The crock pot came into my life on my wedding day, and saw occasional use for work potlucks. It mostly took up space under the counter, and I didn’t really understand what the big deal was. That is, until I attempted to prepare a meal with a 2-year old doing what she does best; alternating between being hanging from my arm and disappearing into that quiet that all moms know means trouble! Now I attempt to use it at least once per week because it solves a number of problems at once. First, I can prepare and throw the ingredients in while the baby is taking her afternoon nap without worrying about what she is doing in the cupboard. Second, it is big enough that leftovers are guaranteed, and that means one less night I have to cook! Third, I can control the ingredients and make soups and chili that aren’t loaded with sodium and other preservatives. These perks apply equally to busy working adults and stay at home parents, so there is really no reason not to use it.
I regularly make the old stand-by dishes, including chili, (which I made the other day for Super Bowl), stews, and chicken soup (my new favorite Thanksgiving tradition). Recently I learned that it is really, really easy to cook a whole chicken in the crock pot. Just remove the plastic and giblets, and throw it in the crock pot. A little garlic or other handy spices only make it taste better, but are certainly not required to produce a juicy chicken. A chicken cooked like this can take the place of those store bought rotisserie chickens, which sure taste good, but have questionable ingredients and spend an unknown amount of time sitting on the shelf in the store. A crock pot chicken has no added sodium and is hot out of the crock pot so I can feel good about feeding it to my family. The leftovers can make some top notch enchiladas if plain chicken doesn’t fly (no pun intended) two nights in a row.
What are some of your favorite crock pot meals?