If it weren’t for our slow cooker, we would have already starved. OK, it’s not quite that bad, but there have been a few days that dinner was composed of dry cereal and raisins. Making yummy, hot meals as a new mother may come easily for some, but for me it is challenging. Recovering from birth, a high needs child, and an inability to wear the baby over a hot stove were slowly resulting in constant frustration and stress right at diner time; a time I desperately wanted to be focused on family. Finally a loving friend recommend I break out the slow cooker. Truth? I didn’t even remember that I had one buried in the cabinet until my husband reminded me!
Fortunately, having a new baby is a great time to re-evaluate what’s most important in your life and prioritize. The family dinner table was an important habit I wanted to have well in place before my little one started solids. So I hit the blogs and found a wealth of information about managing large families, freezing prepared foods, and using the slow cooker.
I found so much information I was left unsure of where to start. I started voraciously copying recipes and pinning recipes which just created a lot more electronic documents and still no food! Some recipes were complicated enough that my new mother brain started shutting down after the ninetieth ingredient or the hundredth time you had to open the slow cooker. Finally I found one recipe that was easy enough to follow that I actually made the food and the good news is that everyone loves it! This is the recipe I now share with you dear reader – a recipe from Six Sister’s Stuff.
Take 3 chicken breasts and place them in your crock pot.
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt,
1 teaspoon of salt,
1 can cheddar cheese condensed soup (10.75 Oz. Size),
1 can cream of chicken soup (10.75 Oz. Size),
and chicken broth (1 1/2 cups).
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Use two forks to shred the chicken.
Add one bag (16 Oz. Bag or 2 cups) of frozen broccoli florets.
Continue cooking on low for 30 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of sour cream.
Serve over rice.
A few tips I’ve picked up as I’ve tried this recipe numerous ways…..
If you are really pressed for time and want to avoid cleaning out the crock pot Reynold’s does sell Slow Cooker Liners, which really are worth it sometimes! If you do choose to use a liner be careful when you shred the chicken as you may rip the plastic. The mess is still far less than if you didn’t use the liner, but an easy trick is just to pick up the chicken with a fork and shred it on a plate before placing the chicken back in the crock pot.
Chicken: You can use anywhere from 3-4 large chicken breasts with this recipe and it will still be wonderful. Fresh works best, but frozen chicken breasts straight from the freezer will work; but please note the extra water will often result in a more watery sauce. If after making the recipe you choose to refrigerate the mixture it will thicken up considerably overnight.
Chicken Broth: If you have canned chicken broth, please note that a 14.5 Oz. size can is fine to add and even though it’s officially slightly more than 1 1/2 cups of broth called for, it is not a problem.
Broccoli: Any kind of broccoli pieces will do; florets are just fancier
Sour Cream: Fat free or regular is fine. If you completely forget to buy sour cream or find it has started to grow green goo, fear not for it will still be a delicious dish just a bit less creamy in consistency.
Rice: Instant and microwavable rice works fine. I tend to use regular stove top rice and just start it at the same time I add the broccoli. We have tried brown rice, white rice, and even saffron rice. I imagine it would also be tasty over pasta.
Do you have a great, “go to” crock pot dish that saves your sanity? I’d love to try it