Two of the Chicken Recipes So Far

I am finding the comments on the Things to Pour Over Chicken post SO HELPFUL. The individual recipes are helpful, but even more so is the general impression I can get from reading a number of similar recipes in a row. For example, I noticed about half a dozen recipes that had a sort of shreddy-taco-chicken-in-the-crockpot theme, so I mixed and matched a little:

 

A Shreddy Taco Chicken Crockpot Type of Recipe

I put two pounds of raw thawed chicken into the crockpot (I didn’t cut it up, even though two pounds managed to be only three giant chicken breasts), and then I put in two cans of Rotel (which I’d never heard of before: I figured out from context that it would probably be in the same section as salsa, and it was), and a small can of chilis, and a can of drained/rinsed black beans, and a pour of medium salsa (three-fourths cup to a cup), and a packet of taco seasoning, and I cooked it on low starting about 5 and a half hours before dinner. Right before dinner, I fished (chickened) the cooked chicken breasts out of the crockpot, put them in the stand mixer and shredded them, and then mixed them back into the Rotel/bean/salsa stuff. I made soft tacos out of it, and it was very good. The leftovers were very good, too.

Next time I would put in less/no taco seasoning, because that flavor seemed too prominent. If I were making it for myself, I might also put in a second can of beans (either another can of black or a can of chickpeas); but for the kids, one can was just right.

[Updated: Here’s how I make it now: about 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1/4 cup (or one packet) taco seasoning, 1 can Rotel, about 3/4 cup medium salsa, one can drained/rinsed black beans.]

 

Another nice thing about having an assortment of similar recipes is that some people are measurers and some people are not, so if I see one recipe that sounds delicious but reminds me of my late mother-in-law’s cinnamon roll recipe (“Put in butter and brown sugar”—no quantities at all), I can usually get an idea of the approximate quantities (are we talking a tablespoon or a cup?) from another recipe.

There was a batch of ones that were like “layer of rice and water, layer of chicken, layer of cream soup” types. I didn’t see any that had rice/water quantities, but a couple implied that it would be the same proportions as cooking the rice on its own, so that’s what I did with the amount of rice I would normally have made in the rice cooker:

 

A Rice Chicken Cream-Soup Baking-Dish Type of Recipe

I put about a cup and a half of uncooked white rice and about the same amount of water into a 9×13 glass baking dish. Then I added a layer of about a pound and a half of raw, thawed chicken breasts, cut into tenders-sized pieces. I put a pound bag of partially-thawed (“sat on the counter for half an hour”) frozen broccoli florets over that. I mixed a can of cheese soup with a can of cream of broccoli soup and about a quarter-cup of milk, and I spooned THAT over everything. I covered the dish with foil and baked it for an hour at 350F. Then I put on a couple of handfuls of shredded cheese, and then a mixture of 2 T. melted butter and 1/4 c. panko crumbs, and baked it another 15 minutes uncovered at 375F.

It was…okay. I think it’ll be a lot better the second time I attempt it. This time the rice still wasn’t cooked all the way even after an hour and a quarter, so it was kind of wet and solidly clumped, and also had parts that were like eating uncooked rice (I was going to say “crunchy,” but that sounds overcooked and a little yummy; this was starchy and like eating undercooked rice). I wonder if the rice recipe I was following (from my rice cooker) was not the same as what would be done on the stove-top, and maybe that was the problem. Or it’s possible the rice had some brown rice in it: it was Paul’s jar of rice, and he could have made a blend without me knowing it. The broccoli was a little overcooked, and looked icky wherever no sauce had covered it. The cream of broccoli soup smelled TERRIBLE; like, four times as bad as the usual post-broccoli smell in a house, as soon as I’d opened the can. This morning the house still smells bad, and so do my HANDS even though I’ve SHOWERED.

I think next time I’d use cream of chicken soup instead and count on the added bag of broccoli to do the smelling-terrible part. I think I’d also add more milk to the soup—probably half a cup instead of a quarter; it seemed too thick. The chicken was good though: a child even remarked upon it (though in a not-exactly-complimentary way: “Is this DIFFERENT chicken? Usually chicken is so hard to chew, but this is easy”).

