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Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

21 Oct

 

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a 40 pound case of Zaycon Foods boneless, skinless chicken breasts like the case I got in March.  A friend of mine came over with her case, and we worked on processing the cases together.  She cut the butterfly breasts into 2 pieces, while I cooked dinner (bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with cream cheese and chives, with sweet potato chips as a side), grilled about half of each case, and got the FoodSaver bags ready.  5 hours later and we had 80 pounds of chicken processed!  As she was cutting the breasts and removing extra fat, there were small chicken pieces that we set aside, my guess it was about 4 pounds worth.  We decided it would be best for some kind of stew, so I decided on chicken and rice.  I had onion, carrots, and corn in the freezer, so after a long night of prepping chicken, it was easy to throw this all in the slow cooker and let it cook overnight.  It turned out perfect!

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

What you need:

4 pounds fresh chicken, diced
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups kernels of corn
8 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes (gluten-free)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked rice

How to make it:

Add all ingredients, except rice, to the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.  After it is done cooking, stir in the cooked rice.  Serve hot.

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

16 Aug

 

I apologize that the picture above isn’t the best, but I forgot to take one of the finished product!  Had a busy day yesterday.  Anyway, this gumbo is delicious and something I only make occasionally, just because it is rather time-consuming.  Plus, the roux can be tricky to get just right.  This particular recipe calls for a dark brown roux, which doesn’t mean burned, it will become a dark brown color after 30-45 minutes of cooking.  This article from allrecipes.com has a great explanation of how to make a roux, with pictures of the different shades of roux to use as a guide.  Once the roux is right, the rest is easy and can be done either on the stove top or in the slow cooker.  This recipe uses sausage and shrimp, but you could also add chicken or substitute chicken for the shrimp or sausage.  I used my last bag of Zaycon Foods shrimp (sniff, sniff) to make this, along with smoked andouille sausage.  You can also change-up the vegetables a little if you want, I sometimes won’t use okra if I don’t have it and will use extra corn or celery in place of it.

 

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
Original recipe here

What you need:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced fresh okra
2 cups whole corn kernels
3 cups seafood stock (use vegetable or chicken stock if you can’t find seafood stock)
1 cup bottled clam juice (or use another 1 cup of stock in place of this)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I use Louisiana Cajun seasoning)
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked smoked sausage, sliced diagonally (I used Johnsonville Andouille)
2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Cooked white rice

How to make it:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the flour, and cook on low heat until the roux is dark brown; about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the roux.

Add the onions, celery, peppers and garlic and saute until translucent.

Mix in the remaining ingredients, except the rice, and simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 1 hour.  Remove the bay leaves.  Serve over white rice.

Slow Cooker Method:

Make the roux the same as above, and saute the onions, celery, peppers, and garlic until translucent.  Transfer this all to the slow cooker and add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, except the rice.  Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or high heat for 3-4 hours.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve over white rice.

Slow Cooker Lentil and Kale Soup

12 Aug

 

I have been on the hunt for recipes using lentils since I got a 25 pound bag recently from Bountiful Baskets.  After getting Tuscan kale this weekend from Bountiful Baskets, I started to look at soup recipes online to see what I could find.  So, I came across this recipe, that also used celery and carrots, which I also got from Bountiful Baskets, and onion, which I have plenty of on hand.  I thought this was very good, my 5-year-old enjoyed it as well, although she ate mostly the kale.  My husband and 3-year-old turned up their noses at it, but their loss, more for me!

 

Slow Cooker Lentil and Kale Soup
Original recipe here

What you need:

1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
8 cups water
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely diced
1 1/2 cups celery, finely diced
2 whole onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups kale, leaves removed from stems and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sage
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

14 May

This is a recipe out of one of the very first cook books I received, the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 11th edition.  I haven’t made a whole lot from this book, but I like that it has a lot of cooking tips and pointers throughout the book.  This is a very tasty stew, and even though it’s a little warm out for stew now, I still wanted to make it.  I did it on the stove top, which is very time-consuming, but you can do it in the slow cooker as well.  I just forgot to get it in the slow cooker this morning!

Old Fashioned Beef Stew
Original recipe here

What you need:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
3 cups cubed potato (about 3 medium)
1 cup frozen cut green beans
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 cup sliced carrot (2 medium)

How to make it:

Place flour in a plastic bag. Add meat cubes, shaking to coat. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil.  Add meat and brown; drain fat. Stir in beef broth, water, onion, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon cube, oregano, marjoram, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is nearly tender.

Stir in potato, green beans, corn, and carrot. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

Makes 5 servings (about 7 cups).

