Okay, y’all. I bought a slow cooker last week, because it’s from the Pioneer Woman’s new cookware line. I’ve got a weak spot for
anything most things Pioneer Woman, and when I saw she had crockpots available at Wal-Mart for just $25, you better believe I hopped on that deal. I actually had to order it to the store, because they didn’t have any in stock (apparently they can’t keep them in stock!), and I totally developed a crush on the Pick Up guy. His name is Chris. And he’s got a girlfriend. Sigh.
But y’all didn’t come here to read about my love life. You came here to see if this recipe is really all it’s cracked up to be. Or you came here to read about my first experiment with my crockpot. Because that’s what this is! It not only is this week’s recipe, but it’s also this week’s new adventure! How about that?!
It was pretty easy to get the ingredients for the recipe. I picked up a few things at Wal-Mart when I picked up the crockpot (the salsa verde and the diced tomatoes), and then I went to Aldi for the chicken. I already had cumin and chili powder, so I didn’t need to buy those.
First things first, I took took the chicken out of the package, laid three breasts in the pot (after putting nonstick cooking spray on it, of course), covered them with salt and pepper, and flipped them over, and did the same. Then I put the last two breasts on top, again seasoning them with salt and pepper on both sides. That was easy enough. The hardest part of the prep was opening the salsa verde jar. I had to get my roommate to do it because my hands are too weak.
Then came the whole actually waiting for it to cook thing. I’ve never used a slow cooker before, so I had no idea what to expect. The instructions told me to cook on HIGH for 3.5-4 hours, or on LOW for 5-6 hours. Since it was already 3:45, and I wanted to eat at SOME POINT today (having not eaten since 9:30 a.m., when I took my break at work), I set it on high and set a timer on my phone for 3.5 hours later. I was worried the crock wasn’t going to heat up, but after about 15 minutes, I went to check on it and found that condensation was beginning to form, which was exactly what I was looking for. So far, so good.
Waiting the 3.5 hours until it was done wasn’t the hardest part. At exactly 7:15, I took the chicken out of the crock and shredded it in a metal bowl with two forks. The instructions say you can take a hand mixer (?!?!) to the chicken to shred it, but I wasn’t going to take that chance. Do you know what the hardest part of this recipe was? SHREDDING THE CHICKEN WITH A FORK. Maybe I didn’t let it cook long enough or something, but it was really hard to shred the chicken! Maybe I’m just an idiot. I’m not sure.
I stirred everything back in together, called my roommate, and we each grabbed bowls. I’d bought taco cheese and tortillas in expectation of this dish, but then realized I probably should’ve bought shredded lettuce, too. Either way, the food was delicious!
This has the perfect amount of flavor and spice to it. You don’t really feel the spice until you’ve finished eating, but it’s there. Subtle, but delicious. I will DEFINITELY be cutting this recipe in half next time! Even though both of us went back for seconds (I did end up putting cheese on mine, and it helped!), we had a ridiculous amount of food left over. Sarah decided she was going to take some to lunch on her internship on Monday and Tuesday (since I asked Mom & she said it would keep for four days minimum in the fridge, but just to be safe we should throw out anything we haven’t eaten by Wednesday morning), and I know I’m going to use the leftovers in soft-shell tacos later.
Clean-up was difficult. I’ve never had to clean a slow cooker before, but there was a lot of juice left at the bottom of the crock. I eventually scooped all the chicken out that I could, then used a ladle (as the crock was still HOT) to scoop out what was remaining into the salsa verde jar and seal the lid and throw it away. The crock cooled faster than I thought it would, and I was able to wash it within an hour of me turning the pot off. Everything came off easily. And as I hate doing dishes, easy clean-up is a big PLUS!
I would give this recipe 4/5 stars. I think it’s great, but there’s also something more you could probably add to it. I’ll certainly go back to this at some point in the future (cutting it in half so I’m not stuck with a month of leftovers!), but for now, I’m satisfied with the results.
- dump it & forget about it mentality
- easy clean-up
- you’ll have leftovers for days
- chicken’s a little hard to shred
- could use a little extra oomph somewhere