Crockpot

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

Well, actually three ways. But I didn’t photograph the third way.

(Can’t wait to see those Google keyword searches next week!) ([giggle])

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

Let me introduce you to the most amazing thing to come out of my crockpot since… well, that last amazing thing that came out of my crockpot.

I call it Honey Chipotle Chicken. And I call it dinner for 4 nights this week.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

It starts with 3 lbs of chicken breasts, some honey, a can of chipotles in adobo, and some onion and garlic. ~5 hours later, you have enough chicken to feed a small army for nearly the rest of the week. An army that will absolutely adore you.

The cooking sauce is defatted (it’s a word) and thickened and then drizzled over the shredded chicken. The sauce has a pretty amazing balance of sweet and heat – my 4 year old actually claimed it to be “too spicy”… but I watched her mop up every single drop of sauce with her quesadilla because seriously – what won’t that kid do for a bowl of Blue Bell? (Besides not cleaning her room.)

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

The first night we made those tacos and quesadillas (because my 4 year old will not eat a taco that hasn’t been sufficiently smashed), topping them with pico de gallo and some crumbled goat cheese. For lunch the next day, I served it over a bowl of some fancy rice-quinoa mix.

Then we made enchiladas. And I have no reservations about telling you this: They are absolutely the best enchiladas I’ve made or eaten. Ever. Sweet, spicy (but not craaazy hot), and cheesy comfort food.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

And I’ve still got 1/2 lb of shredded chicken and a cup of sauce left. I can tell you one thing – the weekend’s football munchies are going to be killer good.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken

Sweet and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken made in the crockpot. Tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, or gameday appetizers - it's uses are as endless as the dish is amazing.

Ingredients

  • For the Honey Chipotle Chicken:
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 7 oz can chipotles in adobo
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • To serve as tacos:
  • Tortillas
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • To serve as enchiladas:
  • 12 tortillas
  • 4 oz grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in a large crockpot.
  2. Place the chipotles, honey, onion, garlic, a couple dashes of Worcestershire, and black pepper into a blender (you can chop/mince everything by hand if you'd like). Fill the empty chipotle can with water and add the water to the blender.
  3. Blend for 15-20 seconds until you have a pourable sauce (super smooth, homogenous liquid not necessary).
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred (I am still loving this method!); cover and set aside.
  6. Skim the fat from the top of the sauce or pour the sauce into a fat separator (I have this one and didn't use the strainer attachment).
  7. Transfer defatted liquid to a sauce pan on the stove over medium high heat. Pull out ~1/2 cup of liquid and whisk it with 3 Tbsp cornstarch. Add it back to the sauce pan and cook until it the sauce boils and thickens.
  8. I tossed 1/2 cup sauce with the shredded chicken to keep it moist and then stored the two separately (I had 3.5 cups of liquid).
  9. To make tacos, serve the shredded chicken drizzled with 1-2 Tbsp of honey chipotle sauce and top with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and crumbled goat cheese.
  10. To make enchiladas, place 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375. Wrap chicken and a pinch of shredded cheese in each tortilla and place in the dish (I used half the cheese inside the enchiladas, the other half on top). Top with 1-1.5 cups honey chipotle sauce and the remaining cheese. Bake ~15 mintutes, until browning and bubbly. Serve topped with chopped cilantro (if you're not a hater).

Notes

Yields: A Whole Lot

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, method inspired by The World Famous Honey Sesame Chicken

Estimated time: 5 hours 30 minutes

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Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

I was just not cut out to be a hoarder. I try – like really try – but in the end, neurosis kicks in and my priorities immediately shift to depleting the mountain of whatever I just bought “because it was such a great deal!” as quickly as humanly possible.

Obtaining things – not hard. But REtaining them? Completely impossible. Except toothpaste. Good Lord, do you know how long 12 tubes last?!

