Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lemon Basil Chicken part 1

So I saw a blog post earlier this week (I think it was on Skinny Ms) for a lemon Chicken crock-pot.  It sounded good but I wanted more....  I'm all about the planned left-overs, the freezer meal option etc.  I took the base recipe and made it my own.
The girls and I just ate dinner and it got 4 thumbs up (meaning everyone likes it).
This was the final plate, with a small dish of melon on the side.  We are trying to eat the diabetic plate way here most nights (not always of course).  This means we use a 9 inch plate (these are fiesta buffet plates).  Then you divide it in thirds.  One third is meat, one third is starch, one third is veggie.  It's not a perfect system, but it does mean we get a decent serving of fruit and veggie at most meals.  I'm always trying to make the food healthier (except for when we indulge).

I started this meal this morning before church.  I put a package of baby carrots in the bottom of the crock pot, added some baby potatoes from our farmer box, then I added the meat.  Now if you are making just one meal then you would only add one package of chicken.  I planned on leftover chicken for another meal.  I added one package of boneless skinless thighs, and one package of boneless skinless breasts.  Then I mixed one knorr chicken stock thing (those lovely little packets that make 4 cups of stock) with 1 cup of hot water from the sink.  I poured this over the chicken.  Then I poured 3/4 cup of lemon juice on top (this makes a fairly lemony chicken so if you aren't a fan of lemon reduce the amount you use!).  Next I sprinkled basil and dill over that.  I meant to add some salt and pepper but forgot.  I'm kind of glad I did because it tastes fine this way and the extra salt wasn't necessary.  Then I put the top on my crock and headed to church happy in the knowledge that dinner would be ready at dinner time and I wouldn't need to mess with it again till I was ready to finish it up.  Of course as you all saw from my earlier post that didn't keep me out of my kitchen :)

 About 10 min before I wanted to serve up I used kitchen tongs and removed the meat, veggies and potatos from the crock pot to get to the juices.
Then I used some of the juices from the crock pot to make a gravy in a small saucepan.  Do you know how to make gravy?  It really isn't as hard as many people think.  You just take your pan juices and put them in a pot.  Reserve a small amount to the side and add a spoon full of flour and whisk it together.

Then you whisk this into the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil.  I use a fork instead of a whisk in an effort to prevent lumps.  You can buy a special flour for gravy (I think it's called Wondra?) but I don't do that.  Once it's come up to a boil let it go for a minute or two and then turn it off to let it finalize.  Now you have gravy.  If you don't know how to make gravy I bet money you can youtube it and see a video that is better than my directions.

Then you plate it... Some chicken, some potatos smashed open, some carrots.  Spoon the gravy over the meat and the potatoes, dish up some fruit and enjoy yourself!

Now wait a minute before you throw out the juices in that crock-pot!  You are going to need it for tomorrow night's dinner (or later in the week of course).  After everyone is full package up your left-overs into the fridge.  Keep the juices separate with a lid, the meat in another container too.  You can mix the other veggies if you want.  Tomorrow you are making chicken noodle soup :)

Ingredients (to include for the soup)
  • 1 bags baby carrots
  • baby potatoes (new or idaho... mine came from my farm box) in amount needed for dinner
  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • knorr chicken stock (or a can of chicken broth)
  • 1 cup hot tap water (if using knorr chicken stock, omit if using broth in a can)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice 
  • Dill and Basil (to your taste)
  •  Soup Ingredients
  •  Carrots (to your taste, I use about half a bag plus my leftovers)
  • onion
  • chicken stock
  • egg noodles
  • seasoning
Lemon Basil Chicken Instructions
In the morning place carrots in the bottom of the crock-pot.  Add the potatos.  Layer chicken on top.  Mix the chicken stock with the water and pour over top.  Pour Lemon juice over that.  Then sprinkle with the basil and dill.  Cook on low for 8 hours
Remove from Crock and use pan juices to make a lemon gravy if desired.  Save the leftover cooking juices, meat and veggies for tomorrow's soup.


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