I almost gave up on my crockpot a few years ago. I had cooked a roast that, after several hours of cooking, turned out to be a sort of grayish green. Who wants to eat grayish green meat? Not this girl. So I put the slow cooker away with some disgust and didn’t drag it out again until I heard a the Splendid Table podcast interview with the Kitchn’s Faith Durand, who described the crockpot as a kind of sous chef.
She recommended using a crockpot to make oatmeal, veggie stock, or collard greens and also recommended it for cooking down down fruit like apples. After a visit to our local orchard, I decided to make All Night Apple Butter. It turned out to be just the thing for fall. Even after I put some of it away, and the boys spread it on toast and waffles, I had plenty left over.
A rainy day last weekend, some chicken thighs I bought on sale – 9 bone-in chicken thighs for $4.80 – and the leftover apple butter inspired this classic slow cooker apple butter BBQ chicken. The sweetness of the apple butter is perfectly balanced by mustard, hot sauce, and smoked paprika. For my Paleo readers, use a no-sugar added apple butter like this one sweetened by figs from PaleOMG.