I had nearly 20lbs of hatch chiles in the freezer at one point. Now? Not even close. Why buy 20 lbs in August when I know I can get them canned year-round? Maybe because for a few short weeks, I happily submit to the hype and convince myself that it’s not quite the same making Pepperoni & Hatch Pizza in September with fresh chiles as it is in April with canned chiles… but we’re all adults here and we know it’s close enough that it won’t matter.

{Also, the little Fage Total yogurts were BOGO this week! Guess who has 18 now 15 containers of Greek yogurt in her fridge? And guess who eats like 2 a day?}

{Also, Target has Clif bars 6/$5 this week! Guess who will never have to buy another Clif bar again?}

So Mission:Empty The Freezer of All Signs of Hatch Chiles continues with this week’s favorite dinner to loudly protest and pout about before even taking a single bite: beans, sausage, and rice.

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

Why’d you type it like that – “beans, sausage, and rice.” You always say “red beans & rice.” Sausage is a given. And you didn’t say “red.” Why are you being so vague? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING OVER THERE?!

Simmah down, na’! Your red beans are actually black and loaded with hatch chiles. The sausage is made out of chicken and stuffed with cheese and hatch chiles. And no, the rice isn’t really rice. It’s quinoa.

Man, you just can’t slip anything by anybody over GChat in this house :)

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

I took a page out of my mom’s playbook (probably called Live Free and Crock Hard) (God, I hope that doesn’t means something gross in Urban Dictionary) (I’m totally not looking – and don’t you dare tell me if you do!) and made a giant vat of beans in the crockpot so I’d have lunchable leftovers for the week in the form of Black & White tacos.

If you’re going stove top method for the beans, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to overnight soak or quick soak (check your pack of dried beans for instructions). If you’re going canned, your house won’t smell awesome all day long… but you also won’t have to run the dishwasher a second time to avoid handwashing the crock.

But seriously, go make this and put a dent in your hatch chile stash. You can’t mess it up, whatever route you take.

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

Chicken sausage, quinoa, black beans, and hatch chiles make for a healthier - and spicier - twist on beans & rice.

Ingredients

  • For the beans
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices of thick bacon, diced
  • Salt
  • 6 hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped (directions here)
  • 1 lb sausage, cut into ~1/3-inch rounds*
  • 3 cups cooked rice or quinoa (1/2 cup per person)
  • *I used HEB Hatch Chile & Cheese Chicken Sausage; it wasn't precooked so I just cooked it separately.

Instructions

  1. Put rinsed and picked-over dried beans in the crockpot with 8 cups of water, bay leaves, onion, garlic, bacon, and a couple of generous pinches of salt.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Add the chiles and sausage to the crockpot and let stand on low to heat the meat through, ~20 minutes.
  4. Serve a generous scoop of beans & sausage over 1/2 cup of cooked rice or quinoa.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings, with leftover beans

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 8 hours

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Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

“You always have to make things so complicated. Open a jar, pour it out, and just leave it alone for once.”

That’s only a small portion of the rant my sister emailed me – we get along fabulously ;)

She asked for my “favorite green enchilada sauce.” So I sent it to her. And it’s a good one! The sauce components are lightly charred on the grill and the resulting sauce is smokey and flavorful. Better than anything you’ll ever pour out of a jar and just leave alone.

Sure, it’s January but we live in Texas – it’s almost never too cold to fire up the grill.

But that isn’t what she really wanted. She wanted my “favorite green enchilada sauce that can be made quickly while my 3 kids and 2 dogs and 1 cat tear my house apart after getting back from t-ball and soccer practice but before a 2-hour long bath & bedtime routine how do these kids get so dirty and why won’t they go to sleep already?!”

Those are two different recipes. And like 8 different other problems, none of which I can help her with.

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

She does have a point, though. There are two things I do really well: I can somehow fill the entire dishwasher on soup & sandwich night and I can always turn something slightly time-consuming into something really time-consuming. And that’s why I usually on make enchiladas on the weekend.

