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Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

I was so productive last weekend. I packed away all the shorts and t shirts and swapped them out for everybody’s jeans and sweaters. It was a cool 50 degrees all weekend and we were cozy and oh-so happy. And damn if I didn’t pat myself on the back for checking that giant task of our seasonal to-do list. Aaaaand then this weeek rolled around bringing us 70 degrees and you’d have thought I was trying to torture my boys.

My bad.

Any who, it may not seem like Winter is coming from the weather, despite what our wardrobe (and the local weatherman) says, but I can tell– especially as we shift from using the grill, and move firmly into oven and crockpot territory.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This recipe is easy to throw together, and you let the crockpot do all the heavy lifting. Serve it over a warm bed of freshly cooked white rice, and make sure to ladle a generous scoop of sauce overtop the chicken. Because, this sauce. This sauce will have you smackin’ your lips and licking your plate clean. Shamelessly.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup*
1/2 cup soy sauce*
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Place the chicken thighs on the bottom of the crockpot.
    2. In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine the minced garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley, and stir them together until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
    3. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
    4. Cover the crockpot with its lid, and cook for 6 to 7 hours on LOW, or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH.
    5. Remove the lid and transfer the cooked chicken to a serving plate.
    6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
    7. Serve the chicken over a bed of white rice.

*Use low-sodium options if diabetic or of you have other health sodium-related health concerns. Similarly, this is just as tasty without the rice, or served over a bed of brown rice or quinoa for healthier options.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

I try to follow the news and stay abreast of current events, and there’s currently articles circulating everywhere on the web over the recent results of a scientific study that found cheese (yes, you read that right, plain old cheese) to be as addictive as hard drugs. Basically, cheese is crack.

This explains so much.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches 2

And it makes me feel much better about posting a recipe with the word ‘crack’ in the title.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

This sandwich spread is addictively delicious, both in its simplicity to throw together, and in the few (but mighty) flavors it brings together. Bacon, cheddar, ranch, and chicken all mixed and melded together with a little help from some cream cheese served warm on a fresh, toasted bun. Now that sounds like a problem I wouldn’t mind having. Once in awhile at least.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches 3

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning
8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese + more for sandwiches (if desired)

Directions

 1. Add the chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning to the bowl of your crockpot or slow cooker.
2. Cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Then shred the cooked chicken, the easy way or by removing it to a plate and pulling it apart with two forks.
3. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot and use a large spoon or a sturdy spatula to stir until the mixture is evenly combined.
4. Add in the cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese is melted and everything’s mixed well.
5. Serve the ‘crack’ chicken warm on hamburger buns or sandwich bread, toasted or plain, topped with a sprinkle of shredded cheese (optional).

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

As the household ‘chef’, or primary cooker of main meals, you’d usually think you have a general idea of everyone’s palates and tastes and going on that info alone, you’d think you’d have a pretty good idea of what recipes will be a hit or a miss. But even with all that information handy, most pork chop recipes have always been more of a miss than a hit for me in the dinner dept. There’s never been anything particular to lay the finger in, just more of nothing being a show-stopper. And apparently that’s the bar I’ve set. So far they guys have only gone ga-ga for them a few ways, breaded, fried, and topped with caramelized onions,  herbed and soaking in mushroom gravy, or my crispy, baked Italian ranch chops. But especially with the hubs, I am so glad that I hadn’t given up! After all, the hubs IS my picky eater.

While smothered may not typically be something I’d enjoy hearing, when it comes to these pork chops, it is essential. Slow cooked, all day long, in their rich, onion-based gravy they’re fall-apart tender and every bite is dee-vine. Topped with a generous bit of crisp, crumbled bacon and parsley? Ohhhhh, yes. We serve them over a bed of mashed potatoes so we can truly appreciate every single bite of gravy.

