Thursday, March 25, 2010

Crock Pot Love Affair

I heart my crock pot, I really, really do.

It's hard to remember when my love affair started, but I know that several years ago I found a recipe for crockpot cheesy chicken, or something like that, on RecipeZaar. That has become one of my standbys because it so easy and I don't have to look up a recipe.

boneless skinless chicken breasts - however much you want, I think the recipe was like for 2 lbs, and I ALWAYS use ice glazed chicken breats, the kind you find in the bag at Trader Joe's or the grocery store, but they seem to be cheaper at Trader Joe's
2 cans of cheddar cheese soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
garlic powder
salt and pepper

So maybe it's 2 cans of cream of chicken and 1 can of cheddar cheese, I can never remember and I've probably done it both ways. But all you do is throw that chicken in the crock pot (when you're using the ice glazed chicken there is no prep involved), and then mix up the other stuff (the salt, pepper, and garlic powder are to taste), and then you dump that over the chicken. Turn your crockpot on low for about 7 hours and you are done. Chop it or shread it and serve it over egg noodles or a baked potato or rice, whatever. You could also jazz it up with other spices. It's just simple, easy comfort food.

Several months ago Super and I went to Sarah's house for dinner. She made us chicken enchiladas. I was like, this chicken is so yummy and flavorful and moist, how'd you cook it? She tells us she just threw chicken in the crock pot and threw a jar of green salsa over it. After 7 hours it's ready to shred.

What the? Who the? How the? No way, it could not be that easy! But sure enough it was. And since then I have made that stuff many, many, many times. I've used green salsa (Herdez is my personal favorite), red salsa, and at various times added jalapenos or green chili or onion. I also throw a little garlic powder on top because I always think some garlic powder's a good idea. Once you shred it up you can use it for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salad, whatever. Too easy.

Yesterday I did a variation on this and topped the chicken with a jar of spaghetti sauce. I used the Puttanesca sauce from Trader Joe's. Wowza. Just had some over a baked potato topped with some of Vanessa's Homemade Buttermilk Ranch dressing, and dang... that was delicious and filling and fabulous.

It's all about low investment, high reward. I am all about this concept in cooking and in life.

Don't get me wrong, some things are hard work and rightly so, and have amazing results. But some things shouldn't feel hard. For example, if you work hard to hook up with a friend only to find you don't have any fun when you hang out with them, or worse, they annoy you, then I suggest you don't hang out with that friend any longer, or at least not often. Life's too short for that. Look around and see if there are any places you can crockpoterize (that's a new word, yes, I just made that up) your life.

And if you have any crock pot recipe ideas, send them my way!

1 comment:

vanessa vichit-vadakan said...

i've always wanted a crockpot. i would be a chili-making machine if i had one.

one of my favorite ways to braise chicken thighs is with chunks of carrot and celery, turmeric, ginger, a touch of cinnamon, and, added at the end, dried apricot or raisins or prunes, and almonds or pinenuts. cilantro to garnish. sometimes i'll do that with chopped tomatoes, sometimes not.

i want green chicken enchiladas now.