Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: slow cooker

Chicken & Rice

 

I have made and eaten a number of different versions of Chicken and Rice.  Some I’ve loved and some I’ve never made again. 

After trying so many different versions of this dish, I finally came up with a version of my own that I fell in love with and that my family enjoys as well.   It’s a perfect dish to throw together when you are pressed for time, and is versatile enough that you can add anything else to it you may like.  I’ve made it in both the oven as a casserole and in a slow cooker.  Both turn out a great result.

CHICKEN & RICE:

  • 3 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed.
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Uncooked White Rice (not instant)
  • 2 – 14.5 oz. Cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 – 7 oz. Can Chopped Green Chilis
  • 3 Tbsp. Goya Sofrito (tomato based cooking sauce found in the ethnic food section)
  • 2 packets Goya Sazon (I use the one in the orange & yellow box)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cut up chicken and place in a large bowl.  Add all dry ingredients, including 1 packet of the Goya Sazon to the chicken and stir well.  Transfer to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.

When ready to assemble, remove chicken from the refrigerator.  In a large sauté pan, add the butter and allow to melt.  Add the chicken to the pan and allow to brown for a few minutes, stirring often so chicken does not burn.  Once done, remove chicken to a clean and large mixing bowl. 

Add olive oil to the sauté pan along with the onion and garlic.  Saute just until translucent. 

Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, chilis, chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro, rice and the second packet of Goya Sazon to the bowl.  Stir together well.

If you are planning to cook this in the oven, add the mixture to a 13″ x 9″ greased baking dish.  I just spray the baking dish with some butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.

If you prefer to make this in the slow cooker, follow the above instructions and add this to your slow cooker, set on low.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the rice is tender.

Serve up and enjoy!

I shared this recipe in the Saturday Swap over at Kim’s blog, Quit Eating Out

  

Slow Cooker Chicken With Broccoli

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and realized as I was making it that it was no longer going to really resemble the original recipe at all.  I think the original recipe was a good foundation for this dish, but it needed more.  A lot more. 

All three of my children have always loved broccoli.  Over the past year my 8-year-old decided he hated it and his 4-year-old sister decided to agree.  My oldest still eats it.  My husband will not even look at broccoli let alone eat it, so I was hesitant to add it to this dish in fear that nobody would touch it.

I ended up being pleasantly surprised.  My husband didn’t come near it, which was no surprise, but my youngest son liked it and my daughter ate two helpings of it, asking for more broccoli than chicken.  Go figure.

The original recipe called for frozen broccoli, but I opted to use fresh instead and I think I made the right choice.

I would definitely make this again, but it needs some serious color.  The lack of color from the sauce, pasta and chicken, with only with the green of the broccoli doesn’t make it aesthetically pleasing to look at.  Tastes good, but it needs a little color.  The next time I make this I plan on adding a small jar of drained and chopped pimento.  I have a feeling that will fit in perfectly here!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI

  • 4 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Packet Good Seasons DRY Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Low Fat Sour Cream
  • 1 8 0z. Brick of Cream Cheese (I used Neuchâtel for a lower fat content)
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Original Salt Free Blend
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Small Jar Chopped Pimento, drained. (I didn’t add this to this version I made but plan to in the next one) *optional
  • 2 Cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth (low sodium)
  • 1 Can Campbells Health Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Pound Penne Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

Add the chicken, olive oil, italian dressing mix and the Mrs. Dash and set to high.

In a skillet set to medium, add the butter.  Once hot, add the onions and sauté until soft.  

Once the onions are soft, add the can of soup, sour cream, cream cheese, chicken broth, nutmeg, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir well with a whisk.  Allow the mixture to come to a low simmer.  Once this is achieved, pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and stir well to combine.  Cover and allow to cook on high for one hour.

After one hour, turn the slow cooker to low and allow to continue cooking for another two hours.  At the end of the two hours, add in the broccoli florets and the drained pimento, if using.  Stir again to combine, cover and allow to cook on low for an additional hour.

Just before done, cook the pasta in a large pot of well salted water.  Once aldente, drain and add to a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately with some additional grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken with Rosemary & Sage

My garden is going crazy now.  Tomatoes are filling the plants along with eggplants and peppers.  My herbs are going crazy, too, especially my sage, rosemary and basil.  Let’s not talk about my cilantro, and the fact that this is truly my last year of growing it.  I love the stuff, but it is too temperamental to grow.  Luckily they sell it in the stores year round and it’s cheap.

