|Balsmic Chicken Sliders|
Yesterday before the sun came up, I loaded my car with foods from the freezer, my suitcase, my knitting bag and my Kindle. I headed down the interstate on another "Mimi mission." I was halfway there when the sky began to light up. It seemed like every winter bug had attacked Mommy's household. One by one, they succumbed—each one with something different. My phone call to tell me who was sick now always ended with, "Don't worry. I've got everything under control." Until the last message. "Maybe you'd better pack a bag, just in case" which was followed shortly by, "I think I need help." When the Mommy gets sick, it's time for reinforcements. Me.
From my freezer stash, I brought Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup, chicken stew (that our church makes and sells), homemade Sourdough Bread, and spaghetti sauce. I don't think I'll be here long enough to eat all of those meals, but Mommy will have some meal boosters in her freezer next week. It takes time to fully get over these nasty bugs.
Mommy is better at planning meals ahead than I have ever been, so she had bought groceries before she got sick and her plan for last night said "Balsamic Chicken Sliders." This slow cooker recipe is one of my favorites. I've made it several times. The sisters all like it, but Mommy has never been around when I've made it. Needless to say, she still hasn't tasted it. But she did say, "It smells really good."
This is one of the very easiest slow cooker recipes. And one of the most delicious. And I cook it on high for 4 hours, so it was perfect for me yesterday. I didn't have to get the ingredients in the crockpot until I had put Baby Girl down for a nap. Baby Girl is on the mend but still plenty cranky from her illness. Getting her to take a nap was a battle of wills, so I was thankful for an easy recipe.
Last year at the beach we had this chicken as an entree and the following night I used the leftovers to make chicken sliders. The sliders were a bigger hit than the chicken. Just know that it's good either way. It makes plenty, so you might be like me and have it both ways! You can also pop the leftovers—the whole pieces or the shredded version—in the freezer for later. Just make sure you include lots of the liquid in the bag with the meat. The added liquid helps maintain the quality of the frozen meat.
SLOW COOKER BALSAMIC CHICKEN
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (we had 10 this time)
fresh chopped parsley
Combine the first five dry spices in a small bowl and spread over chicken on both sides. Set aside. Pour olive oil and garlic on the bottom of the crockpot. Place chicken pieces on top. Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
To make the sliders like ours: Shred some of the chicken pieces and added a little of the cooking liquid to the shredded chicken. Lightly toast slider rolls. Add Provolone cheese to each half of toasted rolls and put back in toaster over to melt cheese. Add fresh spinach to each sandwich. Pile on shredded chicken.
The night before I got here, Big Sister was sick and sequestered downstairs. Mommy had been attacked by the worst bug. The daddy of the house was out of town. So Little Sister took charge. She fixed supper for herself and Baby Girl (who was feeling better by that point.) She set the table and poured cereal and milk for both of them.
You might be able to guess what my first chore was here after checking on the patients. Little Sister, who is in kindergarten and so far the only one who hasn't been sick, really did step up and keep things going until I got here. But her kitchen clean-up skills are not very well developed yet. The kitchen looked like a six-year-old had been in charge. But we were all thankful for her help.