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Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
I was always happy when Mom made chicken cacciatore for dinner. We would eat it over pasta with lots of freshly grated cheese on top. Now, whenever I make this dish, I always think of my mom. Since the sauce is hearty and chunky, it’s perfect to make in the slow cooker. While any part of the chicken works great, I prefer to use skinless chicken thighs that are still on the bone. The chicken comes out so juicy and tender, and the bones add flavor to the sauce. I find that when you make this without the bone, the meat tends to be dry. Once the sauce is cooked, I remove the chicken from the bone and shred it, so you get chicken in every bite.
Season the chicken with the salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray, add the chicken, and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and coat with more cooking spray. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
Discard the bay leaf and transfer the chicken to a large plate. Pull the chicken meat from the bones (discard the bones), shred the meat, and return it to the sauce. Stir in the parsley. If desired, serve topped with Romano or Parmesan.
Per serving 1 cup.
Fat 6 g.
Saturated fat 1.5 g.
Cholesterol 123 mg.
Carbohydrate 10 g.
Fiber 2 g.
Protein 31 g.
Sugars 6 g.
Sodium 319 mg.
This is great over whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti (DeLallo is my favorite brand), as well as rice or polenta. For a low-carb option, serve it over spaghetti squash (see page 266).
- 8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 ounces each), fat trimmed
- 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray or oil mister
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 large onion, chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I like Tuttorosso)
- 1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1⁄2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
About the Author
GINA HOMOLKA is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Skinnytaste Cookbook and the founder of Skinnytaste, the award-winning blog that’s been featured on Fitness and Better Homes and Gardens, among other media outlets. She lives on Long Island with her husband and their two children.
HEATHER K. JONES, R.D., is a registered dietitian, the author of several nutrition books, and the founder of heatherkjones.com, a weight-loss site about healing and hope instead of diets and deprivation.
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Cons: There are recipes that I will never use, including a whole chapter on breakfast and toast. Many of the recipes use unusual ingredients--and a small amount of them--so there is always either a bottle of something in my pantry that I will never use again, or a bunch of partial ingredients that will spoil before I find another recipe for them. But my biggest complaint is that the slow cooker recipes are almost in name only. They require lengthy preparation, such as pre-cooking the meat or vegetables. Some require attention in the middle of the cooking time, followed by an additional 1-2 hours of cooking. And overall they are supposed to be cooked for odd lengths of time. For example, I'm making the slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs today. I would never have enough time in the morning before work to prepare the meatballs (shred zucchini, roll 24 meatballs) or sauce (pre-cook the garlic), so I had to do it last night. But now I'm faced with instructions to cook on low for 4-5 hours. How am I supposed to do that from work? I could use an outlet timer, but then it will sit on my counter for 5 hours either before or after cooking. I was looking for a slow cooker cookbook which would accommodate how I want to use a slow cooker: throw in the ingredients in 5 minutes, leave for 10 hours, and come home to a finished dinner. This cookbook is not that. However, if you are at home during the day and want to make healthy, delicious meals in your slow cooker, then it would be great for you.
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And I have A LOT of cookbooks!