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HomeFoodGo with the slow: These energy-efficient slow cooker ideas from a brilliant new...

Go with the slow: These energy-efficient slow cooker ideas from a brilliant new book deliver maximum flavour with minimal fuss

WHOLE CHICKEN COOKED IN CIDER 

SERVES 4

Cook 4-5 hours on low (depending on the size of your chicken)

3 shallots, sliced1-2 leeks, sliced3 x 300ml cans of cider1 small to medium chicken, about 1.2kg (2lb 10oz) – make sure it fits into your slow cooker4 Little Gem lettuces, sliced lengthways into quarters100ml (3½fl oz) single creamA few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves pickedSea salt and freshly ground black pepper Whole chicken cooked in cider Whole chicken cooked in cider

Whole chicken cooked in cider

To serve

Roast or mashed potatoesCrusty bread

Preheat the slow cooker on low for about 30 minutes.

Olly Smith’s wine pairing 

Cracking with chicken 

No. 1 English Vintage Perry (8%, 500ml) £2.50, Waitrose 

Made from Herefordshire pears, this underrated sparkling English gem is lovely with chicken and superb to refresh alongside the orchard theme of this recipe.

Perfect with prawns

Riesling Kalkmergel Weingut Jülg 2019 (13%) £14.95, thewinesociety.com 

Offering electrifying citrus zing with a smoky thread and thrumming zestiness, this sculptured riesling is a top-notch quencher for this fragrant curry.

Stunning with shakshuka 

Château Millegrand Aurore Minervois 2018 (14%) £10.50, Co-op 

Shakshuka can take a big red, and the spicy splendour of this huge wine is more than up to the task. 

Put the shallots and leeks into the slow cooker, then pour in the cider. Add the chicken, breast-side down to begin with. Cook for 3 hours on low, turning the chicken halfway through cooking.

Add the lettuce quarters, placing them around the chicken, which is now breast-side up. Cook for 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the chicken, until it is cooked through with no trace of pink. Remove the chicken and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a delicious sauce by putting the single cream and rosemary leaves into the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, then turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes.

Carve the chicken, divide among 4 plates, then pour the sauce over the top. Serve with roast potatoes or buttery mash, and don’t forget some crusty bread to mop up the creamy sauce.

RED THAI PRAWN NOODLES 

SERVES 4

Cook 3 hours on low

500g (1lb 2oz) frozen prawns (or use fresh)4tbsp Thai red curry paste1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk3 kaffir lime leaves2 dried red chillies (leave out if you don’t like spice)Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper2 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced200g (7oz) dried egg noodles1 pak choi, quartered

To serve

A handful of fresh coriander leaves, choppedA handful of pistachios, roughly chopped

Put the frozen or fresh prawns, Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and dried red chillies, if using, into your slow cooker. Season, stir, then cook on low for 2 hours.

Add the sliced peppers and cook for a further 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and refresh under cold water.

Add the pak choi and noodles to the slow cooker, stir, and then cook for 30 minutes.

Season again to taste and serve sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander leaves and pistachios.

Red thai prawn noodles Red thai prawn noodles

Red thai prawn noodles

SHAKSHUKA

SERVES 4 

Cook 4 hours on low, then 20 minutes on high 

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 2 onions, chopped 1tsp chilli flakes 2tsp ground cumin 1tsp paprika 150ml (¼pt) vegetable stock A handful of fresh spinach, chopped Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 eggs 

To serve 

A handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped 4-8 slices of bread, toasted  Shakshuka Shakshuka

Shakshuka

Pop the tomatoes, onions and dried spices into your slow cooker, pour in the stock and stir. 

Cook on low for 3 hours. Add the spinach and salt and pepper seasoning, stir, then cook for a further hour. 

Make 8 indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each indentation. 

Cook on high for around 20 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still slightly runny (do keep an eye on them). 

Divide the eggs and sauce among 4 plates. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and some toast on the side. 

The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook by Clare Andrews is published by Penguin Michael Joseph on Thursday, £20. © Clare Andrews 2023. 

To order a copy for £17 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. 

Free UK delivery on orders over £25. Promotional price valid until 18/11/2023. 

Photography © Danielle Woods 2023.

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