Slow-Cooker Chicken & Rice Soup

This nutritious family staple is too easy to not make at home. I make the recipe even simpler by using a slow cooker – by late afternoon you’ll have a fragrant, steaming soup that just needs some cooked brown rice and you’re done! I like to use boneless, skinless cuts of chicken to keep the fat down.

You can use red potatoes instead of rice, if you like. Cut them into 1-inch chunks and add in the beginning so they’re tender when it’s time to eat.

You’ll be seeing more slow cooker recipes from me soon!

chickenricesoup2

Slow-Cooker Chicken & Rice Soup

servings:4-6

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced (including top leaves)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Place the chicken breasts in a 6-7 quart slow cooker. Add all ingredients except rice, cover, and cook on low 6-7 hours.

Remove bay leaves and onion. Shred chicken. Add rice and stir; top with chopped fresh parsley if you like. Enjoy!


Chicken in Savory Tomato Sauce

I got home from work and realized I had no plan on what to make for dinner.

I really hate when this happens! But I had a full pantry and hungry mongrels all around me. What to do?

This is what I did, and I’m glad I did.

The sauce was really rich and delicious…a quick homemade marinara. Simmer some chicken in it, and I wondered why I hadn’t thought of this before.

I didn’t have any, but tear some basil over the finished plates if you like. Or add fresh herbs for even better flavor!

I sprinkled shaved Parmesan cheese over the top, but you could use mozzarella too.

Something about the crunchy, peppery arugula under that rice really worked here. If that’s not your fancy, serve over pasta.

Either way, this recipe just proves the old saying that simple is better!

Chicken in Savory Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken (any pieces you like; I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into slivers (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small green bell pepper (about 1 cup)
  • 26 ounce container chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • rice or pasta, for serving
  • arugula, for serving (optional)
  • Parmesan or mozzarella cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Add to pan and cook 10-15 minutes, turning once, until browned all over. Remove from pan to a plate.

Drain all but a small amount of oil from the pan (you may not need to do this if your chicken is skinless). Add garlic, onion, and green pepper, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and beginning to brown.

Stir in tomatoes and oregano, and bring to a simmer. Put chicken back in the pan, cover, and simmer on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, turning once.

Serve over a bed of greens and rice like we did, or over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!


Chicken with Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is the easiest thing ever. Made fresh on your stovetop in 45 minutes (including the meat), you’ll never buy the sodium-laden jars again.

Make tacos, enchiladas, burritos…or dip tortilla chips in it!

If you don’t like heat, leave the jalapeño out, because it does make the sauce spicy. Add in green bell pepper as a replacement.

As always, corn tortillas are traditional. Flour tortillas will work fine, but because they’re larger, you’ll get fewer tacos.

Garnish how you like…cilantro, lime wedges, radish slices, queso blanco…or sour cream. Or queso dip. Or all of the above. So delicious.

Chicken with Salsa Verde

Yield 10-12 tacos or enchiladas.

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken cuts (such as breast or thigh)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound tomatillos, papery shells removed, cut into small wedges
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rounds (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

garnish with:

  • chopped cilantro
  • radish slices
  • queso blanco
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • lime wedges

Heat oil in a large fry pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat; generously salt and pepper chicken, and add to pan. Brown meat 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan to a plate.

Add chicken broth and scrape up the brown bits in the pan. When broth is simmering, stir in tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Simmer on medium-high heat 15-20 minutes, or until tomatillos soften. Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, crush the tomatillos.

Add the chicken back and simmer 10-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and cut into slices; squeeze lime into sauce and season with salt if needed.

For enchiladas: heat tortillas, covered with a damp paper towel, in the microwave a few at a time, 15-20 seconds. Fill middle with a few slices of chicken, roll and place seam side down on a plate. Spoon verde sauce over the top. If desired, top with cheese and place under broiler for a few minutes to melt cheese. Finish with desired toppings.

For tacos: heat a dry skillet over high heat and lightly brown tortillas (corn only- heat flour tortillas using the microwave method above) until firm. Lay flat on a plate and add chicken, sauce and toppings as desired.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Bon Appétit’s Chicken with Salsa Verde


Gluten Free Easy Chicken & Vegetable Pies

So I haven’t posted in a while because my sister Whitney got married! It was total craziness! But so fun.

