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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not So Fancy Chicken

I laughed out loud at a comment about my last post.  I was told I had gotten fancy with the food, which is true about 1 percent of the time I cook.  Most of our meals are tasty but pretty simple and easy to make.

To make my point let me tell you about our last meal. Yesterday I remembered to take chicken out of the freezer to thaw, but I was having a lot of trouble adjusting to the time change, and I suddenly realized it was 6:30. I had a meal conceptualized, but nothing started, much less close to ready.  I had seen a recipe  somewhere for a quick crock pot meal, but knew it was far too late for the time needed to cook it in a slow cooker. (So sorry for not crediting the blog, but the instructions had only 4 ingredients and even my pea brain can remember that without needing to bookmark the site for further reference.) I figured I could just mix everything together and braise it in a covered pyrex bowl at 350 until it felt done. ( Felt done? Do you like that technical cooking term?)   Since my current meal plan is to have dinner on the table every night by 8 it seemed like something I could make happen easily. (Did I mention how badly this time change is kicking my butt?)

                                                        Easy Peasy Crock Pot Chicken

       

4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1 8 oz package of cream cheese (neufchatel works fine here)
1 can cream of soup, I had mushroom so that is what I used
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing mix

Put the chicken breasts in the bottom of a crock pot.  Cut the cream cheese into chunks and put them on top of the chicken.  Mix the cream of chicken or mushroom soup with the Italian dressing mix.
Pour on top of the cream cheese.  Put the cover on the pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.  Serve over rice, pasta or couscous. (Or, if you are like me and forget to cook things because Daylight Savings Time is causing a weird deviation in  the time, space and cooking continuum, then serve it over a long slice from a baguette .)

Alternate cooking method.  Lay the chicken pieces in the bottom of a pyrex pan. Follow the above directions for the cream cheese and soup. Seal the top of the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350. It took about 30 minutes for the chicken to be tender.  I served it over the baguette slice with a side salad and some pickled brussels sprouts.  It was pretty tasty (insanely good for the amount of effort it took) and about the easiest main dish I have ever made.

The cream cheese did not melt totally and was a little bit lumpy.  I think with the protracted cooking time in the crock pot it would have melted completely. Also in the crock pot the chicken could be well cooked so it could be easily shredded, which is just exactly what it needed.  Eating it that way would give you a forkful of sauce coated chicken in each bite.

I will do this again, but I will not use the can of cream of soup.  Instead I will use my S.O.S.  soup mix ( I am out and need to make more) and will also make my own Italian dressing blend.  I am not crazy about a lot of salt and thought it was saltier than I prefer.  If I make my own I can control it.
I will also add a bit of white wine and a little freshly ground pepper.  I am not sure how much wine I can add without it altering the consistency of the sauce greatly, and the next time I do this it will be a crock pot meal.

So now you know how simple some things I make are. (BTW, though this was delicious I will only make it about once or twice a year.  It was pretty rich even using the neufchatel)

Now go make something crazy easy!


4 comments:

  1. Sounds simple and good. When a recipe calls for Italian Dressing mix, I add only 1/2 or 2/3 of the amount because of the salt also. It always seems to have plenty of flavor despite the lesser amount.

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  2. I don't think I have ever added the Italian dressing mix to anything before, but I remember having it at home when I was a kid, but if I ever use it again I will definitely use less. I found the salt bothersome.

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  3. This is something that I could make. All you have to do is bring it down a notch and I can follow you. Otherwise, well, I'm lost.

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  4. Somehow or another I'm not sure I'm buying that, but this was quick, easy and pretty tasty. I do think it screams " make me in a crock pot " though.

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