Slow-Cooked Balsamic Honey Chicken & Vegetables

Yeah, I know, this one’s a bit different. It was just so good I had to share it. Don’t judge me.

I love my slow cooker. It’s like a witches’ cauldron that takes simple ingredients and turns them into dishes that are far more than the sum of their parts.

This recipe is a great example of the slow cooker’s magical powers. During the cooking process the vinegar mellows in flavour and mingles with the juices from the meat and veggies to create a mildly sweet sauce.

You could also modify this recipe to leave out the meat if you just want the veggies to pair with something else.

Slow-Cooked Balsamic Honey Chicken & Vegetables

Ingredients 

  • 12 tbsp oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 large carrots, cut into thick rounds or approx 250g baby carrots, trimmed 
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed 
  • 12 tsp salt 
  • 12 tsp pepper 
  • 12 tsp garlic powder 
  • 12 tsp dried basil 
  • 12 cup (approx 120 ml) balsamic vinegar 
  • 4 tbsp honey 
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 250g green beans 

Instructions

  1. Spread the oil and garlic around the bottom of the slow cooker. 
  2. Arrange the carrots in a layer. 
  3. Lay the chicken over the carrots. 
  4. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, vinegar and honey — vinegar and honey are the last two steps in that order, so the vinegar picks up the flavours and the honey coats the meat. 
  5. Arrange the onion in a layer on top. 
  6. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. 
  7. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the green beans on top. 
  8. Plate up the meat and veggies and drizzle with the remaining sauce. 
  9. If your juice is thin after cooking: 
  10. Strain the juice into a saucepan. 
  11. Save the remaining bits and spread them over the chicken — very tasty! 
  12. Reduce the sauce over a high heat until thickened, should only take a few minutes. 

Notes

The quantities here will serve two people with plates like you see in the picture and fit in a 3.5 litre slow cooker. You can halve or double the quantities to suit but be aware that different sized slow cookers may affect the results in terms of how much juice you have left over.

http://monkeybakes.co.uk/slow-cooked-balsamic-honey-chicken-vegetables/

Modified from a recipe by Tasty.

Egg, Bacon & Sausage Pie

What to do when you’re left to your own devices on a Sunday morning, faced with leftover eggs, bacon and sausage that need using? Bake a pie, of course!

This recipe was inspired by a Hairy Bikers one and makes a really filling pie with lots of flavour and a great crumbly crust. This was my first savoury pie – believe it or not – and I was really pleased with how it came out.

Obviously what sausages you use will have a big effect on the flavour – worth experimenting but definitely get the best ones you can afford, preferably from a butcher as the results will be so much better.

Egg, Bacon & Sausage Pie

Ingredients 

    Filling: 
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil 
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon 
  • 3 sausages 
  • 5 large eggs 
  • 4 tbsp milk 
  • Pastry: 
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 
  • Pinch of sea salt 
  • 175g chilled butter, diced 
  • 1 egg 

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. 
  2. Cut the bacon into strips and fry until the fat is crispy. 
  3. De-skin the sausages and mix the bacon into the sausage meat. 
  4. Pre-heat oven to 190c (170 fan). 
  5. Mix the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. 
  6. Whisk the 1 egg with 1 tbsp cold water and pour onto the flour mixture with the motor running. 
  7. Blend until the dough forms a ball (should happen fairly quickly). 
  8. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide it into two. 
  9. Roll one half to about 5mm thickness. 
  10. Grease your pie dish and line it with the rolled dough, leaving any extra hanging out 
  11. Spread the bacon and sausage mixture inside the pie. Leave some peaks and troughs for the egg to form pockets. 
  12. Whisk the 5 eggs with the milk and season with some salt and pepper, plus any spices you might want — smoked paprika is very good, perhaps some chilli powder for a little kick? 
  13. Pour the egg mixture into the pie but save a little for glazing. 
  14. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the pie lid. 
  15. Brush the edge of the pastry lining with egg, put the lid on top and then use a fork to seal the join. 
  16. Brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg mixture. 
  17. Bake the pie for 45 minutes to an hour, until browned and cooked through. 
http://monkeybakes.co.uk/egg-bacon-sausage-pie/