Last summer was the first summer we really spent full days at the beach. We packed snacks, drinks, and lunch but dinner was usually eaten at home. Just like during the school year, I found that planning ahead for our dinners made our beach days much less stressful. This recipe, from Real Simple, is a perfect meal to put in your slow cooker in the morning before you leave for the day in the sun. Just come home, shower, and sit down to a delicious homemade meal with the family.
(image and recipe from Real Simple)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved if large
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry (half a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1/3 cup heavy cream
1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together the mushrooms, carrots, onion, flour, thyme, bay leaf, and ½ cup water. Place the chicken on top; season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
2. Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
3. Thirty minutes before serving, heat oven to 425° F. Using a 4½-inch cutter or large glass, cut the pastry into 4 circles. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, green beans, cream, and ½ teaspoon salt to the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high or low until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more. To serve, place the chicken mixture in bowls and top with the pastry rounds.
Tip: The pastry rounds can be cooked up to 12 hours in advance; keep at room temperature in an airtight container. If desired, reheat at 350° F for 5 minutes before serving.
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