Slow Cooker Chicken to the Rescue

I have been skimping in the kitchen lately. Summer activities have been ramping up as school vacation comes to a close. That, coupled with more freelance work, means that I am running every which way but into the kitchen. It does help to have some easy dinners planned as each week unfolds. I have just about exhausted all of our usual suspects, but Chicken in the Pot always is a winner.

I posted on Chicken in the Pot back in December, when the blog was only a few weeks old and I had about ten followers. This recipe deserves to have more exposure than that. And you deserve to have it in your quick dinner line-up. It needs a more imaginative name, but Rich brought it into the marriage from his childhood, and there are some childhood traditions you don’t mess with.

If you need a dinner for busy days (who doesn’t), or if you want to get dinner on the table without heating up the kitchen, this is it. I wish I had more slow cooker recipes in my cooking repertoire. I would love to use mine more, especially if it helps me to get out of the boring dinner routine of this summer. What do you like to make in your slow cooker?

Chicken in the Pot
From The Cook’s Life
Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers
Doubles easily, if your slow cooker is big enough

1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
OR 2 cups tomato sauce, low-sodium preferred
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste (optional)
2 cloves garlic, diced (fresh or from a jar)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Hot cooked rice, for serving
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Place tomatoes, tomato paste, if using, and garlic in a slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Add chicken, pushing it down under the sauce. Cook on Low for 6-12 hours; the longer, the better. Serve over rice, topped with grated Parmesan cheese. Add a side of steamed broccoli or a salad and dinner is served.

 Download the recipe here.


12 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken to the Rescue

  1. Hi,

    I’ve been doing a variety of pulled pork recipes in the slow cooker this summer (anything to stay out of the kitchen!), some with spice rubs, some without, and my taste testers agree this one is the best. It’s a combo of The Pioneer Womans Spicy Pop Pulled Pork and an oven baked ribs recipe I’ve had for decades. I combined them and tweaked them both to suit myself:

    Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker
    Spice Rub:
    • 3 t. salt
    • 2 t. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. paprika
    • 1 t. pepper
    • 1 t. cinnamon
    • ½ t. ground cloves
    • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
    • 2 cloves smashed garlic
    • 1 whole pork butt (pork shoulder roast) about 5-7 pounds
    • One 11-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (more or less to suit yourself; I used ½ of a 7 oz. can, and seeded the peppers, and it added just a bit of heat in the background. I might add more the next time and stop being such a wimp)
    • About 12 oz. of a large bottle of root beer or Dr. Pepper (not diet), keep the rest for the sauce
    • 4 packed tablespoons brown sugar
    • 4 cups root beer or Dr. Pepper (not diet)
    • 1/3 c. bottled barbecue sauce
    • 2 T. tomato paste
    • 1 T. cider vinegar
    • 2 t. Dijon mustard
    • 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
    Mix spices together and rub over pork. If you can, let the pork sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, if not, that’s OK too. Place the onion quarters in the bottom of 6 qt. slow cooker and place the pork on top of the onions. Pour the chipotle peppers over the top and pour soda over the whole thing. Add brown sugar to the liquid and stir. You may need to add a bit more than 12 oz. of soda, but remember that the pork will create a lot of liquid as it cooks. Can cook on high for about 3 hours, or on low for longer. I don’t really time it, when the meat is falling off the bone and offers no resistance when pierced with a knife, it’s done. I usually start it on high for an hour, and then on low for about 4 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and shred completely. Defat the sauce, strain if desired, and add to pork. When defatted, there will be about 1 cup of sauce from the crock pot. At this point, you can skip making the additional sauce and just add enough of your favorite barbecue sauce to suit yourself, but I like the flavor.

    Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a large saucepan, bring the soda to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, until reduced to 1 ¼ cups, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Return sauce mixture to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add to pulled pork or reserve for serving. Makes about 1 ½ cups of sauce. This sauce is easy to increase if you want a saucier pulled pork or extra for serving, it’s up to you..

  2. Ooh! Nice and simple! I’ve just recently been thinking I need to add more slow cooker recipes to my collection- and I just so happen to have chicken thawing out in the fridge! What timing!

  3. Sarah, How tomato-y tasting is this recipe with tom paste? DH isn’t much on tomato. I’m thinking the paste will become a layer over the chicken? This recipe sounds good and simple and I love crock pot cooking. Son is off to Iowa State, Ames, IA in less than 2 weeks, so this recipe is going with him. Answer when you have time and enjoy your staycation.

    • It is pretty tomato-y. The paste just makes the sauce thicker, it really doesn’t make the chicken taste more like tomatoes, but you do have to like the taste of tomato sauce to like this. If you cook for the longer time, the chicken soaks up some of the tomato sauce and the outer portions of the chicken pieces turn red. My husband loves this dish, but he eats just the chicken, no extra sauce on his. He isn’t much of a “sauce” person, but he loves tomatoes. I, on the other hand, eat my portion of sauce and my husband’s too! It makes great leftovers, if you decide to make it just for yourself. 🙂

  4. Aren’t slow cookers the best? The chicken looks fast, easy & tasty. What I’m having a hard time with was your comment about school vacation winding down. When does school start up? I’ve been feeling bad for kids for weeks now because it seems like Target’s set up their back to school section & running ads for weeks now. In the olden days we never went back until after Labor Day but I know here the public schools go back before. Sad.

    • The first day of school is August 14 in our district. But we usually get out the week before Memorial Day, so we still get a nice long summer. When I was a kid we started the last week of August, so the 14th seems early to me too. But I am ready for some structure to the week and for Calvin to be busier.

  5. I put this in the crock pot before I left for work and will cook some pasta when I get home. The rice looks delicious but DH won’t eat rice. I’m also hoping this recipe works out a bit better than the meatloaf on Monday which was an epic failure! I think the problem was the crock pot I used for the meatloaf is too hot for an all day bake. Using a different crock pot today in hopes of better results. Any suggestions for a crock pot meatloaf?

    • Do you have one of the older crock pots? We really liked the chicken better in our old crock pot, before it gave up the ghost. The newer ones are hotter. The chicken does well in the hotter crock pots, but it is better with the longer cooking times – it can be tough if you cook it less than six hours.

      I don’t have any experience with crock pot meatloaf. I like my meatloaf crispy on the outside, so the oven is the only way for me. Since it does cook so long, I think I would make sure it was pretty moist to start with, and maybe wouldn’t use the leanest of ground beef. Those are just guesses, and they might be totally off, since the crockpot holds in all the moisture. You might end up with meatloaf soup if you follow my suggestions. Have you looked at crock pot cookbooks or online for specific crockpot meatloaf recipes? Sorry I am not more help.

      Let me know how you like the chicken later!

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