe to those flavors by adding  a handful of golden raisins and 10-12 dried apricots, halved, to the rice, and mixing 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 3 tsp cinnamon, some chopped ginger, and 1 tsp sweet paprika with a cup of extra liquid and the tomatoes (with jalapenos) before putting them in the crock. Extra liquid is good then, as the dried fruits take up quite a bit in cooking.”