27 thoughts on “Two of the Chicken Recipes So Far

  1. Laura

    Thanks for these reviews! I’m definitely going to try the chicken taco idea. I don’t know if I can get rotel in Canada, but I’ll check out Wal-Mart and the grocery stores.

    I’m reading through the comments on your linked post right now and loving them. Very helpful. I’m very squeamish about cooking with chicken, so I’m going to try some of them out! I haven’t gotten through all of the comments yet, but did anyone suggest this recipe? http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/crock-pot-sesame-honey-chicken.html – It was really good, and very easy to make. I made rice and broccoli to go with it.

    Another one of my favourites is to sprinkle chicken breasts with lemon pepper and bake. Like, just bathe that chicken in lemon pepper, so that it is overwhelmingly lemon-y. I like to serve it in a caesar wrap (which is easy to make…romaine lettuce, caesar dressing, some kind of cheese, croutons, and lemon chicken in a tortilla wrap).

  2. Becky

    To do the rice/chicken/cream soup recipe, I always use the one from the Campbells website: (But I usually double the rice and can of soup. For vegetables I just stir some frozen broccoli in.
    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
    1 1/3 cups water
    3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
    1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)

    1 Heat the oven to 375°F. Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in an 11 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish.
    2 Top the rice mixture with the chicken. Cover the baking dish.
    3 Bake for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with the cheese. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice before serving.

  3. LeighTX

    I can possibly help you skip a step in the first recipe: if you cook the chicken on low for more like 8 hours, it’ll be so tender you can just poke it with a fork a bit and it will fall apart. No need to wash the mixer bowl! Also, as an alternative to soft tacos you could tear up tortillas and layer them with the chicken/bean mixture and cheese, bake it about 15 minutes and make a casserole.

    It makes me a little sad that you’d never heard of Rotel and thus have missed out all these years on one of the greatest things known to mankind: Rotel dip. Melt a package of Velveeta, mix in a can of Rotel, open a bag of tortilla chips or Fritos, and eat until it’s gone.

    1. phancymama

      Yes, my first thought was that you don’t know Rotel dip! Same recipe, we just also add cooked sausage. (The ground up kind, browned up). And we stick it all in a crock pot and eat all day.

  4. Tara

    For some reason, Paul’s jar of rice just keeps making me laugh! I have been meaning to try that whole layered rice-chicken-cream of idea, I’m glad that the chicken at least tasted good.

    1. Tara

      Oh, and meant to say that we often make that shredded chicken in the crockpot recipe, but sometimes add a block of cream cheese after you shred the chicken. It melts into the rotel sauciness and is very delicious.

  5. Lynn

    I meant to comment on the original chicken post, but didn’t get around to it, so I’ll comment now instead. Here’s my favourite easy-chicken recipe:

    2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    3 T honey mixed with 1 T oil (I use canola)
    about 10 saltines (I use unsalted, but I think salted would be fine) mashed into crumbs, mixed with 1 teaspoon paprika.

    Lay chicken in a glass roasting pan.
    Spread half the honey mixture on top, sprinkle with half the crumbs.
    Flip the breasts using a fork and then repeat.

    Bake in a 350 oven for 25-30 min.

    That’s it – serve with salad, and I usually make some kind of sweet-ish quick bread or muffins (pumpkin or jam-filled) to go with.

  6. Beth

    my suggestion would be to use chicken thighs instead of breasts (two reasons: one, they have more fat content, so they’re not dry and chewy, and MUCH more tasty than breasts. two, and this is probably internet garbage science, but I’ve “heard” that hormones fed or injected into chickens tend to gather in the breast meat, so non-organic chicken breasts are more hormone dense than the rest of the bird). If you use organic chicken, it’s not a factor.
    also, i find that some of the prepared jarred sauces at wholefoods and/or trader joes are tasty and easy, but don’t have the massive amount of salt as some of these “cream of” soups, which may or may not matter to you. i just dump the jar over the chicken thighs and add some frozen veggies and/or beans. done.

