I’ve picked up on my slow cooker cooking recently, trying out a couple new recipes and re-using some old recipes. I’m working entirely out of Fix-It And Forget-It Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, a book I really recommend. Liz had it first and I decided to get it after looking through her copy, then I convinced my cousin to buy it as well. It’s been nice because of the variety of ingredients and recipes.
I’ve tried soups, sides, vegetarian dishes, and meat dishes from it so far. My staple recipe is Cheesy Chicken Chili, since I like it pretty well and Jon loves the stuff. Here you are, from p. 376:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I often use 3 halves and a pack of tenders) 16 oz. salsa (I recommend medium or hotter, mild doesn’t have enough flavor) 32 oz. Great Northern beans, drained 8 oz. shredded Colby Jack or Pepper Jack (I recommend Pepper Jack for the heat)
- Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Cover with salsa.
- Cover and cook on Low 5 ½ - 7 ½ hours, or until chicken is tender but not dry.
- Shred chicken in the sauce.
- Stir in beans and cheese.
- Cover and cook another 30 minutes on Low.
- Serve over cooked rice or noodles.
I always serve it over noodles, usually rotini, but my cousin had good luck serving it over rice. I use my four-quart crock pot, and I cook it the minimum amount of time, 5 ½ hours. This is such a great dish because it’s a good balance of effort (pretty much none) and tastiness. I don’t have to chop any vegetables, there’s no meat to fry up beforehand, there are no potatoes to boil first, etc. You just dump it in and let it hang out for a while, then it tastes good! Sure, you have to boil some noodles toward the end, but even I can manage that.
I’m the laziest cook in the world. This is in part because my kitchen is small, and made worse by the fact that it’s even smaller at the moment since I just moved in with Jon and we have crap everywhere. My counters are eaten up by a toaster oven, toaster, microwave, spice rack, and dish drainer. I have a bit of space in front of all that stuff, about half the depth of the countertop, but it still feels cramped. So I usually go for dishes that don’t involve much preparation. I read my friend Paul’s food posts and I’m just put to shame. I am making progress on the apartment, getting stuff put away so we have more space. This might help my desire to cook fancier meals; that and the fact that Jon is willing to chop onions for me. I hate chopping onions, I always cry like mad and I can’t even see what I’m doing about halfway through because I’m so teary-eyed. The last couple of times Jon has chopped onions, actually, I teared up. I had to go sit on the deck for a while last time, just to escape the onion in the air.
I’m currently trying a new recipe in the slow cooker: sesame chicken. It has chicken, soy sauce, hot chili sesame oil, brown sugar, and garlic. I plan on serving it over rice with sesame seeds on top. Jon and I end up eating a lot of my slow cooker meals late at night because I have a tendency not to start them until the afternoon or evening, then of course they cook for four hours or more. Tonight will be no different, considering I started the chicken around 8 PM.