Chicken in a Crock Pot

For years our family mercilessly teased my Aunt Linda about her limited cooking prowess. When my cousins were dating, they often invited their boyfriends over for dinner. The joke would always be “Don’t ask what’s for dinner because it’s chicken in a Crock Pot”. That’s the only thing Linda ever seemed to cook. Being a busy working mom, she managed to get dinner on the table by tossing chicken and some sort of sauce into a crock pot most nights. If they didn’t have chicken in a crock pot, it was most likely take out instead. I don’t recall ever having one of these infamous chicken in a crock pot dinners so I haven’t the foggiest idea how they tasted. I only remember years of barraging remarks from everyone about how Linda only knew how to cook chicken in a Crock Pot.

Before the quads, George and I were foodies. We loved experimenting with new recipes and relished homemade meals. We rarely go out for dinner and can’t tell you what fast food restaurants are near our home. We have a history of inviting people over for dinner only to get them involved in dinner prep. After work, I almost always cooked dinner and if George was off work, he did. (George is actually a better chef than me and taught me a lot about cooking over the years.) Having four babies at home makes it difficult to find the time for exquisite cooking. Sometimes it isn’t even the cooking that is difficult, it is managing to go to the store to buy needed ingredients for a recipe if I found time to choose a recipe. I try to keep our pantry and freezer stocked with versatile staples so we can whip something reasonable on the fly. We bought some freezer meals from Costco, but we miss fresh homemade stuff.

Thanks to Pinterest, I am rethinking Linda’s style of cooking. There are actually tons of recipes for the crock pot besides pot roast. I’ve experimented a bit and found a few keepers. I found a recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Tacos, but realized I was missing half of the ingredients and it wasn’t even a Crock Pot recipe. I improvised with what we had and it turned out great! George loved the tacos so much he had a second helping.

Here’s what I threw in the Crock Pot:

1 can of tomatoes with green chiles

1/2 can of chicken broth

1/2 an envelope of Ranch dressing mix

1 envelope of taco seasoning

4 frozen chicken breasts

I put it on high for an hour then stirred it a bit and flipped the chicken. I left it on high about 2 more hours then shredded the chicken and returned it to the Crock Pot where it simmered on low for 30 more minutes or so until we were ready to eat. We had lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa, and cream cheese for garnish. However, I think it would be great with feta or jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes in a corn tortilla.

Here's what I dumped into the Crock Pot.

Here’s what I dumped into the Crock Pot. I only had half of an envelope of Ranch dressing because we sprinkle it on popcorn, but you could use an whole one.

After a few hours, I shredded the chicken with two forks.

After a few hours, I shredded the chicken with two forks.

We needed some side dishes so I used Rice a Roni and steam in the bag roasted corn.  Voila!

We needed some side dishes so I used Rice a Roni and steam in the bag roasted corn. Voila! Lame, I know, but it worked.

Here are the results!  George added cheese to the rice, but I don't think it was necessary.

Here are the results! George added cheese to the rice, but I don’t think it was necessary.

We had a lot of chicken leftover so I transformed it into chicken tortilla soup the next night. Here’s how I did that:

In a stockpot, I sautéed

1 large onion diced

4 minced garlic cloves

4 corn tortillas cut into strips

and handful of chopped cilantro

a few tablespoons of olive oil

I then dumped the following into the stockpot:

leftover chicken

2 32 oz. boxes of chicken broth

3 cans of tomatoes with diced green chiles

1 tablespoon mild diced jalapenos from a jar

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

a dash of pepper

We garnished the soup with avocado, crushed corn chips, fresh chopped cilantro and Colby Jack cheese. It turned out really well.

In addition to making these two meals, I found the Six Sisters blog at: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/ On it, they have a post about how to make 8 freezer meals for the Crock Pot. They provide a grocery list sorted by area in the store and a list of the recipes. You then dump a bunch of raw ingredients into gallon sized freezer bags. When you are ready to cook them, you thaw 24 hours in advance and cook in the Crock Pot. They claimed the prep work would take an hour, but it took me much closer to two hours. Apparently the six sisters work more efficiently than I do, but there are six of them and only one me. I now have eight Crock Pot meals in my freezer ready to go! In fact, we are trying the first, Country Style Pork Ribs, tomorrow. We are making our traditional New Year’s black eyed peas and corn bread, which I thought would go well with ribs.

