Fall. It’s a time of year when families are busy and warm comfort food returns to the menu. Crock-Pots are a great way to cater to both situations, providing a delicious, moist, steaming dinner that can be made in minutes at convenient times of the day (i.e. before taxi-time, after-school activities and toddler melt-down hour). I recently gave individual cooking classes to three novice cooks looking for solutions for their hungry children. In addition to a basic soup base and a few simple dishes, we focused on the Crock-Pot. The reason for this is that I find meats in the crock pot are fool-proof.
Each of these inexperienced cooks said their frustration with cooking meats is that they always turn out dry. It’s true, there is a knack for knowing times and temps for cooking certain meats. But with slow cooking, and crock-potting, these cooking methods leave room for grace, and that’s just what unsure cooks need…
Following are some simple yet unique crock pot recipes that your family is sure to love, and are even more sure to leave you feeling like a success at dinnertime. Leftover chicken works great in each these recipes. If your chicken is raw (which is fine too), season it with salt and pepper, and sear it for 2 minutes on each side in a pan on the stove first.
Crock Pot Mexican Chicken
2 cups chicken
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar salsa
1 package tortillas
Add all ingredients to crock pot. Cook, covered, for 3 hours on low. Serve in tortillas.
Crock Pot Grecian Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can marinated artichoke hearts
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 servings rice
Cook rice according to package directions. Add remaining ingredients to crock pot, and cook for minimum of 3 hours.
Crock Pot Chicken with Wine and Sundried Tomatoes
3 chicken breasts
1/2 onion, sliced
1 can sundried tomatoes, drained and sliced
1 package mushrooms, rinsed
1 can black olives, drained
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Sauté onions and mushrooms in butter in pan on stove. Transfer to crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook for minimum of 3 hours and serve with rice, potatoes or pasta.
Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.
Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our regular Friday food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!
If you’d like to us to feature you favorite chef or restaurant or if you have a food related question that you’d like Kelly to answer, make a quick stop at the 365 Barrington Suggestion Box and leave us a note in the form which you’ll find by clicking HERE or simply leave your comment in the box below.