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

5 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 tsp brown sugar, divided
4 garlic coves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
2 bay leaves
6 pork chops, quality cuts
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

1. In a large skillet or sauce pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp.
2. Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to soak up the excess grease, leaving bacon fat in pan.
3. Discard all but about 2 tbsp of the remaining bacon fat and add in the onions, 2 tsp of the brown sugar, garlic, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring often until the onions have softened and have begun to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
4. Add in 1 cup of the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck on browned bits. You want those!
5. Place the mixture in crock pot and add on the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth.
6. Add in the remaining 2 tsp brown sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine
7. Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper and add them into the crock pot, pushing them down into the juices.
8. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours. When there’s only an hour or so left, stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to the gravy.
9. Place pork chops on a serving plate and cover with foil.
10. Remove the bay leaves from the gravy and transfer the ‘gravy’ to a bowl to ‘rest’ for 5 minutes. Scrape off as much fat from the surface as possible.
11. Stir in the vinegar and add any additional salt and pepper, if needed.
12. Serve the finished pork chops over a bed of mashed potatoes, or even cooked rice. Ladle a generous helping of onion gravy over the top of the pork chops and top with bacon and parsley before serving.

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches

How often does it happen that you can just throw a few things together and have someone else do all the work for you? Who am I kidding? That never happens in the real world. Except in the kitchen it totally can. With your crockpot. And it’s glorious!

Let your crockpot take over and do the all day work of slow simmering a beef chuck roast in beef broth, onion soup, and red wine. Talk about some tasty ‘broth’! Your house is gonna smell oh-so yummy. It’s gonna have mouth’s watering with one whiff, and you may or may not have a neighbor stop by, being drawn in by the scent and all. Good thing this meal makes plenty 🙂

 Crockpot French Dip

Your favorite rolls, toasted and then topped with sliced provolone before being piled high with tender roast beef, dipped in au jus gravy before a bite that’s pure bliss. I seriously suggest making sure you’ve got individual serving bowls for the au jus though. Thankfully, I have enough ramekins for everybody to have their own personal bowl of au jus gravy. Because dip it, dip it, dip it. It’s a must. For every bite. Double dip, shmouble dip. Just make sure you have plenty of napkins handy.

Crockpot French Dip

Crockpot French Dip

beef chuck roast, about 3 1/2 lbs
16 oz beef broth, or about 1 1/2 cans
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed French onion soup
6 oz red wine
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 French rolls, or other sandwich rolls of your choosing
8-12 slices provolone cheese

Directions

1. Trim any excess fat off of the roast, and liberally season the meat with salt and pepper.
2. Pour the broth, soup, wine, and garlic powder into the crock pot before sitting the roast in the crock pot in the liquid.
3. Cook the roast on low for 6-8 hours, until it’s falling apart tender.
4. Carefully remove the cooked beef from the crock pot to a plate or other serving platter. Loosely cover it with aluminum foil and allow it to ‘rest’ for about 15 minutes.
5. Roughly ‘slice’ the beef or use two forks to shred the meat, then return the beef to the crock pot and let it finish cooking on low for another 30 minutes.
6. Lightly toast the rolls, and distribute the cheese between the rolls. I like to use two slices per sandwich. Top with cooked beef. Spoon the au jus gravy* into ramekins or other small bowls, and serve everything nice and warm.

* If you’re worried about excess fat in your au jus gravy, just transfer the broth from the crock pot into a large measuring cup or bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes, or until the fat separates. Skim the fat off the top, and then pour it into individual serving dishes.

Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings. There’s something so Southern sounding about it. Just it’s name, aside from the fact that it is of course a Southern staple. For years though, the hubs and I only had it when we’d visit a restaraunt. Namely, Cracker Barrel who specializes in Southern style fare. This recipe takes all that old-fashioned taste, all that classic dumpling texture, and wraps it up nice and warm in an easy crockpot package.

You guys know all about my love affair with soups. The sons don’t think anything broth-based should be considered a ‘meal’ for a guy, and the hubs likes soup but really only in winter and only if it’s hearty with plenty of toppings, and served with a salad and a hunk of bread. All my guys are meat and potatoes kinda people. And I get that, and appreciate it when they suffer in silence for me.

Wanna know how I know this recipe’s got it going on? Not. one. single. complaint. And everyone came back for seconds. The hubs liked it SO much that he insisted we have it twice in one week, and then acted like a kid at Christmas when he came home one night the next week from work to find out I was making it for him again.

Let the crockpot do all the work, and you just sit back and soak it all in. We’ve even found a perfect dumpling shortcut, keeping the whole thing as simple as can be from start to finish. Refrigerated biscuits, cut into small pieces, plump up and cook in the soup creating yummy, fool-proof dumplings.

Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings

small white onion; diced
2-3 stalked celery, thinly sliced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 chicken breasts
2 tubes refrigerated biscuits (not butter flavored or flaky layered), 10 oz each
4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cup milk
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp water
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

1. In a skillet over medium high heat, saute the onion and celery in a little bit of olive oil until tender, and then transfer them to the crockpot.
2. Lay your chicken breasts over top the cooked veggies and then season them with salt and pepper.
3. Place the soup, chicken broth, milk, and the additional seasonings in the crockpot. Give the liquids a gentle stir to combine.
4. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 4-6 hours. An hour before it’s done cooking, mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until smooth. Add the mixture. Cut each of the biscuits into 4-6 small pieces and add them into the crockpot as well. At this point give everything a stir and return the lid to the pot to cook for the remaining hour.
5. When the soup’s done cooking, you can either break up the chicken in the crockpot with a spatula or remove the breasts and shred the chicken and then return the shredded chicken to the soup.

Sous Chef Sunday: Crockpot Ham & White Bean Soup

Do any of you other Moms & Dad’s make your kids cook? Because apparently that is listed under to ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ category on Friday nights. Ya know, the weekly fend fo yo-self night. Son # 2 acts like it’s just unconscionable that his mother wouldn’t want to slave over the stove or toil away in the kitchen for him for one evening a week. Because apparently that’s my job. Ha!

So, fend for youself night. Nothing new around these parts, but you’d never know it when listening to the complaining chorus. Anywho, it’s pretty simple make what you want, and leftovers are always divided evenly amongst the boys. Sometimes though, one son will decide that’s not sufficient, or maybe he’s just having a golden child moment, and decides he’s going make dinner for everyone. While years ago that would have been boxed mac and cheese (because that’s where they were at), it’s now an actual meal … something say, like Mom would make 😉 While I’ve always been adamant that my boys know there way around the kitchen and be self sufficient, I wasn’t satisfied with knowing how to follow the directions on a packet of pasta, or scramble a few eggs. (Oh, and to make sure we all know/knew what we were doing we took it back to the stone age by deciding against owning a microwave) Within the past few months or so though, they’ve caught onto a little piece of meal magic though. The CROCKPOT. Turns out I’m not the only one who can throw a few ingredients in that sucker and have dinner ready in a few hours.

It’s Friday? You know where the family recipe books are. Pick one and work together, or there’s always grilled cheese and a can of tomato soup. Or Ramen noodles. I did say it was fend for yourself night, didn’t I?

Behold! The sons won’t did not in fact starve this week!! So we’re here to share their latest creation … crockpot ham and white bean soup. And it’s good you guys.

Want to know what’s even more ironic? I made this for them two weeks ago for supper, and you should have heard the resounding complaining chorus. Because, soup. Of any kind. For dinner.

My, my … how the tables have turned 😉

Crockpot Ham & White Bean Soup

1 lb of dried Great Northern Beans, rinsed and sorted through
about 1 lb of ham, large pieces
6 cups of chicken stock or broth
1 medium white onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley, to taste
oregano, to taste

Directions

1. Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.

See? So simple a child can do it. 😉

Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

Do you like chicken? We sure do. It’s our main meat most days of the week. Do you love stuffing (or ‘dressing’ if you’re feelin fancy)? We definitely love that. Are you looking for an easy crockpot dinner? This one only requires four ingredients. FOUR! It’s super simple to throw together, so there’s no need to feel overwhelmed or under the gun about getting a hot, healthy meal on the table, even on your busiest of days. Pair it with some steamed veggies, or a salad, and you’re in business.

I know, I know. I usually enjoy making these types of things from scratch or at least froofing the box version. And while this isn’t straight from a box, and even though there’s plenty of room for it, there’s minimal froofage. Some days I just need some help with that quick and easy option, and for those days I count on a great crockpot recipe like this one. With one kid down for the count for day two with a headache and fever, and one recovering from the terrifying, traumatizing event of losing his first tooth, I’ve already got this cooking in the crockpot. This is a perfect meal for everyone to enjoy on a rainy Winter day, and it was a breeze to quickly get going so I have more time to get done what I really want to be doing today. Taking care of the sons.I’ll take my serving with a side of sick boy snuggles, please!

Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

 Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box chicken flavored stuffing mix (6oz)
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup water

Directions

1. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot.
2. Pour stuffing mix over chicken.
3. In a medium size bowl combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream and water; mix well.
4. Pour on top pf stuffing mix.
5. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours (check it at 3 hours).
6. Fluff and serve.

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