Ever since I settled down and got domestic, I’ve wanted a slow cooker, but I was too overwhelmed by options to buy one. (I once carried a crock pot around Bed Bath & Beyond for a half hour before ditching it at the register. Strength training AND cardio.)
So when Cuisinart offered to let me road test their 3-in-1 Multicooker, “Cook Central,” I became unreasonably excited about an appliance. Picture a Price is Right contestant running down the aisle in an unfortunate tube top. Some days it’s good to be a blogger.
One of the reasons people swear by slow cooking is that you can prep dinner in the morning, walk away, and it’s ready at night. But I am not someone who can chop onions and measure ingredients at 7 a.m. I am someone who leaves the house with a barefoot and frequently pants-less toddler, figuring I’ll dress her “when we get there.” For me, the perfect slow cooker recipe would finish between nap time and dinnertime.
I found such a recipe — for Lemon Chicken with Rosemary — in the Cuisinart recipe booklet conveniently included with the Multicooker, and decided to start there.
I prepped it on a day when Viv and I would be out at night, attending an outdoor screening of Mary Poppins. If my first adventure in slow cooking worked out, instead of coming home from work to an empty house, Dave would come home to an empty house that smelled like food.
A really cool feature of the Cuisinart Multicooker is the Brown/Saute setting. Rather than browning the chicken on the stovetop and transferring it to the slow cooker, I was able to cook everything in one pot.
Then I put it all together, topped everything with pretty lemon slices and switched the setting to Slow Cooker.
I was nervous about setting the timer, because I have trouble with my own alarm clock, but it was mom-brain-proof.
After two hours on High, the Multicooker automatically switched to a Keep Warm setting, and voila! Dave came home to a hot chicken dinner, and I came home to far fewer leftovers than I had hoped. “Serves 8” lasted my growing-boy of a fiance and Kid Carnivore a whole two days.
Since then, I’ve made some delicious slow cooker vegetarian recipes pour moi with equal success.
Here’s what I like about my Cuisinart Multicooker:
- One pot cooking = easy clean-up
- Seems safer than cooking over an open flame when my toddler is underfoot
- Love the depth of flavor that comes from cooking low & slow
- It works while I play
You too can go see Mary Poppins while dinner makes itself!
LEMON CHICKEN WITH ROSEMARY
1 TSP olive oil (I used 2)
4 pounds bone-in chicken thights, trimmed of excess visible fat with skin kept intact
1 1/2 TSP kosher salt, divided
3/4 TSP pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 large onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chicken broth, low sodium
1 TBSP lemon zest (from about 3 medium lemons)
1 lemon, thinly sliced & chopped rosemary for garnish
Now for cooking:
1. Put oil into cooking pot of Multicooker set to Brown/Saute at 400. (If you have a different slow cooker that doesn’t brown and saute, just use the stove.)
2. Season chicken thighs on both sides with 1 TSP of the salt and all of the pepper. Dredge chicken thighs in flour to lightly coat.
3. Once unit is heated, put about half the chicken, skin side down, into hot cooking pot. Don’t crowd the pan. Brown on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes per side. Chicken will release from the pot once it has browned. Reserve. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.
4. Reduce heat to 350F. Saute onions and garlic for 6 to 8 minutes until softened. Stir in the rosemary sprigs and remaining 1/2 TSP salt. Add the lemon juice, scraping up any brown bits that may remain on the cooking surface with a wooden spoon. Let juice come to a boil and reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and lemon zest and let come to a boil.
5. Nestle the browned chicken thighs in the onion mixture (okay to overlap). Place lemon slices on top of chicken.
6. Switch unit to Slow Cook on High for 2 hours. Cover and cook until thighs are cooked through (165-170 degrees) and very tender.
7. When time has expired, unit will switch to Keep Warm. Garnish with chopped rosemary.
Product was furnished to me for my review. All opinions are my own (and Dave’s and Viv’s).