Our family has a tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck. It dates back to the Civil War when the Union troops burned all of the crops in the south. The black eyed pea crops were spared because they were used for animal feed. People living in the south survived the harsh winter by eating black eyed peas! Last year, we made a batch and brought some to our RE prior to my IUI on New Year’s Day. George thought it was a horrible idea, but I wanted to keep our family tradition alive. As it turned out, they were quite lucky for us! We struck the quad jackpot in 2012.

I am signing off for 2012, but don’t worry there is plenty more to come!

hugs,

Amber

Of course, I wouldn’t leave out a baby picture so here you go!

Everyone is wearing their Baby Legs!  The girls are still a bit small for them, but I just love Baby Legs so they are wearing them anyways.

Everyone is wearing their Baby Legs! The girls are still a bit small for them, but I just love Baby Legs so they are wearing them anyways.

We did a little art with the babies using their adorable footpritnts.  We don't have tons of wall space for art, so we bought a frame and stack of canvases. We will make new art for the changing seasons.

We did a little art with the babies using their adorable footprints. We don’t have tons of wall space for art, so we bought a frame and stack of canvases. We will make new art for the changing seasons.

13 thoughts on “Chicken in a Crock Pot

  1. Amber, I am making my sixsister recipies today! Got all the stuff the other day at the grocery store. Some day I will be a foodie again… I was really proud of my lunch yesterday, a spinach salad with blueberries, pomegranate seeds, feta, candied almonds, dried cranberries & balsamic vinegar & oil drizzle. Had to hold a baby to eat it, but hey. Kinda foodie-ish 🙂

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    • I LOVE that you and Amber are also trying the Six Sisters recipes. I loved having the list already done because that’s half the battle. Your lunch sounds fantastic!!! I love that pairing of dark leafy greens with fruit, nuts, and feta. So healthy too!

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  2. I will have to check out that website! I am the worlds worst cook, but I’m trying to do it more since I am home all day. Where did you get there baby legs?? I can’t ever find any. Their clothes are always adorable!!

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  3. I will have to check out that website! Jason is the cook around here but I’m trying to do it more since I am home during the day. Where did you get their baby legs?? I can’t ever seem to find cute ones. Their clothes are always adorable!!

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    • These meals are pretty simple so you don’t have to be a chef to make them. You can even take shortcuts by buying pre chopped bell pepper and onion! I got a ton of Baby Legs at the Just Between Friends sale at Will Rogers. They are having another one this spring. They are sold online, but can be expensive. I also got knock off versions at Target. We have some wonderful friends and family who keep the babies well dressed!

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  4. You & George are so creative. LOVE the footprint canvas! Will check on sixsister recipes, but meanwhile yours are keepers. Thanks for the darling year-end photo of your Four to Adore.

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    • Glad you like our art! We’ll have to post the updates when seasons change. I think the trees will stay through January until we do a Valentine one. I hope the Six Sisters recipes are good, but I can vouch that mine are! Happy New Year!

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  5. You and I will have fun when we move to DFW this year. I LOVE cooking!! We always have people over for dinner, or used to anyway. We’d break out the wine and part of the entertainment was the food prep and cooking. 99% of our gatherings center around the kitchen. I do miss getting to cook new recipes and doing things outside the box, but just like you, I’ve come to look at my crock pot a little differently. Just made a double batch of Guinness stew yesterday and it’s sitting in the freezer now. Italian soup today with pancetta (it’s soooo good) and a couple of the Six Sisters freezer crock pot meals and we’ll be in business! Let me know how the short ribs are, I’m assembling that bag today as well. Glad to hear y’all love cooking and eating so much, we’ll be great kitchen mates in the near future! 🙂

    PS – Baby Legs are addicting and I love them. The babies are so cute in theirs!!

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    • I am soooooooooo excited about you coming back to DFW!!!! It will be especially fun when all the babies can interact and won’t be on lock down. When is the move supposed to happen? I am counting the days 😉
      We will have the best of times cooking and baby wrangling. Won’t it be fun when the babies can “help” cook?
      Baby Legs are addicting! My poor girls can only wear the two knock off pairs right now because they have such tiny chicken legs 😉

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      • Okay so not fair that you two are going to be so close!! I too am a total food junkie and love to cook. Could be why I am having such a hard time losing this baby weight! I am making crock pot meatloaf today and will have to try those recipes. It is so nice to be able to pull something from the freezer and have it ready for dinner by dumping it in a pot.

        Babylegs is having their last day of their sale today. Its 75% off when your total is $75 prior to code. It comes to around $18! A tad addicted to them too. I just bought a whole bunch to give as gifts.

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      • Krista, how do you feel about relocating to Dallas? We would be such great neighbors and its right in the center of the US!

        Gotta check out the baby legs sale!

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