In the last few hectic weeks I’ve come to really appreciate easy recipes. That everyone can (and will!) eat.

Therefore, I give you refrigerated gluten free dough, frozen vegetables, and leftover chicken. Add a few everyday ingredients in, and bingo – dinner is done! Kids and adults will eat these because they’re yummy, my sister Caroline can eat these because they’re gluten free…everyone is happy.

The chicken base is optional, but it adds a lot of flavor – add it if you have it! You can also use a (non-gluten-free) chicken bullion cube.

If gluten free isn’t necessary…roll out those premade biscuits or croissants in a can and put this filling in. So good.

A few comments:

  • gluten free dough is finicky. If it starts to tear as you’re cutting it, put it back in the fridge to firm up. When you bake it, bake it to well done so it gets crispy but not burned (cover the tops with tin foil if needed).
  • use individual ramekins filled with the chicken and vegetable mixture and cover with a piece of dough, for easier assembly.

Chicken & Vegetable Pies closeup

Gluten Free Easy Chicken & Vegetable Hand Pies

Adapted from rachelschultz.com’s Chicken & Vegetable Hand Pies

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 white onion, diced small (omit if it’s in your vegetable mix)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups frozen cut vegetable mix
  • 2 cups cooked cubed chicken (grocery store rotisserie chicken works great!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup gluten free, low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 milk
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free chicken base (I use RC Fine Foods Brand)
  • 3 ounces gluten free flour (I use Better Batter All-Purpose Flour), or 3/4 cup regular flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2-16 ounce container refrigerated gluten free pie dough (I use Pillsbury, it’s in the dairy section), or regular pie dough, or mini biscuits in a can
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

(If you are starting with raw chicken, cook them in the olive oil over medium heat until cooked through and do not drain the pan; then proceed with onion and garlic below.)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the butter and vegetables, stir, and cook until they are thawed and warmed through.

Add the diced chicken, celery seed, chicken base, milk and chicken stock and cook to a simmer. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over everything and mix well; the final filling will be thick.

Roll out half the pie dough to 1/4 inch thickness and slice into 4 pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough, then repeat all steps with the second pie crust.

On each of 8 dough pieces, add 1/2 cup of the chicken and vegetable mix. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with another piece of pie crust and seal edges well with a fork, or crimp with your fingers. Brush tops with egg. Cut 2-3 small holes in the top to vent. (No need to brush with egg if using biscuit or croissants.) Sprinkle tops with more cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until dough is well done and golden brown. Enjoy!


Creamy Smoked Paprika Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe takes a comfort food classic – chicken noodle soup – and adds creamy, smoky flavors that transform it into a meal.

Please do try to use the bacon fat – it makes a difference. And if you needed an excuse to make bacon, now you have one!

The broth is best sopped up with some crusty bread (Udi’s gluten free rolls are divine).

I keep it gluten free with gluten free pasta and cornstarch, but regular pasta will work just fine!

Potatoes instead of noodles would also work. Add veggies to your heart’s desire, if you like.

Top with bacon bits…sour cream…shredded cheddar cheese…scallions…yum.

Creamy Smoked Paprika Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-4 pound whole fryer chicken, skin removed
  • 8 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon salt (to taste)
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 whole zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 bag/box (16 ounce) gluten free pasta (brown rice pasta works well, or use regular egg noodles)
  • sour cream, shredded cheese and/or scallions, for garnish (optional)

In a large, heavy stockpot, heat butter and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, and simmer until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the paprika, oregano, cumin, celery seed, and bay leaves, and add the water. Submerge the chicken, breast side down; it will be mostly (but not completely) covered. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. After 30 minutes, flip chicken over. Continue to cook another 30 minutes or until chicken begins to fall apart; remove to a plate.

In a small container, whisk cornstarch with a small amount of the cooking liquid; add to pot along with the milk. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer vigorously, uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes; shred the chicken meat and discard bones while the liquid simmers.

Stir in the cream cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the noodles and chicken, and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender. Enjoy!


