Break out the slow cooker to make INCREDIBLE shredded chicken! This is one of my go-to recipes when I need a hassle-free recipe that feeds a crowd (especially around the holidays). Throw a few ingredients into your slow cooker, set it, and forget it (do you remember those infomercials?) Then I usually whip up a quick gravy to finish it all off. Your loved ones will thank you for making this for them.
There are many shredded chicken recipes out there, but this recipe calls for beer and butter. It’s worth repeating – Beer AND Butter! What do they say? Butta’ (and beer) make everything betta’. Or something like that.
When it comes to beer, there are a million styles and varieties to choose from, but for this recipe I think it’s best to use any type of light beer. We typically use a can of Miller Lite, but any light lager will do. Don’t be afraid. The beer adds a nice dimension to the meat that’s mild yet tasty. So don’t skip this step! Then we get to glorious, glorious butter. Butter adds a silky richness to the chicken. It’s a scrumptious combination. Trust me, I’m from Wisconsin. I know my beer and butter.
Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or use a liner. Place chicken breast in 5 quart slow cooker. Add the beer, chicken stock, butter and soup mix. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 6-7 hours until meat is tender and shreddable. Shred meat and keep warm while you prepare the gravy.
Melt 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a small pot. Add flour and whisk, cooking for 1-2 minutes (it should be paste-like). Use 1 cup of chicken stock from the slow cooker mixture (or your own) and slowly incorporate it into the flour/butter roux while continuously whisking. After all of the liquid is incorporated and no lumps remain, raise the heat to medium/medium high until the gravy simmers. Add pepper, salt, and cayenne. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the gravy thickens. Add gravy to chicken in slow cooker, mix, and serve on hot, tasted rolls.
A little patience goes a long way… especially when it comes to beef roasts.
This particular recipe spans from The Fort restaurant, famous for their unique Early West fine dining. From end to end, the cookbook is filled with pages of south western cuisine. A refreshing look at food in an “era of franchising and formula fast food.”
I have made pot roast in a crock pot since the first day I bought the handy little device. I love my slow cooker for those days where I have to work and I can drop all of the ingredients in it, set it and forget it (remember that infomercial?). I love coming home to a warm home smelling of aromatic delights. Now, don’t tell my crock pot, but I personally like the results better when I roast my pot roast in the oven. If you have the time, your roast will be super tender and juicy, and less of a soupy mess than what you pull out of any crock pot.
Rub your hands with a bit of vegetable oil and gently rub the garlic, herbs and spices into the roast. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place the roast on a foil-covered roasting pan. Arrange the onion peels around the base of the roast and place in the oven. Roast for 8 minutes, so that the onion peels burn and the smoke lightly penetrates the meat, then lower the heat to 250 degrees F. Roast for 18 minutes per pound, or until a meat thermometer reads 125 degrees F for rare or 138 degrees F for medium rare. The low temperature will keep the meat tender.
Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
In the mean time, you can make your gravy (if you haven't made it ahead of time already). Serve hot.
Use the drippings from your beef roast or turkey if possible. Otherwise, you can start from scratch. The method is easy enough, but the drippings are the best way to go if you can swing it.
When you start with the roast drippings, use this guideline – for each cup of gravy you want to make, begin with a tablespoon of drippings. So, if you want to make 2 cups of gravy, drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat and drippings from the roasting pan. These instructions will be for the end result of 2 cups of gravy, but you can easily divide or multiply to adjust for how much gravy you want to make.
1/4 cup cornstarch stirred into 1/4 cup water (or less), you want this to be a paste
Salt and pepper to taste
If you do not have pan drippings, you will need the following ingredients in addition to the ones listed:
---2 tablespoons Butter
---2 tablespoons cornstarch
---2 shallots, peeled and minced
---1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
Place butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shallots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the wine and stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and cook until the gravy is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Set the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings in the pan. Add the wine and stir with a wire whisk, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom, until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of beef stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and cook until the gravy is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add sauteed mushrooms.
This is easy to do without the drippings but if you'd like to make your gravy with drippings ahead of time, you can do this up to 1 day ahead of your event. Combine all of the ingredients except the wine and pan drippings, cool, cover and chill. As your meat roasts, add its pan drippings and the wine to the broth, bring to a boil and thicken as directed.