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My father shared a recipe with me and my mother "gently corrected" some of the details, but it sounded good, and I wanted to replicate it, but cook a little more to have some leftover for later.

The recipe they're using is:

1 whole onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 1b chicken, sliced into ~1" x 2" pieces
1 jar pasta sauce
  handful of parmesan cheese
Saute the onion and pepper for about 10 minutes, till they start to have some juice
in the pan. Add the chicken and cook about 3-5 minutes on a side, till it's about
cooked through. Add the pasta sauce and let it come to a slight boil (so it's nice and hot)
Remove from heat and cover with the cheese (so it melts)

But I've moved up to 5 peppers (two green, one red, one yellow, one orange) and 2 onions and 2.25 lbs chicken breast, sliced as per recipe (also seasoned a little with some light marinade to give it a little extra taste). I thought it might be nice to cook it in the crockpot (4qt classic) with the cool weather and let it slow cook, and have something nice when I get home.

My plan is to add all the veggies and chicken when I leave the house, and add the sauce right before I'm ready to eat (I actually want to split half of the crockpotted mixture and store it without the sauce on it, to heat later with the sauce). What I'm not entirely sure about is:

  • Do I need to add some water so the chicken doesn't start to stick while it cooks, or burn in some way? I'm going to be at work but I'll be home at lunch if I should stir it or change something.

  • What is the best temperature to set my crockpot to? Low I would assume.

If I really need to cook this in my large deep skillet I can, but I like the idea of trying this recipe in a slow cooker.

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Sorry if the "two questions" seem like they should be separate. I can fork and create a second question, but I figured two was ok for this. –  jcolebrand Jan 30 '13 at 3:26
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You don't need to add any water to the slow cooker whatsoever. Your recipe is somewhat similar to the one that I use to cook my lunches but the quantities seem larger than mine, much larger. I assume that you chop everything up into small piece, including the chicken. The slow cooker should not be more than 3/4 full, so reduce your amounts if the quantities are too big.

Chicken breast doesn't need more than three hours on the 'high' setting in order to cook (six hours on low); this cooking time leaves most of the vegetables crisp (courgettes and pumpkin soften, but bell peppers, carrots and onions retain their texture).

Running a kosher kitchen, I would not know about adding cheese to the food, but anyway I would recommend adding the cheese to the food prior to serving, not while it is being cooked.

If you wish to separate some of the vegetables, one technique which I have used successfully is to put these vegetables in a wire tray (I use the plastic punnets in which we buy fresh mushrooms): these vegetable are cooked like the rest but are kept separate.

If you do wish to add certain vegetables after you have already started cooking, then you are supposed to add 20 minutes to the cooking time (every time one opens the lid of the cooker, steam escapes and it apparently takes 20 minutes to obtain the same amount of steam).

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It doesn't matter; the water comes from the vegetables and from the chicken itself. Believe me! –  No'am Newman Jan 30 '13 at 15:07
    
If you don't mind I've edited your post a bit for the accept, to remove parts that I don't think added much. –  jcolebrand Jan 30 '13 at 20:31
    
So, as final resolution for those coming along behind me: I put the chicken on top of the veggies, added 1/2 cup of water, cooked for a little over 5 hours on low and unmolested, and everything turned out beautifully. The vegetables were a little soft, but I don't mind, based on my recipe that was perfectly acceptable. I'm doing this for the lower gluten diet, but adding a slice of garlic toast on some french bread would've been divine. Cheers and bon apetit! In the future I would save the veggie scraps and make a broth with >.< –  jcolebrand Jan 30 '13 at 20:36
    
@jcolebrand: would you like to accept my answer? –  No'am Newman Feb 12 '13 at 14:24
    
My apologies. With haste. –  jcolebrand Feb 12 '13 at 15:24
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This is the pattern of crock/slow pot cooking I am accustomed to.

Separate your vegetables into two groups

  1. vegetables to be dissolved into the stew with the chicken.

  2. vegetables where you want to retain their individual distinct cut and taste.

Procedure

  1. Cook the chicken with group 1 vegetables on high for 2 - 4 hours.

  2. After that, turn it lowest until you are ready to serve it.

  3. Mix in group two vegetables and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

My recommendation that can be used as group 1 mixture

  • onions
  • carrots
  • egg plant
  • potatoes
  • garlic cloves
  • dried shitake mushrooms
  • hot chilies (don't if you can't take the heat)
  • celery
  • chick peas
  • lentils
  • artichokes
  • cauliflower
  • any spices, bay leaves

My recommendation that can be used in group 2:

  • sliced bell/sweet peppers
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • green peas, french peas
  • long beans cut short
  • sliced tomatoes
  • mint leaves (never cook mint leaves)
  • cilantro
  • chopped lettuce
  • sliced mangoes
  • sweet canned mandarin oranges

My grouping for group 2 is because, undissolved vegetables must retain some level of crunchiness and should never be cooked yellow. I find it easy to be close friends with people who like to eat vegetables cooked crunchy. I find myself very reserved with people who like to eat their vegetable mushy and cooked yellow. There is a distinct quality of personality/character between the two groups.

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-1 for strange personality assessment at end –  SAJ14SAJ Jan 30 '13 at 7:43
4  
Given as how I provided a very straightforward recipe and indicated precisely how I intend to cook this meal, I can't in good conscience find anything about this answer that applies to my situation. Thanks for playing. –  jcolebrand Jan 30 '13 at 13:21
    
Too many herbs for this cat. –  Brendan Jan 31 '13 at 20:47
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