This is not a recipe. Sure, there are ingredients…and people eat dinner at the end of the story…but that’s not what today’s post is about. Here are a few of the alternative titles I was playing with:
- My Crock Pot Saves the Day
- Yet Another Way to Serve Chicken Breasts
- Hooray for Comfort Food Season
Those are really the messages here, after all, because the recipe is terribly low-brow (and high-fat). You’ll need:
- Yer trusty crock pot
- Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts – even frozen will do just fine (no particular need to thaw those suckers)
- One 8-oz “brick” of cream cheese – do not substitute low-fat cream cheese because it will make everything nasty (go low-fat some other day, sister)
- Two cans “cream of something” soup – usually, I go with cream of onion and cream of mushroom, but you can use whatever flavors you prefer (use ‘em straight out of the can; do not constitute)
- One or two little envelopes of dry Zesty Italian salad dressing mix – depends on how “zesty” you want to make things (feel free to substitute an appropriate amount/intensity of other seasonings, if you prefer)
Empty one can of the cream o’something soup in the bottom of the crockpot, then layer in the (fresh or frozen) chicken breasts. Top with the cream cheese (in chunks…not the whole brick in one spot), then with the dry seasonings and finally with the second can of soup. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours. When it’s done, reach in there with a couple of forks and SHRED the chicken…then stir it all up good and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6, depending on how hungry everyone is. Goes well on brown rice or even egg noodles, with some steamed veggies on the side. (This one doesn’t freeze well, though it makes yummy leftovers for a day or two. Scale accordingly.) Here’s a picture of the steamed mixed vegetables you *could* have because, really, the main dish here just looks sort of beige and schlorpy. Not very photogenic…but look at those veggies!
Once I’ve gotten somebody to pull the crock pot down from its storage spot (on top of the kitchen cabinets), this meal takes about 10 minutes of my time, including the time it takes to tell somebody else to make the rice.* That’s GOLD, people.
This is another of those recipes that can usually be thrown together with what’s on hand in the house or with ingredients easy enough to pick up that the “cost per serving” is nice and low. Like most crock pot recipes – and recipes involving chicken breasts – it is also very forgiving of substitutes. Some moisture, some creaminess, and some zest. That’s about it. And, at the end of the day, there’s something warm and filling for a chilly evening. People are usually happy to see it on the table once or twice per winter; more than that, and its humbleness tends to get a little bit boring. You’ve been warned.
*I am not to be trusted to make rice, which is another story altogether.