Simple slow-cooker meals: Make roast chicken, more

Busy fall days are the perfect time to whip up hearty meals you can make ahead of time. Here, "Cook's Illustrated" founder Chris Kimball, shares three recipes from the magazine's new cookbook, "Slow Cooker Revolution."

Whole "roast" spice-rubbed chicken
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon garam masala
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 (4 1/2- to 5-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Microwave oil, chili powder, garam masala, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in bowl, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute; let cool slightly. 2. Use your fingers to gently loosen skin covering breast and thighs of chicken; place half of paste under skin, directly on meat of breast and thighs. Gently press on skin to distribute paste over meat. Spread entire exterior surface of chicken with remaining paste and place chicken, breast side down, in slow cooker. Cover and cook until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 4 to 5 hours on low. 3. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve chicken, discarding skin if desired. Serve. For lemony steamed broccoli:Microwave 1 pound broccoli florets and 1/4 cup water in large covered bowl until broccoli is bright green and tender, about 4 minutes. Drain broccoli, toss with 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garlicky shrimp
Servings:

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 pounds large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled and deveined
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1a. For a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker: Combine oil, garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pepper flakes in slow cooker, cover, and cook until flavors meld, about 30 minutes on high. Stir in shrimp, cover, and cook on high until opaque throughout, about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. 1b. For a 5 1/2- to 7-quart slow cooker: Combine oil, garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pepper flakes in slow cooker, cover, and cook until flavors meld, about 30 minutes on high. Stir in shrimp, cover, and cook on high until opaque throughout, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. 2. Transfer shrimp and oil mixture to serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Quick prep tip:Peeling and deveining shrimp: to devein shrimp, hold shrimp firmly in 1 hand, then use paring knife to cut down back side of shrimp, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep, to expose vein. Using tip of knife, gently remove vein. Wipe knife against paper towel to remove vein and discard.

Fudgy brownie wedges
Servings:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup packed (4 2/3 ounces) brown sugar
    • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse (optional)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Fill slow cooker with 1/2 inch water (about 2 cups water) and place aluminum foil rack in bottom. Grease 6-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. 2. Microwave chocolate in large bowl at 50 percent power for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir, add butter, and continue to heat until melted, stirring once every 30 seconds; let cool slightly. In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk sugar, egg and yolk, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. 3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with pecans, if using. Set pan on prepared rack, cover, and cook until toothpick inserted into center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 3 to 4 hours on high. 4. Let brownies cool completely in pan on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours. Run small knife around edge of brownies, then remove sides of pan. Remove brownies from pan bottom, discarding parchment, and transfer to cutting board. Cut brownies into wedges and serve.

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