Saturday, January 19, 2013

Amazing slow cooker chicken

The perfect bite - chicken and tomato together.
This morning I was trying to think about what to to with this chicken I bought on Thursday.  I got a really great deal on chicken breasts, but, as tends to happen with these deals, they were huge and it was a 3-pound package.  So, what to do?  What I usually do is make a garlicky lime chicken for use in chicken tacos or over rice.  I thought I had blogged that recipe but I haven't yet, so that might be Amazing slow cooker chicken part 2.  And so it is, since I have now added it.  

I had some canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices.  I googled slow cooker chicken and canned tomatoes and found this recipe.  I altered the recipe a bit, based on what I had in my pantry.   This is the recipe I came up with, with my ideas for the next time in italics.  

Balsamic and Tomato Slow Cooker Chicken
Serves 4 to 6
-2-3 pounds of chicken.  I used boneless chicken breast, the very thick kind.
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 onion, very thinly sliced If you really like onion use 1 large or 2 small.
-4 whole cloves garlic, peeled Again, add more or less depending on how much you love garlic.
-1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 small can diced tomatoes 
-1 large can crushed tomatoes with oregano and basil
Next time I would do the opposite because we loved the chunkiness of the tomatoes - 1 large can diced and 1 small can crushed.  I also would use stewed if I had them.
-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
-1 teaspoon dried basil
You can see the chicken just under
the surface but not all the way on the bottom.
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Put onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano into the slow cooker.
3. Place the chicken in the sauce.  I did not push it all the way in, just under the surface.  Whatever sauce was on top formed a delicious topping as it cooked down.
4. Put the slow cooker on for 6-8 hours on low.  There is enough liquid with the crushed tomatoes that the chicken was not even close to drying out.  
5.  I served it over brown rice.  But you could over pasta.  We also put some on the crusty Italian bread we were eating with dinner.  Oh my..delish!  
Notice how the tomatoes cooked
down to form a nice glaze on top.
I happen to love Hunt's tomato products and they have tons of flavor choices for their diced tomatoes.  You could really change the flavor profile depending on what kind you use.  
I had also steamed some carrots to have as our veggie and Vinnie and I threw them in the same bowl as the rice and chicken.  They were very tasty mixed in.  It made me start to think about what other variations I could do.  I might add peeled, diced potatoes and carrots to make it more like a chicken stew.  If you added peppers it would be more like a cacciatore.   You could also shred it with forks when it is done, like I do with the garlicky lime chicken.  If you added more mexican seasoning and some poblano or jalapeno peppers depending on your heat preference, to it, it would be the perfect chicken and sauce for enchiladas.  
There are so many slow cooker recipes that involve browning something first, and I just can't handle that at 6:30am on a workday.  This will definitely go into the rotation of recipes because it was the easiest thing in this world  and according to Vinnie, tasted out of this world.  

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