Slow Cooker directions:

Prepare and brown meat as above. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, layer meat, onion, potatoes, green beans, corn, and carrot. Decrease beef broth to 2 cups. Combine beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon cube, oregano, marjoram, pepper, and bay leaf. Pour over meat and vegetables in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

20 Mar

I apologize that the pictures doesn’t look more appetizing, but my husband was eager to dig into this!  Neither of us are Irish, but we do like to have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.  Best time of year to make it, the ingredients are all cheap at the store!  This is wonderfully easy in the slow cooker, and the taste is amazing!  Of course, you have to somewhat like corned beef and cabbage to fully enjoy it.  The vegetables do get very tender, so make sure that’s what you want.  If you don’t want them as tender, add them about halfway through cooking.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Original recipe here
Serves 6 – 8 

What you need:

4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
10 baby red potatoes, quartered (I only had baby butter golds, so that’s what I used)
1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups water (I had 2 cups of chicken broth that needed to get used, so I used 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water)
1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
6 ounces beer, optional
1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped

How to make it:

Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker.  Pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables.  Pour the beer over the brisket.  Sprinkle the brisket with the spices from the packet.

Cover and cook on low setting for 6 – 7 hours.   Stir in the cabbage and cook for 1/2 to 1 hour more.

Homemade Chicken Broth

18 Feb

Last night, I made Kotopoulo Lemonato, and when we had finished, I just couldn’t throw out the chicken bones.  I had started a scraps bag of carrots, celery, and onion in the freezer to make broth some day, plus I have plenty of celery, carrots, and onion on hand.  So, I decided it was time to try to make chicken broth.  I was going to do the stove top, but decided to try out the slow cooker instead.  I have a 5.5 quart slow cooker, so it was a nice big size to get everything in.

 

Homemade Chicken Broth

What you need:

Whole chicken carcass or bones
1 onion, quartered
3-4 celery ribs
1 carrot, cut in pieces
Spices (I used a bay leaf, 3 cloves of garlic, fresh ground black pepper, and the chicken had some spices still from cooking, which was rosemary and oregano.  I did not use any salt.)
Water

How to make it:

Place chicken bones, vegetables, and spices in slow cooker.

 

Pour in water to be just level with the top of the slow cooker.  Turn on low, and allow to simmer for at least 8 hours, I did mine for just over 14 hours.

Allow to cool slightly and pour through a mesh strainer to separate the liquid out.  Discard the vegetables and bones.  Pour liquid into containers to cool.

Once at room temperature, cover and put in the refrigerator to allow the fat to separate.  Remove fat from top and you have chicken broth ready to go!

This yielded 6 cups of broth for me.  I divided into 3 cups each.  Most soup recipes I have call for 1 quart of chicken broth, so I will just add a cup of water to this and use it as a base for those soups.  I made Avgolemono Soup (recipe coming!) with 3 cups of it tonight, and I will use the other 3 cups for Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup in a few days.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

5 Feb

A while back, I saw a pin on Pinterest of a shredded buffalo chicken sandwich, and the chicken had been cooked in the slow cooker.  A friend had recently made it too, so I know it was something to try out.  It also reminded me of a Buffalo Chicken Pizza that I haven’t made in a while.  I also had a loaf of ciabatta bread in my freezer still, so it was a tough choice to make pizza or to make sandwiches.  So, I made both!

 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
Based on recipe here

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 1 – 1.5 lbs)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
2 Tbsp butter

How to make it:

Place chicken and onions in slow cooker.  Pour in hot sauce.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove chicken and shred.  Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker.  Stir in 2 Tbsp butter.  Cook on low for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.    Serve on pizza or sandwiches (see below).

 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

What you need:

1 12-16″ pizza crust, either pre-made, a pouch mix, or your favorite recipe for pizza crust
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
1 cup shredded buffalo chicken (either as made above or 1 cup cooked chicken mixed with 1/4 cup hot sauce)
1 Tbsp greens from top of green onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

Spread ranch dressing on pizza crust.  Next, spread chicken, then green onion tops, then cheese.  Bake according to the directions for your pizza crust, in general, 425 F for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

What you need:

Shredded buffalo chicken (from recipe at top)
Bread of your choice (I used ciabatta bread from Bountiful Baskets)
Cheese of your choice (I used swiss)
Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Other sandwich toppings, like lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, green peppers (I used just lettuce)

How to make it:

Lightly toast the bread.  On the bottom half, place the amount of chicken that you want.  Add ranch or blue cheese dressing, cheese, and sandwich toppings.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles

29 Jan

This is something I haven’t made in quite a while.  Since I got celery and carrots this week with Bountiful Baskets, I decided to make it.  I made it a little differently than I have in the past, and I was very pleased with the results.  I made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could also use 2 pounds of chicken breasts with bones or 2 pounds of thigh and drumstick pieces with bones.  You just need to make sure that you get all the bones out since the chicken will be very tender after cooking in the slow cooker.   Also, I made this with egg noodles, but you could use homemade noodles, or some other kind of pasta, or even rice.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
Serves 6

What you need:

2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1 cup celery
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 2 lbs chicken with bones, skins removed
1 tsp poultry seasoning
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups cooked egg noodles, pasta, or rice

How to make it:

Place carrots, onions, and celery in the slow cooker.  Place chicken on top of vegetables, sprinkle with poultry seasoning.  Pour in chicken broth and water.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.

After finished cooking, remove chicken.  If using boneless chicken, cut or shred chicken into bite size pieces.  If using chicken with bones, remove chicken from bones and cut or shred into bite size pieces.  Discard bones.  Return chicken pieces to slow cooker.  Stir in cooked noodles, pasta, or rice.  Serve.

Orange Chicken

26 Jan

 

While I was working on my meal plan for this week, I posted on Facebook that I was having trouble deciding what to make.  A friend of mine, CrunchyMetroMom, said she was working on a dish with chicken and orange juice.  Since I am getting a little burned out on making Sesame Chicken, Orange Chicken popped into my mind, like the Orange Chicken at Panda Express.  So, I went in search of recipes online and then ended up doing something in between 2 recipes.  Then, since I got part of my friend’s Asian themed veggie pack, I had vegetables to stir fry to go along with the chicken.  The chicken I did in the slow cooker, but I think next time, I might do it like I do Sesame Chicken, cook the chicken, mix the sauce, then add the chicken and vegetables.  One advantage to using the slow cooker is that the chicken really absorbs the sauce well, but with my slow cooker, it didn’t leave a lot leftover for the vegetables.  I could have added the vegetables to the slow cooker, but I was worried about them being too mushy, but would have saved me some time.  Anyway, I’ll walk you through how I did it, and you can decide if you want to the same, do all in the slow cooker, or all in a wok.  Also, if you would like to add some heat to this, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

 

Orange Chicken and Vegetables over Rice
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

Orange Sauce: (I made this twice, once for the chicken, once for the vegetables)
– 3/4 cup pulp free frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (this is 1/2 can)
– 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
– 1 Tbsp soy sauce
– 1 Tbsp ketchup
– 3 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp sesame oil

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup flour
Vegetable oil
Vegetables to stir fry (I used carrots, water chestnuts, green onion, bok choy stems and leaves, and broccoli)
Cooked rice

How to make it:

Dredge chicken in flour.  Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet, and brown chicken just enough to get the flour to stay on the chicken.  Place chicken in slow cooker.

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the orange sauce in a bowl.  Pour over chicken in the slow cooker to evenly coat.  Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Once you are ready to serve, heat some vegetable oil in a wok.  Start with veggies that take longer to cook (in my case, the carrots, broccoli, water chestnuts, and bok choy stems), then add the veggies that take shorter to cook (in my case, green onions and bok choy leaves).

Meanwhile, again, combine all ingredients for the orange sauce in a bowl.  Once veggies are all tender, pour in orange sauce and stir to coat evenly.  Add in the chicken from the slow cooker.  Cook until all heated through.  Serve over the cooked rice.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

12 Jan

 

I know it doesn’t look very pretty, but really, it is very good.  I read this recipe for Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff last week on CrunchyMetroMom, and decided I wanted to try it sometime.  Then, I was able to get some of the ingredients cheap at the store this week, so I decided it was time to make it.  Here is the cost breakdown:

1 1/2 lbs stew meat: $6.54 (I need to work on a way to get stew meat cheaper!)
1 1/2 packages of whole mushrooms, $1.99 each at Fry’s: $2.99 total
2 cans Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup, $1 each at Fry’s minus $.40 off 2 coupon doubled to $1: $1 total
24 oz container of French Onion sour cream dip, $2.29 at Fry’s, $.095/oz: $.76 for 8oz
8 oz. bag No Yolk egg noodles, $1.25 at Safeway minus $.40 off 1 coupon doubled to $1: $.25

So, the total cost for this meal is $11.54, should have cost $17.08.  Not bad to feed the 4 of us for dinner, plus enough leftover for 1 person’s meal.   And, a $5.54 cost savings may not seem like much, but that savings over time would add up quickly.

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