    1. LeighTX

      I only ever buy chicken thighs anymore–they are SO much more flavorful, don’t have to be pounded flat in order to make them tender, and they’re cheaper to boot.

      1. LeighTX

        I forgot to say: I only buy BONELESS chicken thighs. Still cheaper, don’t have to mess with the bones. Win-win.

  7. KeraLinnea

    I’ve never used a rice cooker, but when I make rice by itself on the stovetop, I use a 2-1 ratio of water to rice. So, 2 cups water, 1 cup rice, 1 cup water, half cup rice, etc. (What am I doing? You have a math medal.)

    Also, pour your measured rice into a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for a couple of minutes before using it–it rinses away some of the starchiness, and the rice comes out less sticky.

    I also prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts. I think they’re more tender and a lot more flavorful. I like to sear them in a dutch oven until they’re golden, then set aside. Add sliced onions and mushrooms to the pan, cook until golden. Pour a half cup or so of white wine into the hot pan and scrape up any bits. Add a cup or two of chicken stock, and a tablespoon of dijon mustard. Whisk until smooth, then add the chicken back in. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is done, probably about 30 minutes. Serve it over rice or egg noodles. Of course, I don’t have small children, and I know mushrooms, onions, and mustard are all flavors that kids often reject, so this one may be totally useless to you.

    You can also do this one with bone-in chicken, (just be sure to sear it until the skin is really crispy) and I’ve done it with bratwurst as well. Although, with brats I subbed beer for the wine–just a basic lager or pilsner…Heineken works really well.

    Sorry for the length…I really, really love to cook, and even more than that, I love to TALK about cooking!

  8. Amelia

    I always rinse the rice and I use an aaaaalmost 2-1 water-rice ratio when I cook it in the oven.

    I am pregnant and CANNOT STAND the smell of broccoli, but I usually don’t use the cream of broccoli soup anyhow – I use cream of mushroom instead. The mushrooms are tiny chunks that my children don’t notice and it helps cut the salt in the cream of chicken.

  9. Lisa

    I love the child remark about the chicken! Sounds like something my kids would say! Hahaha!

  10. Erica

    I’m pretty sure all your Texan readers gasped at the fact that you’d never heard of Rotel. NOW YOU KNOW, THAT IS THE IMPORTANT THING.

  11. Lisa Ann

    Rotel is a wonderful, wonderful thing! I make the chicken/rotel thing all the time (using thin cut chicken breasts which shred quite nicely on their own if left in the crockpot long enough). Add a dollop of sour cream (I don’t use the shredded cheese) and a squirt of lime juice and it’s quite yummy!

  12. allison

    “Chickened”. :) I don’t think we have Rotel in Canada, and it sounds delicious, but it’s one of the most horribly named things I’ve ever heard. It makes me think Roach Motel every time. Okay, maybe it’s only horribly named for freaks like me. I love making the chicken taco crockpot thing. I often throw in a few chicken breasts with some green salsa or avocado-lime dressing, cook them until they fall apart and then freeze them for easy quesadillas.

  13. Ali

    You have been missing out on Rotel! I think Rotel dip is a staple food group. Just offhand, your rice and liquid ratio looks off…I usually do 2 parts water, 1 part rice.

    One more chicken idea I don’t think was mentioned on the previous post…and it is super easy! Dump chicken breasts (or whatever part) in crockpot. Dump a mix of BBQ sauce and Italian dressing (I’d say 1-to-1 ratio but it doesn’t really matter) on top. Cook on low 6-8 hours (I’d stir occasionally if I thought about it), then shred the chicken. It’s basically a barbecue chicken version of the taco meat you made. Super tasty on sandwiches or baked potatoes.

    It is funny to me that I think of you as a great cook (you bake! Which is so over my head!) and you aren’t a big chicken cook…maybe because we have a lot of chicken around here!