So I reworked the “big” recipe so that it could be made on a school night. It uses the crockpot to cook a double-batch of the chicken (eat half, freeze the other!) while she’s doing whatever you do when you have 3 kids and 2 dogs and 1 cat (my guess is it involves a dark closet, a bottle of cheap liquor, and the fetal position), canned salsa verde, and comes together quicker than the totally from-scratch version.

And I made sure to work in a step that says “pour it out and leave it alone.”

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

The slow cooker and canned salsa verde make a big pan of green chicken enchiladas perfect for a school night.

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • ~3 lbs (4 large) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (half for this recipe, freeze the other half or use it for taco night this week)
  • 7 oz can salsa verde
  • For the enchiladas
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz monterrey jack cheese, grated and divided in half
  • 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I use Total Fage 0%, can use light sour cream)
  • 2 7-oz cans salsa verde
  • 10 small tortillas (I use Mission Low Carb flour)
  • Pico de gallo, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot and pour the salsa over top and leave it alone.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours (5-6 if the chicken is frozen).
  3. Half of the chicken will be shredded for enchiladas, I pack the other half into a freezer bag with some of the cooking liquid if I'm not going to use it right away. Otherwise, you've just made chicken for taco or quesadilla or soup or mac & cheese night later in the week.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425.
  5. Shred half of the chicken and place in a medium bowl.
  6. Add the chopped onion, half of the cheese, sour cream/yogurt, and half a can of salsa verde - stir to mix well.
  7. Spread the remaining half-can of salsa verde over the bottom of a casserole dish.
  8. Fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture, roll, and place seam side down in the dish.
  9. Top with the other can of salsa verde and remaining shredded cheese.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and the cheese and tortillas are nicely browned.
  11. Serve with a scoop of pico de gallo over top. Or not.

Notes

Yields: 10 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 4 hours 40 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 277.7 | Fat: 10.3g | Fiber 11.1g | Protein 24.2g | Carbs 21g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6

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This is the time of year when I’m usually trying to figure out if this is the coldest, longest winter that I can remember in Texas. I know it’s not… and it really was barely 2 months ago that I was whining about the lack of a real fall in Texas. But it’s cold. For Texas. And that sends us running for soup and chili and stew.

One of our favorite meals in rotation right now is this Chicken & Sausage Stew. It’s one of my favorites because 94% of the work is done before noon – an awesome thing since I seem to be impressively unmotivated these days. The two picky-ish eaters in the house usually go back for seconds. Voluntarily. For a dish that has the word “stew” and spinach in it.

That’s probably because it doesn’t fall into that “it tastes like every other stew that comes from the crockpot” category. I really hate that category.

I lightened up the recipe a bit by reducing the flour and using low-fat chicken broth and 95% fat-free smoked turkey sausage. It still makes a nice and hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.

And the 3 days after that.

Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

A lighter, hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken (I used a mixture of boneless breasts & thighs)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz light smoked turkey sausage, 1/2-inch rounds cut in half
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 3 cups low-sodium/reduced-fat chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • Parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and transfer (in batches) to the skillet to sear ~2-3 minutes on each side.
  3. Transfer the seared chicken to the slow cooker.
  4. Reduce heat just a bit and pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet (add additional olive oil if necessary) and add the onions.
  5. Cook just until beginning to brown, ~5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 more minute.
  7. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 more minute.
  8. Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Whisk in 1 cup of the broth until smooth and then transfer to the slow cooker.
  10. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth, the bay leaves, and the cannellini beans. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 4-6 hours on low.
  11. Remove the chicken and shred/cut into small pieces and return to the slow cooker.
  12. Discard the bay leaves and skim off any fat on the surface.
  13. Stir in the spinach and sausage, cover, and let cook another 10 minutes to warm through.
  14. Additional broth can be added to stretch the stew or adjust consistency, if necessary.
  15. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan.

Notes

Yields: ~8 servings

Adapted from ATK Slow Cooker Revolution, via Pink Parsley

Estimated time: 6 hours 30 minutes

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