19 August, 2011

Meat Sauce (Crock-Pot) Test

This sauce slowly cooks for two days. Next batch, we'll reduce cooking times, measure better and make other adjustments.

Meat Sauce (Crock-Pot Test)
Makes about 1 gallon (plus the 1-QT reserved for another recipe)
Day 1:
2 tsp McCormick Chicken Base
2 cups boiling water
2 Vidalia onions
Lemon pepper
Minced garlic
About 1/4 bottle Cabernet (best guess 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 (106-oz) can whole San Marzano Italian Plum Peeled Tomatoes with Purée and Basil (divided use)
2 frozen whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1.5-LBS frozen sweet Italian sausages
Granulated California garlic
Italian Seasoning

Day 2:
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Granulated garlic
Dried rosemary leaves (crushed)
Dried Italian Seasoning
3 to 5 links of reserved Italian Sausage
1 (28-oz) can Contadina Roma Style Crushed Tomatoes 
Tomato can 3/4-full (21-oz) water, and top-off (7-oz) Chardonnay

Notes:  I used 1997 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Appellation Collection. 

Day 1 (cooks 14 to 15 hours):
Dissolve Chicken Base in the water.

Slice one onion and completely cover the bottom of crock-pot. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and some minced garlic.

Remove about 24 whole tomatoes from the sauce and make at least two layers on top of the onion slices. (Reserve remaining tomatoes and sauce.) Sprinkle with granulated garlic and generous amount of Italian Seasoning.

Slice and layer the second Vidalia onion over the tomato layers. Add the chicken breasts and sausages over seasoned onions. Sprinkle with more Lemon-pepper and Italian Seasoning. 

Open enough of the reserved whole canned tomatoes to lay flat evenly on top of the chicken and sausage. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. 

Add the dissolved Chicken Base liquid to the side of the crock-pot. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours. 

Carefully uncover and remove 1 piece each of the chicken and sausage to check status. If done, remove with some of the tomatoes to a serving dish or storage bowl. If not done, cover and cook for another 1 hour.

Slightly cool sausage before slicing lengthwise, and then diagonally.

Continue cooking the sauce and onions to reach a total time of 14.5 hours on Low. Remove some of the cooked onion rings and tomatoes, with 4 cups of the light sauce to serve over the cooked and refrigerated chicken and sausage. 

Day 2 (cooks 23 to 24 hours):
Cover and cook another 20 hours.

Return 1 to 2 sausage links to crock-pot and cook another 2 hours.

Use immersible blender to break-up vegetables and sausage. Add  the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, granulated garlic, dried Rosemary Leaves (crushed), dried Italian Seasoning, another 2 to 3 sausage links, and the crushed tomatoes. Fill tomato can 3/4-full with water, and top-off with Chardonnay. Add liquids to crock-pot; cover and cook another 1 to 2 hours.

Use immersible blender, just to even the consistency of the sauce.

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