Today is special on so many levels. It’s National Popcorn Day. I swear, this day was created just for my Pops, who happens to live on Popcorn. And today just happens to be his birthday. Hum, I wonder if the Powers that Be had a hand in National Popcorn Day and Pop’s birthday being one and the same.
Now I suppose because today is National Popcorn Day we could talk popping corn recipes such as Sweetly Salty Popcorn Balls or Strawberry Marshmallow Popcorn Balls, but we’ve already done that. Ask most kids or my Pops, and you’ll hear there is no such thing as too many popcorn recipes.
While I like sweets same as the next guy, I would have to argue that you can never have too many yummy meal ideas. You might remember a few years back Hubby surprised me with an Instant Pot. At the time I thought great, something else to take up valuable counter space. Wrong. It’s a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a sauté pot, rice maker, soup pot – the list goes on and on. Now I wish I had more than one. It was a toss up between the chicken or the rice to be cooked in the instant pot. The rice won out, and the chicken had to settle for one of my many slow-cookers. Yeah – as in more than one, which explains my need for commercial kitchen shelving in my den – aka auxiliary kitchen storage.
Yeah, I love to cook. Which works out well because my guys love to eat my cooking.
Slow-Cooker Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs with Rice
Lemon Pepper Chicken
2 Garlic Cloves
1 large Lemon
8 bone-in Chicken Thighs
3 tablespoons Butter, divided
2 teaspoons Lemon Pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons Cold Water
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Zest lemon, set zest aside. Slice lemon, squeeze juice into a small container and set aside.
Place chicken thighs on a cutting board, skin side down. With a sharp boning knife, remove thigh bone while leaving skin attached. Set aside.
In large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Season chicken with lemon pepper and the salt. Place half of the chicken thighs skin-side down in skillet; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until skin is golden brown and chicken lifts easily from surface of the skillet. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Repeat for remaining chicken.
Layer chicken thighs, skin-side up, inside slow cooker; scatter garlic over the chicken. In 2-cup measuring cup, mix chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper; pour over chicken thighs. Cover and cook on Low heat setting for 3 hours or until chicken is tender.
Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up. Place under broiler element of oven. Broil on HIGH about 5 minutes, just until skin has crisped. Turn broiler off, leave chicken in the oven to keep warm.
Pour cooking liquid from the slow cooker into a high-rimmed skillet. Place over medium heat until just beginning to boil. In small bowl, mix water with cornstarch; whisk into cooking juices. Lower heat, let simmer on medium-low until thickened. Season with additional lemon pepper if desired.
Transfer sauce to a gravy boat or bowl with a serving ladle.
Instant Pot White Rice
2 cups Rice
1-1/2 cups Water
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
Dash Kosher Salt
2 Green Onions sliced for garnish
Place rice in the insert of the pressure cooker. Add water, chicken stock and salt.
Seal lid. Select RICE cooker, WHITE RICE, cook time 14 minutes.
Press start. Once cycle is complete, let naturally release for 10 minutes, then release remaining steam.
Fluff rice, plate and garnish with freshly snipped green onions.
Lemon Pepper Green Beans
1 can Kitchen Cut Green Beans
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
Lemon Pepper to taste
Drain green beans, warm gently in a saucepan until heat through.
Plate green beans, top with a dollop of mayonnaise. Season with lemon pepper and enjoy.
To serve, plate rice. Garnish with green onions. Arrange chicken around bed of rice. Ladle sauce over both. Serve green beans on the side.