I must declare my love for the ever enduring slow cooker! Apart from some browning of meat (which I've been known to forgo many a time), you simply throw your ingredients in, whack it on and leave it alone for hours to simmer away ever so slowly. In fact, even lifting the lid to give said dish a stir is not recommended as this breaks the seal of the lid and cooking time needs to be increased.
I knew that anything requiring such little effort, that could produce such succulent and delicious results after a bit of neglect would be a staple in my kitchen. And indeed the slow cooker comes out at The Shady Pine as soon as the cold weather announces itself.
I've had fun experimenting with slow cooker recipes for a while now. However this recipe for Jerk spiced chicken drumsticks in a newly purchased slow cooker book won me over initially because of the name. It continued to win me over because even though there is a long list of ingredients, everything except the chicken , is whizzed up into a paste in the processor so there is no lengthy prep.
You simply pour the paste over the chicken and let it cook away. Ultimately, what really won me over was the fantastic taste. The flavour from the paste is perfectly balanced. The initial recipe called for 2 chillies, hower after tasting the chilli I had bought I decided to only use one. This proved to be a good decision as one chilli was more than enough to impart some heat without taking over. So I'd recommend checking the heat of the chilli to be used and adjust according to your heat tolerance.
I also decided to add the juice of a whole orange instead of the two tablespoons the recipe called for to make a larger quantity of sauce. This also worked and I poured extra sauce over the steamed rice that I served with the chicken. In fact, this sauce is so delicious, I'd be happy to eat it with steamed rice in its own right!
Jerk spiced chicken drumsticks
Adapted from recipe in Women’s Weekly Slow Cooker 2, pg54
Olive oil spray
8 chicken drumsticks
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, finely sliced
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 fresh green chilli, chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt flakes
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp mixed herbs (I used Italian brand, Ariosto mixed herbs for chicken. This is a really lovely mixture of herbs including basil, marjoram, sage and more)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
A slow cooker and food processor are required for this recipe; I used a 4.5L capacity slow cooker.
1. Heat a pan over high heat. Spray pan with oil and brown the chicken drumstick in batches.
2. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.
3. In a food processor place spring onions, ginger, garlic, spices, herbs, pepper, salt, sugar, vinegar and orange juice. Process this to a fine paste.
4. Pour the paste over the chicken in the slow cooker and mix well. Place on the lid and cook on slow setting for 2.5 hours. After this time, increase the heat setting to high and cook for another 1 hour.
5. Serve chicken with rice and steamed vegetables with extra sauce if desired.