Big Meal – Slow-Cooked Chicken, Celeriac-Beet Salad, Roasted Winter Vegetables, and Whole Wheat Ciabatta
So, before you think I cooked all this in one day you should know that the roasted veggies were leftovers. But they were still great, in fact, they were maybe even better because they weren’t quite soft enough the first time. The celeriac-beet salad was fairly simple, although celeriac can kind of be a pain to peel, and the ciabatta was really a side product of a large batch of pizza dough for Friday night’s dinner (I make my pizza dough 1-2 days ahead). Finally, the slow-cooked chicken pretty much didn’t take any work other than preparing a spice combo, rubbing it on the chicken, and stuffing the chicken with a quartered-onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Anywho, the meal is as follows:
Adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking
- 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of chili powder or Cajun seasoning
- 4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
- 1 onion, quartered (optional)
Rub the chicken all over with the spices and add more of them if you feel like it. I can’t say I measured and it turned out awesome! Then stuff the inside of the bird with the garlic cloves and quarters of the onion.
Put the prepared chicken in the crockpot and set to low (if you have 8 hours until dinner) or on high (if you have more like 4-5 hours). Obviously don’t make this meal if you are planning on coming home after work and cooking dinner with no preparation, unless you want to eat at like 11pm, which I guess is fine if you live in Spain.
I checked the progress a few times throughout the afternoon and—surprise!—each time it was a bit hotter according to my thermometer. Having put it in the crockpot around 10:30am we ate at about 6pm and it was perfect!
- 1 celeriac
- 2 medium sized beets
- 3 tbs. oil
- 1 tbs. horseradish sauce
- 1 tbs. (Dijon) mustard
- 1 tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tbs. (balsamic) vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Peel the celeriac and beets. Neither of those jobs is fun exactly, but I think it’s worth it. I think I need to learn a bit more about celeriac because I struggle to peel it.
Anyways, I made it through that job and then grated the two types of vegetables. I grated the beets on the standard grater and then used the side with three cutters for the celeriac, but I think it would have worked better with the standard side. I then put the beets on the lower tray of a bamboo steamer and the celeriac on the higher tray and steamed for about 20-30 minutes. The dressing could just be your favorite salad dressing if you don’t want to make one, but I thought the horseradish sauce would bring a nice spice to the dish. Toss the steamed vegetables with the dressing and top with crumbled feta or goat cheese.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Assemble 4-5 of your favorite winter vegetables—potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, beets, onions, etc. Chop them up and toss them with some oil and a dash of vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and fresh or dried herbs. Roast them in the oven for 30-40 minutes. If you want the onions to not get over-cooked wait 10-15 minutes and then add them to the mix. Make more than you need and eat them with other meals too!
Whole Wheat Ciabatta
I based my recipe various ones that were on the internet, a good starting place is http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/ciabatta?page=1. I feel like I haven’t perfected my own whole wheat recipe yet so I’m going to wait to post it until I feel like a ciabatta maestro!