I love my slow cooker – I find the days so much easier when I’ve practically finished making dinner by breakfast time!
I’m always trying to take my family’s favourite recipes and make slow cooker versions. Sometimes this results in disaster, sometimes in decent meals, but occasionally it results in something better than the original – and this is one of those cases. The chutney cooks into the chicken to make is sticky and delicious while the lime tenderises it even more than the slow cooking does, resulting in amazingly tender chicken that’s great for picky eaters, baby-led weaning and the whole family.
I usually try to avoid refined sugar, and I don’t use it in the treats I make, but I do tend to be more relaxed about it when it comes to main meals that are otherwise really healthy. The amount of sugar per serving in this dinner is still low at less than 3g for a young child’s portion (the recommended maximum amount of sugar in a four year old’s diet is 19g a day).
The chutney that I use is a South African favourite - you can use any fruit chutney, but if you can get hold of a bottle of Mrs Balls Original Recipe Chutney it’s really good in this (and it’s good for marinades, in burger patties or even on fried eggs). It’s also dairy free and soy free.
If you have a picky eater try making this without the vegetables at first, instead serving those alongside the chicken. Then as they start to recognise this as a favoured meal you can slowly start adding in the vegetables one at a time. I recommend onions first, then add carrots the next time, then peppers after that.
Using skinless and boneless chicken thighs makes this a really quick meal as you barely need to do any prep, but if you have whole thighs, just remove the skins before putting them in the slow cooker. Once it’s cooked you can remove the bones - they fall out of the chicken and it’s really quick to do. Just be sure to count the number of thighs that went in so you know how many bones to get out at the end!
You can serve this with tortillas, as a sandwich filling, or on its own alongside some extra veg and rice.
Lime and Chutney Chicken
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours
6 - 8 chicken thighs (you can use skinless and boneless or whole thighs, skin removed)
2 limes (juice only)
4 Tablespoons fruit chutney
2 bell peppers
Lightly oil the sides of the slow cooker to avoid the chicken sticking to the sides
Peel and chop the onion and peppers, put into the slow cooker
Peel and grate the carrots and put into the slow cooker
Place the chicken thighs on top
Pour the chutney over the top
Squeeze the limes evenly over the chicken
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours
Remove the bones (if using whole thighs) and mix before serving
I usually make a double batch and put half in the freezer for another, even easier dinner or for a useful lunch-time sandwich filler