crock pot adventures

August 27, 2015

lately, i’ve been trying out some slow cooker recipes. the few that i’ve tried out have been pretty successful… just have to tweak them a little here and there. i’ve never really cooked much with larger pieces of meat: i’ve cooked with ground beef, smaller pieces of beef/pork when stir-frying, fish (mostly tilapia), but never really felt comfortable with chicken/steak type dishes. i’ve always stuck mainly with pasta and rice dishes.

i think cooking chicken in a crock pot has given me a little more courage to try something i haven’t done much of.

the first recipe i tried was slow cooker chicken teriyaki. i should’ve added vegetables in with the chicken breast because the chicken turned out to be really dry. that’s one thing i learned about cooking chicken breast in a slow cooker: chicken breast doesn’t have much fat, so it tends to get dry very quickly.

here’s the recipe:

yield: 4-6 servings

ingredients
3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c + 2 T apple cider vinegar
1/3 c light brown sugar
1/4 c honey
1 T finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 T cold water
1.5 T cornstarch
vegetables, chopped (broccoli, green pepper, carrots, celery, baby corn, bamboo shoots, etc.)
cooked long grain white rice, for serving
sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

directions

  1. place chicken and vegetables in a slow cooker, set aside.
  2. in a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, honey, ginger, garlic and pepper.
  3. pour mixture over chicken and vegetables in slow cooker, cover with lid and cook on low heat 4-5 hours.
  4. remove chicken from slow cooker and shred.
    (steps 5- optional)
  5. strain sauce from slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan.
  6. in a mixing bowl, whisk together 1.5 T cold water and cornstarch.
  7. pour cornstarch mixture into liquid in saucepan and heat mixture over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to gently boil.
  8. allow mixture to gently boil about 20 seconds until thickened. return chicken to slow cooker and pour teriyaki sauce from saucepan over chicken.
  9. toss mixture gently to evenly coat. serve warm over cooked rice garnished with optional sesame seeds and serve.

i skipped the last few steps regarding the cornstarch sauce.

the second one i tried was this recipe for zesty italian crockpot cheesy chicken.

yields 4-6 servings

ingredients
4 chicken breasts (i used chicken thighs)
1 (8 oz.) package of philadelphia cream cheese
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
chopped broccoli (or any other vegetable of your choice – spinach, green beans, etc.)
1 box of rotini pasta noodles

directions

  1. combine chicken, cream cheese, cream of chicken, and broccoli.
  2. cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
  3. about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve our dinner,  prepare the rotini noodles by boiling them.
  4. after draining, pour the noodles into crockpot and mix together.
  5. serve and enjoy !

this one tasted pretty good ! i usually don’t really like white creamy sauces, but this one was alright in my book =] there was a little bit of a sour taste and i’m wondering if it was the zesty italian seasoning… i wonder what would happen if i skipped it next time, if it would change the texture or taste.

i just tried this one (crockpot chicken taco chili) today and we’ll find out the end results in just a few minutes because it’s dinnertime =]

yields 6 servings

ingredients

  1. 1 16-oz. can black beans, drained
  2. 1 16-oz. can kidney beans, drained
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  6. 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  7. 1 can of corn
  8. 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  9. 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  10. 1 T cumin
  11. 1 T chili powder
  12. 1 tsp dried oregano
  13. 1 tsp kosher salt
  14. 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  15. boneless, skinless chicken breast, uncooked

optional toppings: cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, red onion, sour cream, etc.

directions

  1. combine ingredients 1-14 in a slow cooker. stir until combined.
  2. place uncooked chicken on top and cover.
  3. cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. 30 minutes before serving, pull chicken breasts apart with two forks.
  5. stir and continue cooking. top with any other desired toppings.

so easy and so good. i am SUCH a big fan of the crock pot now !

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