  14. Tina

    I make a variation of that shredded chicken recipe & all 6 of my kids like it! I put 4 large frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot w/ 1 jar mild salsa (around 15 oz), 1 packet mild taco seasoning, 1 can black beans (drained & rinsed), 1 can low fat cream of chicken soup, 1 can corn (drained), and 1 can chicken broth (2 cups). Cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Three hrs before serving I add 1 c. brown rice and shred the chicken. Right before serving, I add 1 block softened cream cheese (low fat or regular). Serve w/ tortilla chips, in taco shells, w/ sour cream, cheese, whatever! If you want to skip the rice step, leave out the chicken broth & shred right before eating.

  15. laura

    I never have luck with rice cooking all the way like this–thought it was me but I don’t think it is–par cooking helps also minute rice works WONDERS

  16. Nik

    I can’t even handle that you ve never had rotel and velveeta cheese!
    ALSO!!! Also, throw a can of rotel in your chili next time you make it. Gives it a little kick and tastes great!!

  17. Corinne

    I only have a minute, but for this issue
    “Next time I would put in less/no taco seasoning, because that flavor seemed too prominent.”
    my suggestion is homemade taco seasoning instead. It sounds like a PITA but it’s actually pretty easy and it’s way more acceptable to me in crockpot shreddy chicken taco recipes. I think I’ve used this particular one and liked it: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/

  18. Surely

    I’m going to try the taco one, it seems like even I can do that one! lol

    I have a feeling that Kevin would dump the broccoli on the floor so probably not that recipe.

  19. Katie

    I have found I never like rice IN the casseroles. I would prefer it on the side, made separately! I love getting this update. Tell us when you make some more. Here is one more idea:

    cook up about a pound or two of chicken, cut into bite sized or shredded bits.

    Layer it in the bottom of a deeper type casserole dish.
    Then add about half cooked broccoli on top of it. (cook the brocc half way or blanch it briefly and then drain it on paper towels and blot it w towels so its dry).

    Then mix up the following:
    Cream of chicken soup (two cans)
    about half a cup of mayo (light is fine)
    curry powder to taste (I like LOTS).
    1 Tbs. lemon juice (fake is fine)

    Layer the sauce on the broccoli. Then cover with 1 cup of grated SHARP cheddar and crushed saltine crackers kinda mixed together…..and about 1 Tbs of melted butter drizzled on top. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Serve rice ON THE SIDE. It is creamy and cheesy and wonderful with crisp cheese and cracker crust…..with no bad smells and the brocc is not overdone!

  20. Kelsey D

    OOh… one more. It’s our go to. The recipe looks long but it really isn’t. Super easy to make.

    Loaded Potato and Chicken Casserole

    Ingredients:
    2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
    8-10 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes (I cut enough to fill an entire cookie sheet)
    1/3 olive oil
    1 tbsp black pepper
    1 tbsp paprika
    2 tbsp garlic powder
    6 tbsp hot sauce (seems like a lot, but it actually isn’t that spicy. Could always cut back if you want)
    2 cups shredded cheese
    1/2-1 cup of crumbled bacon or bacon bits
    1 cup green onions, chopped

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce
    Add cubed potatoes to above mixture and stir to coat thoroughly
    Scoop potatoes onto cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper) leaving behind as much of the olive oil/spice mixture as possible
    Bake potatoes for 45 minutes or until cooked and crispy on outside
    While potatoes are cooking, add sliced chicken to bowl with remaining olive oil/spice mixture and stir to coat
    Once potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and top with the raw marinated chicken, bacon, and green onions
    Return back to oven and bake for ~15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
    Top with cheese and return to oven for ~5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly
    Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing

  21. Just Vegas

    I love that chicken tacos crockpot recipe. I go even a little more simple with chicken that’s still frozen (that flash frozen boneless, skinless stuff in bags), a little taco seasoning, rinsed can of black beans, bag of frozen corn and jar of salsa. Shred the chicken and we serve it on tortillas but it could also be turned into soup with some added chicken broth.

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