Chicken and Salsa / Super Simple, Super Delicious

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I’m about to rave about this meal, and I have countless reasons why.  It’s been a favorite of our family’s for quite some time now.  We all really love it.  When we have a very busy scheduled day, this is most always what I plan for supper, because it’s that easy and fast, to prep any of it.  Like, ridiculous. Especially for the amazingly delicious meal that it is.  It can actually be made and ready in 2 to 2-1/2 hours cooked on high, if you’d like. Or, you can let it slow cook all day. Either way, it’s super quick, easy prep-work, and pretty much ready to eat when you are.  

Here’s a few other reason why I love it:  You don’t have to handle raw chicken at all!  I don’t know about you, but I’m just not particularly fond of touching raw chicken.  I will, and I’m not real freaked out. But I’d rather not if I don’t have to. And with this meal, I don’t have to!  It  is sooooooo good, and it’s so healthy too!
It has 4 out of the 5 food groups in my book:  protein, vegetables, grain, and dairy.

You need a slow cooker of some kind. So I hope you have one.

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This is the slow cooker we have. It’s a GE 6 Qt. Digital Slow Cooker, and I LOVE it. It holds enough to cook at least 2+ full meals for our family of 6. 
The container lifts right out of the heating element, to be put on the table, and it’s super easy to clean as well.

01_slow-cooker-chicken-salsa-rice-easy-crockpot-meals So many different bursting flavors, with every bite.

Let me show you how easy this is to make.   Even the ingredients are minimal.
02_slow-cooker-chicken-salsa-rice-easy-crockpot-meals Chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, brown rice, and shredded cheese.

03_individually-packaged-chicken-breasts The pre-packaged chicken is our trick.  There are 2 breasts in each wrapper. Just cut open the end of each package with scissors, drain the excess water, and dump the chicken into the slow cooker pot. We make up to 8 breasts at a time, for a batch that last for at least 2 family (of 6) meals, and usually more still left over. The 2 breasts in each wrapper are sometimes attached to each other, so I just use a fork and make sure they are all open and spread well in the pot.

04_salsa-jar Then you just cover all of the chicken in salsa!
Now, just because I have my little ways of doing things, I actually put a little layer of salsa all over the bottom of the pot first, put in the chicken, and then pour the rest of the salsa over the top.
But that’s it!

Then I set the slow cooker.  I can set it to low, and let it cook for 5-6 hours or whatever. Or if it’s a last minute idea, the chicken will pretty much cook in 2 or 2-1/2 hours on high. 
Now here’s an extra step that I personally do, because I want the chicken as flavorful as possible:  As soon as all of the chicken is cooked (it is so tender, it’s crazy), I take each cooked breast out at a time, cut it into chunks on a plate, and scrape it back in the pot.  Repeating for each breast until it’s all cut up.  Leaving it all simmering in there with the salsa just adds that much more tastiness.

We like to have this chicken and salsa over brown rice. (It’s healthier than white. We’re all about whole grains around here.) So here’s another speedy trick  . . .
05_boil-in-a-bag-rice Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice, in 10 minutes. No measuring!  We need 2 bags.
But gosh….could it be any easier? Take the bags of cooked rice out of the water, let drain for a sec, snip off the top, and dump it in a bowl. Done!

06_shredded-cheese At the table, we each just sprinkle some cheese on top.  Because it’s just all so good together.

07_slow-cooker-chicken-salsa-rice-easy-crockpot-meals The chicken comes out so unbelievably tender, and so tasty with the salsa juices and bits of salsa vegetables. It’s perfect on top brown rice.
And the sprinkle of cheese on top makes a fabulous meal, even better.

I never really feel like I put any time worth mentioning, into making supper, when I make this meal.
And yet, we’re all around the table eating delicious food together, and talking about how good it is.
08_slow-cooker-chicken-salsa-rice-easy-crockpot-meals   Try it on your family, and let us know what the reviews are.
We’ll be surprised if you all don’t love it too.

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Chicken Italiano

 
As slow cooker meals go, this is definitely a family favorite!

Chicken Italiano.

It may not be the most colorful meal, but don’t let that deter you from trying it, or you’ll be missing out! It’ll likely become a favorite of your families as well. It is creamy, rich, and so delicious, with the tender flavorful chicken chunks, and a rich cream cheese based sauce with mushrooms.  It’s a perfect slow cooker meal, that is easy to make, and makes the house smell wonderful! All slow cooker meals are fabulous in the colder months. But really, we are happy to make it & eat it year round! It’s that good. Everything we eat in the warmer months, can’t be cold food. Right? There are days year-round, that we need something super easy, super good, and ready at dinner time! So you get it going in the morning, and there is little to do before sitting down to eat.  This is one of those meals, and I got the recipe from one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks:

 

The Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook

You can click on the cookbook photo, to see where you can get it for yourself.

Here’s how easy it is to make this creamy, rich & delicious dinner, with such tender chicken chunks!  Most times, we double this recipe below, and have plenty left-overs another time or 2!

Participating Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • *10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
  • *(When we double recipe, the 2nd can of soup we use is cream of celery)
  • 4 oz. can of mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1/2-3/4  1lb.bag of wide egg noodles

Directions:

1) Place chicken breast halves in slow cooker

2) Combine dry salad dressing mix and water.  Pour over chicken.

3) Cover.  Cook on low for 3 hours.

3a) As soon as the chicken is cooked through, if we’re home, I break up the chicken breasts into chunks, and return to the pot, so it can absorb the seasoned liquids. (I’ve just  broken it up while in the pot, with a wooden spatula too. The chicken is so tender, it’s no problem. Just be sure you’re not damaging the bottom of your pot.)

4) Combine cream cheese and soup until blended.  Stir in the mushrooms.  Pour over chicken, and mix it up.

5) **Cover, and cook 1 more hour.

**Note: If the chicken was cut into chunks much earlier, and so you are sure it is cooked through, it is ready as soon as all of the cheese & soup is heated, smooth and blended together.

6)  While the slow cooker contents is in it’s remaining time, cook egg noodles according to the package directions.

Serve the Chicken Italiano over hot egg noodles, and enjoy.

Be prepared to serve seconds.  : P

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