I picked two slow cooker recipes to try off Pinterest this time around – Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Thai Chicken Soup. I love gyros and I love Thai food so they seemed like no brainers. PLUS they were slightly more complicated than most slow cooker recipes I make. It seemed like it might be time to push myself a bit
First up were the Chicken Gyros. The chicken part was actually pretty simple. I just mixed the meat with onions and herbs (dill and oregano) and a bunch of lemon juice. The recipe called for “the juice of two large lemons” but I had the little lemon-shaped squeeze bottle of juice so I had to guess on how much was equal to “two large lemons.” The chicken was edible so I must have guessed right.
There were very few alterations I made to the recipe this time around. I skipped lemon wedges, lettuce, and tomatoes ‘for serving,’ and I used regular salt instead of sea salt. But otherwise I followed the instructions exactly (well okay, there was that lemon juice thing, but whatever).
About a half an hour before the chicken was done cooking (and boy did that smell good in the slow cooker for three hours) I made the Tzatziki, which is basically the yogurt sauce stuff that goes in the gyro with the meat. The recipe included Greek yogurt and sour cream so I had a feeling it would be amazing.
The Tzatziki was the complicated bit of this recipe. I combined yogurt and sour cream and garlic and olive oil and mixed them up. Then I had to include grated cucumber. I have never used grated cucumber before and actually watched a few YouTube videos to make sure I was doing it right. I’m glad they mentioned scooping out the seeds beforehand to keep the Tzatziki from being too runny.
The gyros came out almost a total WIN. The chicken was a little dry and I’m not sure if that was because I cooked it too long or my slow cooker just cooks too hot. I’m still learning how to use it properly so it was probably user error in this case. The next time I try this recipe I’ll do it on Low and check more often to catch it at the perfect stage of done-ness.
My second recipe was Thai Chicken Soup. It included red curry, peanut butter, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Basically a bit of every good Thai recipe EVER. I was also very particular about following the instructions on this one. I included everything in the ingredient list except cilantro (because I don’t need to garnish my soup) and cooked brown rice, because later it says to serve with white rice instead and I found that all kind of confusing. Also, I love long grain white rice so I went with it instead.
Getting everything into the pot for the soup was pretty easy. About halfway through cooking, however, I noticed that it looked like the coconut milk was separating from the rest of the broth and clumping up. In fact it looked a bit like I had dumped cottage cheese in the soup. I mixed it up thoroughly but it never completely smoothed out. I went online to see if broth separation was common with this kind of soup but wasn’t able to find anything explaining it.
Obviously I was a bit concerned with how the soup would turn out. But luckily, though it looked kind of strange, it tasted wonderful. The peanut butter was obvious in the aroma wafting off the slow cooker, but the taste in the soup itself was quite light. Overall it was a little bit sweet, a tiny bit spicy, and a tad nutty. I thoroughly enjoyed it (especially with rice), which is a good thing as the recipe made about enough for at least six people.
– Mia V.