Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Well, look, there is a real person at this blog. And today there is a real recipe. Three cheers, eh?

I've been pinning many recipes, but trying few. Mostly I've been eating from the freezer (meals made times three, and two frozen) or just preparing dishes that are on the regular rotation (favorite meals).

This meal is certainly not fancy, but on a very cold night, with a winter storm on the way, it was comforting, and having put it in the crockpot on high at 1 p.m., and then having left the house for appointments, it was a welcome sight when I arrived home hours later. It smelled awfully good, too.

Essentially you only put the chicken, onions and cream of chicken soup in the crockpot. The corn, rice and cheese you add just before serving. I was a little surprised when I read the recipe, because I assumed that it was a dump-everything-in-and-cook recipe. I used my rice cooker (one of my favorite small kitchen appliances) to cook the rice and add it just before serving.

The original poster (Christy Jordan's Southern Plate) used Zatarain's yellow rice, but my family favorite is Goya. Having spent many of my formative years (those teenage ones, if truth be known) in Tampa, Florida, I ate a lot of Cuban yellow rice with chicken. Yellow Rice with Chicken (green peas mixed in -- it's traditional) was available in the cafeteria at school every day, and we really learned to love it (the white kids -- the Cuban kids already loved it), and many restaurants served it as well. It was just a regional standby. I think the Goya yellow rice tastes more authentic, but use what you like.

I also subbed out my own cream of chicken soup (found at the bottom of this recipe post). It only takes a minute to make, really, and it tastes better. Use a good quality chicken soup base or bouillon cube that doesn't include MSG.

I'll tell you, my husband looked at this dish in the bowl and did not make a happy face. He does not generally like chicken and rice dishes. But he took a bite and said, "Mmmmm." And then another "mmmmmmm." And he cleaned his plate like a good boy. The kids liked it, too, except an onion hater who could still see onion pieces with a microscope.

I think you could definitely substitute another vegetable for corn in this dish. I would use cooked carrot coins (or just add the carrots earlier in the process) or frozen peas (I would love that but no one else in my house would except Faith). Both would probably be more visually interesting than corn, and more nutritious, but for the first try I stuck with the recipe, except to double it and freeze the leftovers.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice
serves 10-12 

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I halve them lengthwise so they cook quicker)
1 large white onion, chopped 
2 -8 ounce box Goya Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
1 cup cheddar cheese
2 - 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (or two recipes of homemade)
1 bag frozen corn 

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, break up chicken with two forks and add corn. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, and cheese. Stir to combine. Add hot water if mixture needs thinned. Serve hot.

Serve with a green salad, fruit, bread, or a hot green vegetable.


Meg said...

My husband and I grew up in St. Pete :) I knew I enjoyed your blogs for a good reason, other than the fact you're Catholic :)

Meg Huber

Linda said...

Mmmmm....I going to be trying this one really soon. I love Cuban cuisine!

mel said...

I went to high school in Clearwater! :-)