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Thread: Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

  1. #1
    phaeton Guest

    Default Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

    This seems to happen a lot when i use the slow cooker. Up front is
    the recipe:

    0.5 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
    3.5-4.0 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs,
    drumsticks, etc... skinned)

    1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
    1.0 teaspoon salt
    0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    0.5 teaspoon ground coriander
    0.25 teaspoon ground turmeric
    0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1) Pour broth into the slow cooker.
    2) Mix all the spices together in a bowl, sprinkle them over the
    chicken and rub in with your fingers.
    3) Place chicken into cooker
    4) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or high for 3 to 4 hours.


    I opted for the "Low for 8 hours" extreme. The chicken was a tad
    overcooked- not exactly mushy, but not as firm as I like. But mainly,
    it was pretty flavorless. For one, the chicken released about 0.5L of
    liquid (which meant all but the top few pieces were submerged, and i
    think it washed a lot of the seasonings off. Also, do longer cook
    times weaken the spices? If I were to go for "hi for 3 hours" will it
    have more 'oomph' and less liquid?

    I'm not sure what I could have done wrong otherwise. I used precise
    measurements and times. I'm under the impression that most recipes in
    books are correct (or will at least turn out as intended in the
    book). It's still edible of course, but boring.

    Thanks

    -J

  2. #2
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken


    "phaeton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > This seems to happen a lot when i use the slow cooker. Up front is
    > the recipe:
    >
    > 0.5 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
    > 3.5-4.0 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs,
    > drumsticks, etc... skinned)
    >
    > 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
    > 1.0 teaspoon salt
    > 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    > 0.5 teaspoon ground coriander
    > 0.25 teaspoon ground turmeric
    > 0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
    >
    > 1) Pour broth into the slow cooker.
    > 2) Mix all the spices together in a bowl, sprinkle them over the
    > chicken and rub in with your fingers.
    > 3) Place chicken into cooker
    > 4) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or high for 3 to 4 hours.
    >
    >
    > I opted for the "Low for 8 hours" extreme. The chicken was a tad
    > overcooked- not exactly mushy, but not as firm as I like. But mainly,
    > it was pretty flavorless. For one, the chicken released about 0.5L of
    > liquid (which meant all but the top few pieces were submerged, and i
    > think it washed a lot of the seasonings off. Also, do longer cook
    > times weaken the spices? If I were to go for "hi for 3 hours" will it
    > have more 'oomph' and less liquid?
    >
    > I'm not sure what I could have done wrong otherwise. I used precise
    > measurements and times. I'm under the impression that most recipes in
    > books are correct (or will at least turn out as intended in the
    > book). It's still edible of course, but boring.
    >
    > Thanks


    Slow cookers tend to cook out the seasonings. I find I often need to add
    more at the end of the cooking.



  3. #3
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

    On Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:54:15 -0800 (PST), phaeton
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I'm not sure what I could have done wrong otherwise. I used precise
    > measurements and times. I'm under the impression that most recipes in
    > books are correct (or will at least turn out as intended in the
    > book). It's still edible of course, but boring.


    Do not be afraid, Grasshopper! Ask yourself if you liked the recipe
    enough to try it again. *That* is the essential question.

    You did noting wrong if you followed the recipe. Not every one of
    them is a keeper, you know that! Edible and boring isn't a good sign.
    The real question is - did you like it enough to *want* to tweak it to
    your specific tastes? Most people do that. They try a recipe as
    written the first time and adjust it up or down of they had a problem
    with the first time result.

    I know nothing about slow cooker cooking but... did you add any salt
    at the table? If it brightened up the flavor, then salt was the
    problem. Did you taste at all while it was cooking? Unless you're
    absolutely confident in the recipe, that's a good cook tastes... and
    you know they always taste at least once to adjust the seasonings
    anyway. By the sounds of how you thought the texture of the chicken
    was, it sounds like they built "tasting" into the published cooking
    time (lid off, lid on, and bring back to the proper temp to continue
    the cooking process).

    If you thought the seasoning was weak, then it's obvious you needed to
    add more of everything. Try doubling all the spices except salt and
    perhaps, cumin. Increase cumin by .5 tsp or double if you think
    that's what you want (but don't over do the salt because you can add,
    but you can't take away). If it turns out to be over seasoned, then
    you know you need to back down on whatever seasoning you thought was
    too much the next time. It's not brain surgery, just a process of
    experimentation.

    Good Luck and Happy Eating!


    --

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

  4. #4
    Chemiker Guest

    Default Re: Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

    On Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:54:15 -0800 (PST), phaeton
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I opted for the "Low for 8 hours" extreme. The chicken was a tad
    >overcooked- not exactly mushy, but not as firm as I like. But mainly,
    >it was pretty flavorless. For one, the chicken released about 0.5L of
    >liquid (which meant all but the top few pieces were submerged, and i
    >think it washed a lot of the seasonings off. Also, do longer cook
    >times weaken the spices? If I were to go for "hi for 3 hours" will it
    >have more 'oomph' and less liquid?


    Was the chicken previously frozen?

    A crock isn't much different from a tagine, and both keep the moisture
    trapped in the vessel. Most of my tagine experience points to about 3
    hours rather then 8, started cold and cooked at 275-300. Meat should
    be falling off the bone tender and well seasoned.

    HTH

    Alex

  5. #5
    Tracy Guest

    Default Re: Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken



    On 1/23/2011 10:54 PM, phaeton wrote:
    > This seems to happen a lot when i use the slow cooker. Up front is
    > the recipe:
    >
    > 0.5 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
    > 3.5-4.0 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs,
    > drumsticks, etc... skinned)
    >
    > 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
    > 1.0 teaspoon salt
    > 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    > 0.5 teaspoon ground coriander
    > 0.25 teaspoon ground turmeric
    > 0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
    >
    >


    When I make Moroccan chicken I use sliced onions, fresh garlic,
    fresh grated ginger, paprika, parsley, cilantro, salt and pepper.

    When it is nearly done, I add kalamata olives and potatoes (and
    maybe some peas). Sometimes instead of putting potatoes in the pot,
    I make french fries. I will also, on occasion add some preserved lemon.

    I don't particularly care for cumin in chicken recipes. I will add
    it to beef or lamb tagines though.


    Tracy
    (I don't use a slow cooker - just a regular dutch oven. Takes about
    an hour and 15 minutes usually.)

  6. #6
    phaeton Guest

    Default Re: Bland Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

    I haven't given up on the recipe (I rarely do that). I'm just unsure
    if I did something wrong, or if I need some way to suspend the chicken
    up above any rising liquids.

    Next time I might increase all the spices except cumin.



    I still love my crock pot, but sometimes it's time inefficient in
    other ways. This is exactly the sort of thing that one should
    probably make in an oven (or tangine) instead of a crock pot. A lot
    of the stews and things (like corned beef) I used to make in the
    crockpot I now make on top of the stove, because it seems like I'm
    trading a lot of time to save a little bit of effort, and it often
    turns out better.

    -J

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