Jamie Geller on Fast Cooking with a Slow Cooker

January 12, 2012
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Not many people would say, “I love, love, love my crockpot,” but I do. That’s because every week it’s the source of the most warming, delish, knock-your-socks-off cholent. (That cholent will also knock you into a food-induced coma that can last most of Shabbos, if you don’t watch out.)

Hubby’s family heirloom cholent recipe is somewhat famous in our neighborhood (and beyond!). When we host a Kiddush, people literally scrape the sides of the pot for just one more spoonful. It has been published in the New York Times and I even made a video of it you can find on YouTube.  Funny thing is that the crockpot is a hand-me-down, though I hasten to add, a beloved hand-me-down. This perfect pot was bestowed upon us with great love and somber ceremony by Hubby’s bro (who cooked a mean version of cholent himself) when he and his family made Aliyah eight years ago. It’s got mazal, that pot: it never fails to produce delicious food.

So here’s my weird confession. As the self-crowned Quick & Kosher Queen, I should be using this this baby every day to rule the quickie-dinner universe. But somehow, I never got into the habit. Like my Shabbos candles, the crockpot comes out only on erev Shabbos.

Makes no sense, people. Think of the obvious benefit of crock pot meals! I mean, you can throw stuff into the pot in the morning before you leave for work (or wherever you go to do what you do) and when you come home — the house smells divine, and dinner is done!

What on earth have I been waiting for? If you’re like me, it’s time to think of your crockpot as your daily companion – the chef that stays home to prepare your dinner while you’re away.

It seems to me that chicken and crockpots somehow belong together, so I’ll give you two.

  • Chicken Thighs with Eggplant and Olives over Pasta
  • Moroccan Chicken Stew (Yummy!)

Nothing like that aroma of a meaty stew cooking throughout the day – doesn’t matter whether you’re busy at home, or just returning after a long day. You take a sniff and the whole house tells you that dinner is ready!  Find the Asian BBQ Beef Ribs recipe on Here you see the more traditional but delicious Beef Stew with Root Vegetables: traditional and delicious. Serve it with thick, crusty bread and experience perfection!

This slow cooker savory delight is meatless for the vegetarians among us, or for those of us who simply don’t eat fleish every night. (Oh, ok — for those of us who just want to be able to have that pint of ice cream after dinner.)

The aroma of my Curried Chick Pea Stew is absolutely mouthwatering! That’s because it features cumin, coriander, turmeric and garlic — talk about adding zip to a dish!

Moroccan Chicken Stew

6 servings


  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 4 hours
  • Ready time: 19 min


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 1 pound
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 15 prunes
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups frozen cauliflower florets (no need to defrost)
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. In a crock pot, combine chicken, sweet potato, onions, tomatoes, broth, prunes, garlic, ginger and spices.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Add cauliflower and cook on high for 1 more hour.
  4. To serve, garnish with cashews and cilantro.

Chicken Thighs with Eggplant and Olives over Pasta

4 servings


  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 6 hours
  • Ready time: 16 min


  • 4 boneless chicken thighs (1½ lbs.)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups jarred pasta sauce
  • 1 cup sliced Spanish olives
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 small eggplants cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lb. rigatoni


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Brown chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes total.
  3. Transfer thighs to slow cooker and cover with sauce, olives, onion powder, red pepper and garlic powder. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  4. Add eggplant and cook 1 more hour.
  5. About 15 minutes before chicken is done, cook pasta according to package directions and drain well.
  6. After 6 hours remove chicken from slow cooker and set aside. Stir in parsley and cooked pasta.
  7. Distribute between 4 serving bowls and top each with a chicken thigh.

Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

4 to 6 servings


  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 hours


  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 lb. cubed beef chuck
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Mix together carrots, parsnips, turnips and butternut squash in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with cubed beef and tomatoes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder and cumin and sprinkle over everything.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Curried Chickpea Stew

6 servings

Jamie Geller shares her recipe for Curried Chickpea Stew


  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 hours


  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) pieced fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Curry powder
  • 2 cups (defrosted) cauliflower florets


  1. In a crock pot, combine all ingredients except cauliflower.
  2. Cook on low for 7½ hours.
  3. Add cauliflower and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes more.

Jamie Geller was “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” – until she found her niche as everybody’s favorite kosher cook next door. She is the author of the best-selling Quick & Kosher cookbook series, creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and host of the popular Quick & Kosher cooking show online at and on-air on JLTV.  Join Jamie and the world’s largest kosher food community on to discover 5,000 FREE kosher recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos, and more! Follow more of Jamie’s Quick & Kosher cooking adventures on Twitter @JoyofKosher and on

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.