Sunday, January 4, 2015

the joys of crockpot cooking: a chicken casserole recipe

Nine years (and five days) ago, we got a crock pot as a wedding gift. Six months ago, I used it for the first time. I always had great intentions of making these great meals with it, but I just never really had the knowledge (or motivation) to learn how to use it correctly. Plus, there was always that worry that I'd inadvertently burn the house down.

Nowadays, though, I make just about everything from scratch and my crock pot has become my kitchen savior! I'm kicking myself for all the years I could have been making delicious and healthy meals with this quintessential kitchen appliance.

Weekends and breaks from school have become times for crock pot experimentation and I figured it might be beneficial to post a few of my favorite concoctions for future use (and for anyone who might be reading!)

The following recipe is gluten free (as always, use safe-for-you brands and ingredients!) and could fairly easily be made grain free or paleo by substituting some of the ingredients. I plan to try it out with spaghetti squash or cauliflower "rice" in future variations. It was delicious with the rice, though, and if you are okay with grains I'd suggest following the recipe the first time and then playing around with it later on.

Cheesy Crock-Pot Broccoli Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts, thawed
8 oz chicken broth
6-8 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 heads of broccoli (or 1 head broccoli and 1 head cauliflower)
1 cup greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups rice
1/2 cup coconut cream (or cream cheese)
2 cups cheese
Spices to taste (I use garlic powder, onion powder, marjoram, oregano, a pinch of rosemary, salt, and pepper)

Grease the crock pot with a small bit of butter or oil (I use about a teaspoon of coconut oil and a paper towel to spread it). Place the chicken breasts in the bottom. Dump the carrot chunks in, along with the chicken broth and greek yogurt. Make sure the chicken is at least mostly covered. Then, add the spices. I don't measure the spices as I add them, but I would estimate a teaspoon of garlic powder, a half teaspoon onion powder, a half teaspoon marjoram, a half teaspoon oregano, a pinch of rosemary, a half teaspoon of salt, and a quarter teaspoon pepper. I make sure the chicken is covered in the combination of spices and then cook on high for four hours or on low for six (depending on your crock pot's settings, the times may vary).

After the four (or six) hours, or about an hour and a half before you want to eat, add the broccoli, cauliflower, and rice. With the rice, add about a cup and a half of water and make sure the rice is submerged. (You could also just cook the rice separately and add it when you're ready to eat if that's easier for your situation.)

Five to ten minutes before serving, add the coconut cream or cream cheese and then stir in the cheese until the mixture is nice and creamy. Your amounts may vary depending on the type of rice you use and the humidity where you live.

Hope you enjoy! My husband suggested putting the mixture into a pot pie next time instead of adding the rice, so we plan to try that next!

1 comment:

Tami said...

Ohhh another one I have to try! Looks yummy!