Honey Soy Glazed Skillet Chicken

Mmmm…honey glazed, soy-marinated chicken.

Sweet, savory, tender chicken pieces result from this 2-step cooking method…by starting on the stove, you cut way back on oven time. Which means you cut back on drying out time, something chicken loves to do in the oven.

A honey glaze that thickens and browns in the oven finishes off the deliciousness. Even my mom was impressed (Awesome.).

Marinate up to 4 hours, but try not to do it less than 2. The chicken will really absorb these flavors. San-J’s gluten free tamari sauce is amazing (they make soy sauce too). Tamari or soy sauce will work; tamari is richer and a little thicker, great for this dish.

I used a 12-inch pan and the chicken barely fit. You might need to sear it off in batches, and transfer to a baking dish (stick it in the oven to heat it up first!). No problem – that will work just fine. Or of course you could just make a half batch.

Make sure you spoon the cooking liquid over the chicken regularly – we want that surface to caramelize!

A meat thermometer in one of the big pieces will ensure everything’s cooked through (the smaller pieces will be fall-off-the-bone tender).

If it had been up to me, I’d have used all dark meat, but sometimes you have to please the masses.

Chicken aside – you’ll be spooning the resulting sauce over everything else on your plate too.

Honey Soy Skillet Chicken 2

Honey Soy Glazed Skillet Chicken

  • 5 pounds mixed bone-in chicken pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or canola oil)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • fresh ground pepper

for the marinade:

  • 1 bottle (10 ounces) gluten free tamari sauce or soy sauce
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine. In a shallow pan large enough to hold the chicken (9×13″), pour marinade over chicken; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-4 hours, turning chicken once. When marinating time is done, remove chicken and scrape off most of the garlic and cilantro.

Preheat your oven to 375°F

Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add butter, and slowly add the chicken, largest pieces first. Add some freshly ground pepper. As the chicken cooks, the pieces will shrink some, allowing you to add more pieces. Once all the chicken is in the pan, cook 15 minutes, turning chicken once. Use a meat thermometer to ensure largest piece is at least 80°F; when temperature is reached, pour honey over the chicken and place in oven.

Spoon liquid over chicken every 10 minutes. Cook about 30 minutes, or until chicken registers 165°F in thickest part. If desired, strain off fat and serve cooking liquid with chicken. Enjoy!


Fall Harvest Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Today we’re back to basics with a wonderful chicken recipe. Sweet dumpling, acorn or butternut squash, take your pick of what’s available now!

Or use red potatoes, carrots…whatever suits your fancy. Squash and little potatoes are so festive!

You can spatchcock the chicken to reduce cooking time…here’s a good photo tutorial on how to do this.

But otherwise, this is just about seasonings and oven time. The chicken comes out so juicy and delicious!

Butter on the chicken’s skin is a must for me…makes the skin crispy and keeps the meat moist.

A good drizzle of olive oil, some fresh herbs and you’re all set!

Harvest Roast Chicken 2

Fall Harvest Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

  • 1 whole fryer chicken, 3 1/2-4 pounds (remove the bag of gizzards)
  • 1 sweet dumpling or acorn squash (about the size of a softball), cut into 8 slices
  • 8 small potatoes (such as red potatoes)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and quarter
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth or water (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Rinse the chicken with water and pat dry. Spatchcock if desired (see link above).

Rub chicken all over with coriander and paprika; place in a large roasting pan. Squeeze lemon over the chicken, then put the lemon half, 2 garlic cloves, and 2-3 sprigs of thyme in body cavity. Cover the top with pats of butter.

Arrange the shallot, squash, potatoes, garlic, and thyme sprigs around the chicken. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, and sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. Grind nutmeg over the top of everything.

Pour in enough chicken stock or water to cover the bottom of the pan. Insert thermometer probe into thickest part of breast meat (optional, but best for optimal results). Cover tightly with a lid or foil, and bake 45 minutes covered.

Uncover and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, skin is crispy, and vegetables are soft and browned slightly. (You can use your broiler for a few minutes to brown the skin if needed.)

Let the meat rest in the pan for a few minutes before slicing, discarding thyme sprigs. Enjoy!