Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crock Pot Italian Chicken

I love easy crock pot meals!  I created this version of an Italian chicken dish one winter when it was too snowy to go to the grocery, and I had to find something to make with the ingredients I had on hand.  I have made variations over the years, but the version I made this week is worth sharing because of its ease, cost, and reviews of "This is yummy, Mommy!" from the dinner table.

I have learned to use my crock pot more and more over the last couple of years.  In fact, I just bought my 3rd crock pot a couple of weeks ago because I needed a smaller size (2 qt) in addition to the larger ones (4 qt and 6 qt) that I have.  With these various sizes to fit our dinner needs, I'll be looking for new recipes to try.

The chicken in this recipe turns out tender enough that kids can cut it with a fork.  The longer the chicken cooks, the more the chicken falls apart.  It can turn out more like a shredded chicken in the sauce.  That works well over a larger noodle (like a rotini).  The sauce is thick and flavorful, and the aromas will lead to watering mouths if you come home right at dinner time.  The kids must have told me they needed a snack 10 times as we waited for the bread sticks to heat up in the oven!  For this night's dinner, my chicken remained in serving size pieces which we served over angel hair pasta with garlic bread sticks and a tossed Italian salad.

For today, here's the recipe:

Crock Pot Italian Chicken:
1-2 lbs boneless chicken pieces (I used breasts, cut into large serving size pieces)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lg can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder + a little for sprinkling on top of chicken
1 tsp onion powder + a little more for sprinkling on top of chicken
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper + a little more for sprinkling on top of chicken
hot cooked pasta
parmesan cheese

1.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp olive oil in the bottom of your slow cooker. (I used my 4 qt)
2.  Add in your chicken pieces.
3.  Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top of the chicken.  Add a few shakes of garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. (not too much; less than 1/8 tsp for the measurers out there)
4.  To the opened can of crushed tomatoes, stir in the remaining spices.
5.  Pour the seasoned crushed tomatoes over the chicken.
6.  Cook on high 3 hours or low for 5 hours.
7.  Serve over hot cooked pasta garnished with grated parmesan cheese.

Crock Pot Italian Chicken
What's your favorite Crock Pot Recipe?

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