Curry up

7 Jan

This recipe is from Crock-Pot Cooking by Marilyn Neil, published by Rival Manufacturing in 1975. At Chicago’s 1971 National Housewares Show, Rival unveiled the Crock-Pot* Slow Cooker – originally marketed as the Naxon Beanery. Rival had purchased Naxon Utilities and rebranded and repurposed their bean cooker. The Crock Pot arrived alongside Tupperware, microwaves and frozen dinners, all promising greater convenience for working women and their families. A 1975 advertisement called the Crock-Pot “perfect for working women.” Brides in the 70s and 80s had a slow cooker on their registry.

 Rival played a special part in my life.

I first met Marilyn Neil in August 1976 when my husband Jerry and I moved to Kansas City. I filled in for a home economist in the test kitchen where recipes were developed for the Crock-Pot and other Rival appliances. I spent the next six months writing ad copy for the now defunct Harzfeld’s Department Stores, and was hired at Rival as an advertising associate the following February, where I stayed until we moved to Minneapolis in 1980. Rival’s test kitchen had three full-time home economists plus a woman who prepped (cut, chopped and measured ingredients – and did the clean-up). I wrote their cookbooks so discovered first hand that there was more to prepare in a slow cooker than just soups and stews. I still have the baking pan that was used to make cakes right in the stoneware bowl. Watch for more slow cooker recipes to come.

This recipe is easy to put-together and perfect for a cold winter night. Curry flavor is mild. Add more if you like!

Chicken Curry

2 whole chicken breasts boned

½ cup butter or margarine

½ cup flour

1 ½ teaspoons slat

Dash pepper

2 ½ cups milk

¼ cup dry sherry

2 green onions with tops, finely chopped

1 teaspoon curry powder

Brown or white rice

Cut chicken into bite size pieces; set aside. In saucepan, melt butter; blend in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and smooth. Pour into Crock-Pot. Stir in chicken, sherry, green onions and curry powder. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 8 hours. Taste for seasoning. Before serving, thicken with a flour and water paste (1 to 2 ratio). Serve over hot rice.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts. Recipe can be doubled.

Note: Use whatever milk – skim, full fat – as you wish but the result may not be as rich tasting. I used a mix of whole and skim milk.

Copies of this long out-of-print book are available on Amazon!

Note, the original Crock-Pot Slow Cooker was invented by Rival Manufacturing and was a registered trademark. These days all slow cookers are randomly called Crock-Pots (just like tissues are referred to as Kleenex). FYI, I’ve owned other brands and ultimately go back to a Rival Crock-Pot!

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