Low Carb Chicken Cordon Blue

Summer is flying by, and I haven’t done nearly as much sewing as I’d hoped to.   I’ve been busy this summer reading books about low carb and ketogenic diets.  In the process of researching this way of eating, I’ve happened upon some websites and blogs that are full of amazing recipes.

One of my favorite blogs is Joy Filled Eats, and my favorite recipe from that site is Chicken Cordon Blue.  It’s easy to make, tastes delicious, and fits in with our low carb eating plan.   This recipe would be a hit even if your family is not into low carb fare.  It’s a pretty basic recipe that uses ingredients that most of us have on hand.

The casserole consists of chicken and ham, a tasty sauce, and a layer of cheese.

Both times that I’ve made this, I used leftover rotisserie chicken and deli ham.  I just layered the chicken and then the ham in a 9″x 13″ pan.  Then I covered the meats with the sauce mixed exactly to the recipe specifications.  (Click on chicken cordon blue above for recipe link.)  The final step is to top it off with Swiss cheese.

Since it’s just the two of us at our house, this made enough for at least three meals.  I served it with steamed broccoli.

You should definitely try this!  Jack and I both liked it a lot.  If you’re wondering if it’s possible to eat high fat delicious food like this while losing weight and stabilizing blood sugars, we are both living proof that it is! 

The Best Low Carb Chicken Wings Ever!

I was never much of a wings fan until Jack began his lower carbohydrate eating plan a couple years ago.  At that time, I bought a cook book entitled 500 Low Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender.
It was in that book that I discovered a recipe for Heroin Chicken Wings, aptly named because of their highly addictive qualities.

These wings became one of our favorite low carb meals, and they happen to be gluten free for those of you who care about that.  I made these wings last night and served them with a tossed green salad.  Delicious!

wings and salad

Here’s the recipe as I make it (I did make one small change to the original recipe):
ingredients

4 pounds of chicken wings, cut and trimmed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 TB parsley
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup butter

The hardest and ickiest part of this recipe is preparing the chicken wings.  I use a chef’s knife to cut the bones between both joints.
how to cut chicken wings apart
I then take my kitchen shears to finish separating the pieces.  The little wing tip goes in the trash along with any loose pieces of skin or fat that can be easily trimmed.  Chicken fat is carbohydrate free, but it’s still not something that I want us to consume in vast quantities.
trimming chicken wings with kitchen shears

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.  Prepare your jelly roll pan by lining it with non-stick foil.  Don’t skip this step!  

Next, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl that will be large enough for dipping the wing pieces.

Now it’s time to melt the butter in another bowl.  I like to set up a little dipping station with the butter bowl, the coating bowl, and the foil-lined pan.  Then I begin dipping each wing piece in butter, coating it with the “breading”, and placing it on the pan.

dipping time

After that, you’re all set to bake those wings in the preheated oven for one hour.  I always set the time for 30 minutes and use clean tongs to turn them on the pan so that they brown evenly.  Like this:
yummy chicken wings

Low Carb Chicken Wings

Now that’s some good eatin’!  We eat them just like this with no dipping sauces or dressing.  If you try these, you will understand how they got the name Heroin Chicken Wings.  You won’t want to stop until the plate is empty!

If you can stop yourself from eating the whole batch in one sitting, you’ll be happy to know that these reheat well.  I like to reheat them by putting them in the microwave for a couple minutes, then the toaster oven for ten minutes more to crisp them up some.

The carb count on theses suckers is pretty low, but the calorie count is not.  For that reason, you won’t want to over do it!

 

A Chicken in Every Crock Pot

Chicken in the Crock Pot

Since perfecting the method of making crispy chicken pieces in the crock pot, I decided it was time to see if the same method would work for cooking the whole dang bird.  I set out by cleaning out the still partially frozen chicken by rinsing it under cold water.

I dried off the chicken and seasoned it with some poultry rub–the same seasoning that I use on my crispy chicken pieces.  I prepared the crock pot by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray and adding two upside down Pyrex ramekins to the bottom of the pot.  I sprayed those with cooking spray, too.

Whole Chicken in Crock Pot

I covered it with the crock pot lid, and set the crock pot on HIGH.  I cooked it on HIGH for about three hours.   At lunch time when I returned to the kitchen, I turned the crock pot back to LOW.  I did NOT lift the lid!  Lifting the lid on the crock pot can slow the cooking process up to thirty minutes.  So if you’ve got any compulsive lid-lifters at your house, keep them away from the crock pot!

Crispy Chicken in the Crockpot

In the rather immodest photo above, you can see one of the glass ramekins on which the chicken was resting.  These ramekins are the key to cooking crispy chicken in the crock pot because they keep the chicken from lying all day long in its own juices.

Chicken in Crock Pot

My whole chicken ended up being in the Crock Pot for over eight hours.  Had I known that I was going to cook the chicken that long, I definitely would have cooked it on LOW for the duration.  It was so well done, that I could not remove it from the pot in one piece.  Or even in two pieces.  Or three pieces.  In case you can’t get the picture, here’s a shot of my completely cooked chicken on the serving platter:

Crock Pot Chicken

Seriously.  That is the plate that I took to the table.

So it doesn’t look so good.  The important thing is that the chicken tasted very good.  I can’t say that it was crispy, but it had none of the mealy, watered down flavor that is the norm for chicken cooked all day long in a Crock Pot.

The truth is that we did not waste one bite of this chicken.  We had chicken for dinner the day that I cooked this, and we used all of the rest of the moist, delicious meat in chicken sandwiches that week.

I would highly recommend this method for cooking chicken.  It’s great to be able to have roast chicken in the warmer months without heating up the oven.  This meal is one that I would classify as a true Crock Pot meal since it could be left unattended for a good seven or eight hours on LOW.   Why not grab a chicken at the store this week and give this method a try?

What do cook in your Crock Pot in the summer months? 

Crispy Crock Pot Chicken

I love to use my crock pots!  I’ve tried many times to make chicken in my crock pot, but I was not happy with the texture of the chicken after it had rested for hours in the juices in the bottom of the crock pot.

A few months ago, my friend told me about her new method of making chicken in the crock pot.  She used balls of foil to suspend the chicken pieces in the crock pot, and the result was tender, juicy chicken that was nearly as crispy as oven cooked chicken.  I had to try it!

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I cooked six seasoned drumsticks in my crock pot on low for about five hours.  The foil balls kept the chicken out of the liquid in the bottom of the pot, and the result was amazing!  My only problem was that I couldn’t bear to use so much foil to cook just six small pieces of chicken.  I used a lot of foil to make these foil balls to hold up that chicken, and there was no way to re-use it.

That’s when I remembered that somewhere I had read about someone using ramekins to raise up food in their crock pot.  I do wish I could credit the source for this idea, but I have NO idea when or where I read this.  But it is a smashing idea!

This time, I placed two Pyrex ramekins and two Longaberger pottery votive cups upside down in the bottom of my crock pot.  I sprayed everything with a non-stick spray, then laid the seasoned pieces of chicken on top.

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It worked just as well or even better than the foil balls!   Clean up was easy since I’d sprayed everything, and the chicken was delicious again!

I highly recommend this method for cooking chicken in the crock pot.  If you are going to cook the chicken for more than four or five hours, I’d recommend using larger pieces of chicken or even a whole chicken.  Crock pot chicken never tasted so good, and the ramekins are an environmentally friendly alternative to the foil balls.

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What do you think of this idea?  Would you be willing to give it a try?

 

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