Crock pot chicken and hominy stew (adapted from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, and inspired to use tomatillo salsa by Worth the Whisk)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 skinless chicken thighs - about 3/4 lb. (I used boneless, but bone-in would work too)
1 1/2 cups cooked hominy (see below for cooking dried, or use 1 can)
1 1/2 cups tomatillo salsa, either store bought or homemade
Combine first 9 ingredients (through stock) in medium crock pot (I used a 3 1/2 quart - don't use anything bigger unless you plan to double the recipe). Lay chicken on top of this mixture, and top with hominy and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Use two forks to pull apart the chicken, and remove bones if you used bone-in meat. Serves 3.
Crock pot dried hominy (adapted from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann)
Soak 12 oz dried hominy in cold water overnight. Drain hominy and place in a medium crock pot (I used a 3 1/2 quart; reduce hominy quantity if you use a smaller one). Fill crock 3/4 of the way with water (don't go to the very top). Cook on high for an hour, and then low for 9-12 hours, until hominy is tender. Keep an eye on it in the last few hours of cooking, and add more water if necessary. When hominy is done, drain and let cool. Keeps refrigerated for a few days, or frozen for months (I froze it in 1 1/2 cup portions). Makes about 8 cups.
This was amazing! The flavors turned out perfectly, and I'm very glad that I used the tomatillo salsa instead of tomatoes. The chicken was so tender that most of it had fallen apart on its own. It's extremely spicy because my chili powder and salsa are on the hot side, so cut back on these or use mild ones if you're not a fan of heat. Or if you really want to make fire shoot out of your ears, add a chopped jalapeno to the veggie mixture... but don't say I didn't warn you. I loved the hominy in this, and I'm glad I have a freezer full of cooked hominy now (anybody have a favorite recipe???).
This concludes our July cookbook of the month adventure. "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" is a very solid cookbook with recipes that adapt a ton of types of foods for the crock pot. By far, my favorite recipes were this one and the squash enchilada casserole. Perhaps that proves the point that mexican flavors are very well suited to slow cooking. I also really enjoyed the mixed grain porridge, and made another version (with only mixed rice and oats) last week. That will definitely become a staple breakfast item because it's ready right when I wake up, and extremely delicious. The two veggie dishes that I made (roasted summer vegetables and napa cabbage with apples) were also very good, but the results weren't changed dramatically by being cooked in the crock pot. It's a nice method if you want to prepare things in advance and occupy yourself with something else while they're cooking, though. And finally, the chili with venison sausage was a solid recipe, and I can see myself tweaking it in the future. There are many more recipes in this book - lots more soups, chilis, beans, grains, breakfasts, meats, and even desserts - and it's a great starting point for beginning to use your crock pot.