Tuesdays have become my craziest day of the week, so on Monday I was already coming up with an idea for dinner.  I had some boneless skinless chicken breasts and then headed out to the garden to grab some sage and rosemary. 

I had several places I had to be late yesterday afternoon so I knew I wanted a dinner I could start early in the day.  I decided on using the slow cooker.   I love my slow cooker and use it weekly, especially during the winter months.  However, using the slow cooker is not always just as simple as dumping everything into the insert and forgetting about it.  Some things, like soup, sauces, stews, etc. you can absolutely do this with.  But when you are making things like pot roast, chicken, pork, etc. you need to do a little prep work before you just dump everything in.  Browning  your meat before you put it in the slow cooker provides better flavor and presentation.  I’m not a fan of eating bone white chicken or pork and gray beef.  By browning these meats before adding them to your slow cooker you increase their flavor, and it makes for an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

With that being said, the recipe I’m sharing with you today could just as easily be made in a dutch oven either on the stove or started on the stove and finished in the oven. 

This dish came out delicious and the chicken was perfectly tender.  My family really enjoyed it and it was fast and easy.  I served mine up with some jasmine rice. 

Want to know how to make it? 

CHICKEN WITH ROSEMARY & SAGE:

  • 3 lbs. Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 qt. Chicken Broth
  • 1 Stem Fresh Rosemary
  • 5-6 Fresh Sage Leaves
  • 1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • Butter for browning chicken

Begin by trimming the chicken of all fat.  If you have very thick breasts, filet them first.  Cut each chicken breast into 1″ wide strips.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and parsley.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour shaking off any excess and set on a separate plate.

In a large pan, add a tablespoon of butter and begin browning the chicken in batches, making sure not to burn the butter.  Continue to add butter as you need it.  Once the chicken is a gold brown with a slight crust, remove it to a separate plate.

Turn your slow cooker on low.

Add your chicken broth to the pan and bring to a simmer, making sure to scrape up all those browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce by “almost” half.

Take the bowl with the flour that remains from the chicken you just dredged your chicken in.  Add your flour, 1 tablespoon at a time to your simmering broth and whisk quickly to prevent any lumps.  Continue to add flour until you reach the desired consistency for the gravy.  Taste for seasoning and add any additional salt or pepper to taste.

Add all the chicken to the preheated slow cooker and pour the gravy over the top.  Add the fresh rosemary sprig and the fresh sage leaves to the top of the chicken.  Cover and allow to cook on low for 3 hours.

Before serving, remove the sage and rosemary, which is wilted and cooked out by now.  I chose to serve this over Jasmine rice, but you can serve it over rice, noodles or even orzo would be delicious. 

Enjoy!

Chicken with Artichoke and Tomato Bruschetta

 

This was not only one of the easiest dishes I have made in a while, but truly flavorful as well.  Everyone loved it.  Except my two youngest kids, but they have no sense of adventure, so don’t let that deter you from trying this.

This all began with my husband buying a jar of this and me wondering what to do with it;

And the easy part was throwing it all in the slow cooker and letting it just go all day. 

Get some boneless chicken breasts, salt and pepper them, and  brown them up in some olive oil on the stove.  I had four and I had to cut them in half because these breasts came from some Dolly Parton look-a-like hens.  They were HUGE.

Then place them into your pre-heated slow cooker.  If you add warm foods to a slow cooker it should be pre-heated.  If you are adding cold/room temperature foods to it, you don’t have to pre-heat.  Just a little fun fact.

In the same pan you just browned those chicken breasts in, you are going to add some chopped fresh garlic, white wine and chicken broth  Once you get it all heated up and all those browned bits scraped off the bottom of the pan, add in some chopped fresh basil (I only had dry on hand, but fresh would be better).  Pour that all over the chicken in the slow cooker.  Top with the Artichoke & Tomato Bruschetta.

Cover it up and cook on low for about 6 hours, or until the chicken is just about falling apart.  You should be able to break apart the chicken with a fork.  If you can, it’s done!

Just before serving, boil up a big pot of water, salt it well and throw in some spaghetti.  Or whatever pasta you like.  Cook it until just al dente.  There is nothing worse than mushy, overcooked pasta. 

I drained the pasta, tossed in some butter (you could also use olive oil) salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.  Then I removed the chicken and broke it up with some forks, threw that in with the pasta and poured the sauce  the top.  It was delicious.  Even my husband, who is not a big pasta eater loved it.  Super easy and delicious.

CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKE AND TOMATO BRUSCHETTA:

Serves 6

  • 4 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts cut in half
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Whine
  • 2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Clove Chopped Fresh Garlic
  • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves Chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • Salt, Pepper and Parmesan Cheese to taste
  • 1 Cup Tomato/Artichoke Bruschetta
  • 1 Lb. Thin Spaghetti

Pre-heat your slow cooker on low.  Heat up your olive oil in a pan.  Salt and pepper the chicken breasts on both sides and add them to your pan.  Brown on both sides and add to the bottom of your slow cooker.

In the same pan you browned the chicken breasts in, add the wine, garlic, and chicken broth and heat it up, scraping up all those browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Turn off the heat and add the basil. 

Pour this over the top of your chicken in the slow cooker.  Top the chicken with the Artichoke/Tomato Bruschetta, cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is fork tender.

Just before serving, cook some thin spaghetti until just al dente.  Drain and add to a large serving bowl.  Add your butter, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and toss to coat.  Remove chicken from the slow cooker, break up into bite sized pieces and add to pasta.  Pour the sauce over the top and serve.

Note:  If you don’t have any bruschetta, you can always whip up your own super quick.  Use a can of diced tomatoes, a can of quartered artichoke hearts (drained) some fresh chopped garlic, basil and olive oil.  Mix together and use that to top your chicken with.

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Shortly before Christmas I received Paula Deen’s new family cookbook.  I love Paula Dean.  And so do my kids.  They love to yell for me when she comes on TV.  If you haven’t gotten her new book, check it out.  It’s becoming one of my favorites.  Here it is:

So the other day I was sitting on the couch looking through the book and enjoying the photos and stories about her family.  I came across her recipe – technically it’s her husbands recipe – for Navy Bean and Ham Hock Soup and I am surprised to see my recipe is almost identical to the one she had in the book.  With a few differences. 

For one, I don’t use ham hock’s.  Honestly, those things frighten me when I see them all wrapped up in the grocery store.  I have never touched a ham hock or cooked with one.   I usually either use a ham bone or some diced ham that I have left over.  She also uses Worcestershire sauce in her recipe.  I don’t.  She uses celery in her recipe, and I use celery salt.  She cooks hers in the slow cooker and I cook mine on the stove.  But, the oddest, most scary difference between our recipes was this.  She. Does. Not. Use. Butter!  What?  The “Queen of Butter” does not use some amount, no matter how small, of butter in her recipe?  I am shocked!

Okay, so maybe our recipes are not exactly alike, but they are very similar.  Since it’s been colder than a witches… well you know what around here lately, I decided to make a big pot of this.  I had everything I needed to make it so I set to work on it.  

I chose to stick with my recipe, but I did use a little bit of Paula’s.  Instead of just using the celery salt, I also chopped up some celery.  And instead of cooking it on the stove, I used her version and did it in the slow cooker.  The outcome was great.  I will be cooking this in the slow cooker from now on.  The slow cooker helped to keep more liquid in the soup, versus the stove version which tends to evaporate it off more quickly.

So if you have Paula’s book, you can always try her version.  But, I’ll give you my recipe and you can see what you think.  Honestly, they probably taste very similar, but still, get her book.  It’s worth the investment!

NAVY BEAN AND HAM SOUP:

  • 1 lb. Bag of Navy Beans
  • 1 Thick Slice, or 2 Thin Slices of Ham, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Rib of Celery, finely diced
  • 8 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 tsp. Celery Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder or 1 Clove Fresh Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (*See Note)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

The night before you plan to make the soup, sort through the bag of beans and remove any stones or other foreign matter.  Rinse beans, then place in large bowl and cover with water.  Place them in the refrigerator and soak them overnight.

The next day drain the beans and set them to the side. Dice up the onions, ham, celery and carrots.  In a sauté pan set on medium heat, put in the butter and allow to melt.  Throw in the onions, celery, carrots and ham and cook for a few minutes, just to give them some color and flavor. 

In the slow cooker, add in your chicken broth, ham, carrots, onions, celery, and beans.  Add all the dry ingredients and give it a good stir.  Cover and set on low.  Cook for 5 to 6 hours and turn off the heat.   

If you think you need more salt, or spices go ahead and add it now.  I use the salts sparingly because the ham itself is salty, plus whatever amount of salt is already in the chicken broth.

*Note:  Use the unsalted butter when you are sautéing the vegetables before adding them to the soup.  There is already enough salt in the broth, ham, and the salts you added in.

%d bloggers like this: