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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken

This blog is a little lengthy, but they all won't be like this. The recipe is at the end, so you can skip over the story.

I’m starting off with Crock Pot Chicken for several reasons. It’s easy. It tastes like you’ve slaved away for hours. It doesn’t look all that great, which you’ll hear about in the story I have to tell, but… it does taste yummy.

The first time I made Crock Pot Chicken, served it to my three small children (a single parent then) they all groaned and moaned, “Ewww, this looks gross.”

Trying to be the ever patient mother, I said, “Just try it. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it.” Under my breath went something like, “Then starve, you ungrateful little rug rats. I’ve worked all day, cooked a meal (err… okay, the crock pot cooked it), but I put it all in there before I left for work, before I got all of you ready for school, before I threw in some laundry, before I got dressed three times because something was wrong with two of the three outfits that I had to my name, before I pulled my hair out crying for my mommy.”

“Do we have to?”


As I daydreamed about a life somewhere other than where I was at, I heard, “Hey, this is really good.”

That jolted me out of la-la land and I smiled, “See what happens when you try something?” I then went into my story about spending the night at my cousin’s house.

We were having dinner and my aunt made potato salad… what kid thinks potato salad is appealing? I politely turned it down which seldom happened with me. I pretty much ate anything. My uncle frowned, “What? You don’t like potato salad?”

I shook my head no.

“Have you tried it?”

Not good at lying, okay, scared to death to lie for fear I’d be living with the devil, I whimpered out a no.

Uncle Floyd sat up in his chair. The same uncle who’d scare me by making his false teeth pop out of his mouth—clanking them together as if they were a separate entity of their own and they could come right over and bite me. I never knew whether to laugh or run, but I usually giggled. When he straightened up, I squirmed a bit in my chair. Uncle Floyd had a bold tone, “You probably should try some.”

“No thank you.”

Wrong answer. He puffed up his chest and almost as if he was scolding me said, “Do you want to spend the night here?”

“Yeah.” I loved spending the night at Jane’s.

“Well, if you want to spend the night, you have to try the potato salad.”

That was a no brainer for me. I loved most food anyway. I ate liver and onions at home, and gizzards and gravy, blood sausage with jelly bread. How bad could potato salad be? I wonder now why I even hesitated given the other foods I ate. I took a spoonful, scooped up a forkful and shoved it in my mouth. Mmmm, this was good. All eyes were on me.

Uncle Floyd spoke again. “So whattya think? Do you like it?”

I smiled and shook my head up and down as I chewed up the potato salad.

“Great. Now we’ve done it Pete. (Pete was my Aunt Lee’s nickname that my Uncle Floyd called her.) Gosh darn. I should’ve kept my big mouth shut. Now there won’t be as much for me to eat.” He clacked his false teeth together. Everyone giggled and I helped myself to seconds of the potato salad.

My children’s eyes were glazed over. I tend to ramble. I want to get in all the details. Maybe it’s the writer in me. “See kids—that’s why you should always try something.”


Onto the recipe…

Crock Pot Chicken
1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese softened
¼ cup flour
½ cup water
1 can cream of mushroom (or your choice – cream of something)
1 chicken cut up or chicken pieces

If you forget to soften your cream cheese, you can turn your crock pot on low and plop that cheese in there until it softens. You may want to turn it over once.

Mix together, 1 can cream of mushroom soup (the original recipe called for cream of chicken, but I never have cream of chicken on hand, I always have cream of mushroom and I like cream of mushroom better. You could probably use cream of anything and it’d work—maybe), ¼ cup of flour, and ½ cup of water. Blend those three together.

If your cream cheese is already in the crock pot softened, then take a whisk and blend the soup mixture and the cream cheese mixture together until smooth and creamy. Obviously add the cream cheese in there if it’s not already.

Then add your chicken. I use chicken tenderloins. The pieces are like a serving size and they don’t get all dried out like chicken breast. The original recipe called for one cut up chicken. I did that once. Separating the bones and the chicken from the sauce was a pain, but it was cheaper that way. Make sure the chicken is covered in the sauce.

If you use tenderloins, it won’t take as long to cook and it could be done in 4-5 hours on low. But this also depends on your crock pot. I have a high and a low setting on mine. If you use chicken with the bones, it’s going to take longer, like 8 hours on low. If you cook this too long, the edges start to brown, but if you take your whisk and give it a whirl, it’ll be fine.

This sauce, as stated in the original Sacred Heart cook book says the sauce will taste like you’ve spent hours preparing a gourmet sauce (or something along those lines). And it does. It’s quite yummy.

You can serve this over egg noodles or rice. In our house, we prefer egg noodles. Add a veggie of your choice, if you want and voila – a delicious meal. But don’t forget to tell the little kids that my kids thought this looked gross and it’s now their favorite meal. My kids are all grown and out of the house, but they still ask me, “Will you make crock pot chicken?” Or if they hear that I made crock pot chicken they’ll say, “You made crock pot chicken! Why didn’t you invite me?” I tell them they can make it themselves, it’s not rocket science.

PS My one daughter is a vegetarian, but she’ll eat the sauce even though it’s cooked in chicken… which is another reason why we use cream of mushroom instead of cream of chicken.

PSS I promise they all won’t be this long!

Rating & Type: EE/C

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