Last night’s dinner….

Last night for dinner I made Crockpot Vietnamese Roasted Chicken from A Year of Crockpotting .   I followed the recipe exactly right down to using the balls of foil in the bottom of the crockpot…and Stephanie was right, they didn’t do anything to help crisp the skin.    I did deviate SLIGHTLY from the recipe, actually, rather than using just thighs, I cut up a whole chicken (several weeks ago I found whole organic free range chickens at my local supermarket that were close to their sell by date, and they had marked them down to $1.99 each….I bought every one of them that they had marked down and put them into freezer bags and into my freezer……this was the last of those whole chickens, I’m so sad 😦 ) and used that.   That way everyone got their favorite pieces.   (I did cut the breasts–with the bone in– in half because the whole breasts are more meat than we need).

Most of us really liked this recipe a lot!   My honey doesn’t prefer southeast asian cuisine…..it’s not his favorite.   He said that the chicken was good, but not his favorite recipe, and he would eat it if I made it again (not the glowing response that some of the other recipes that I’ve made this week have gotten……but that’s ok).    So I will definitely make this one again, but only occasionally.   I LOVED it!   But I am much more open to the stronger flavors that southeast asian cuisine tends to have……mainly the fish sauce.   I love the depth of flavor that the fish sauce gives to the chicken, but the family knew that it was fish sauce without me telling them, so maybe it was too much fish sauce?   I think that as much as I loved this recipe, I may make it again in a few weeks and tweek it a bit without destroying the integrity of the flavors and changing it entirely.       My conclusion (based on the comments from my family) on this recipe is that if you like ethnic foods and like the strong flavors from southeast asian cuisine then you will enjoy this recipe.   It really was VERY good and VERY flavorful.   But if you are not a fan of southeast asian cuisine, then you may want to alter the recipe to not include the fish sauce (I’ve read that you can substitute soy sauce for fish sauce, but I would be concerned about it being too salty….so taste the sauce as you’re making it) or to include less of it.

I served the chicken with rice that I steamed in the rice cooker that I got from freecycle before Christmas.   I hadn’t used it before yesterday…..actually I had forgotten about it until yesterday!   (I was talking to my friend Serina about dinner preparations and that I was not looking forward to heating the kitchen up to cook the rice on the stovetop…..she asked if I had a rice cooker, and I remembered that I did!…..I didn’t know if it worked or not though, so I gave it a shot and it worked perfectly!!!!!).   I also served it with some stirfried veggies (I used carrots, yellow squash, onion, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes and seasoned them with garlic, ginger, chili garlic paste and soy sauce and then added water at the end to de-concentrate the flavors and make a little bit of a sauce to pour over the rice).   Overall the whole dinner was delicious!  And I am looking forward to making the chicken again and tweeking it a bit to suit D and the kids’ tastes a little better 🙂

Oh!  And if I use skin on chicken again, I will take a minute to crisp the skin under the broiler or on the stovetop before placing it in the crockpot.

Oh (one more time :)) I also marinated the chicken in the “sauce” for about 4 hours before putting it all in the crockpot….I think that if I am working with thawed chicken in the future for this recipe, I will do that again!

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