I am laughing as I write this. (I wasn't, last night- I am not just the Warranty Fairy, I am also the Queen of Beating Myself Up.) Remember the recipe that I promised? Yeah. Terrible idea. It was AWFUL! Imagine being greeted by the unsubtle scent of burning tires, as you step in the door. You try to convince yourself that no, really, it's probably good-tasting. Then you discover that yes, chicken breast can emulate said tire in scent, flavor, and texture- not the sort of alchemy that I was shooting for, chicken into tires! However, as my husband reminded me last night, I have a culinary screw-up on this scale about once a year or less, far less than should be expected. It would appear that I have more learning to do with the crock pot- and that chicken breasts really and truly should be seared, rather than subjected to slow, wet heat. Or the addition of the particular ingredients that I used. Or something. Yikes. It was nasty! (Although Thing One cheerfully announced that really, it tasted OK, if you chewed on it a bit, but didn't try to actually swallow the chicken. As long as you spit it out, it was great! Kids are so very, very honest, aren't they? Bless their little hearts!) Here are a couple of hints, based on this experience:
1. Chicken breast shouldn't be cooked in a crock pot with acidic ingredients, without first searing them. Period. Tire-textured chicken is not good.
2. Do not put freshly crushed garlic into the mix with chicken breasts, or anything else, in a crock pot. Just as with boiled garlic, it will smell like burnt tires. I don't care how many recipes there are on the internet that tell you that this is OK- they are lying. Maybe sauteed lightly, prior to adding to the pot, yes. Roasted garlic? Sure, you bet! Raw, NO. It's a recipe for pure essence of tires. Burnt tires. And the smell takes a long time to go away. Even after you've dumped it in the trash, run the trash outside, opened all of the windows and left 'em open for an hour during a wind storm...you get the idea. We did all of the above.(What's killing me is, I knew on some level that this was a bad idea. I did it anyway. Occasionally, you have to do things like this, in the hope that there is, indeed, an easier way. Live and learn.) As the big guy in Labyrinth said, when confronted with the Bog of Eternal Stench, "SMELL BAD!"
So, instead, let's do a ham in the crock pot, tomorrow night. There will be a very, very quickie recipe involved, and it's a no-fail, as well as a no-brainer. Later this week, we'll do a whole chicken (which I can guarantee won't be tire-like!), and as a bonus, we'll get a nice base for soup for another day....