Root Beer BBQ Chicken

As life gets busier, the crock pot becomes more and more essential to my well-being.  This one is quick, easy, and totally delicious.  It’s the combo of sweet and tangy that is the best about barbeque chicken and this recipe captures that balance perfectly.

Root Beer BBQ Chicken

(Inspiration courtesy of my friend Amber’s genius).

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breasts
1 16-oz bottle of barbeque sauce
1 16-oz bottle of root beer (Coke or other dark sodas work really well here too – just nothing diet!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
photo 1

Preparation:

1.  Mix barbeque sauce, soda, and brown sugar together in a bowl.  Consistency should be like a watered down version of the BBQ sauce itself.
photo 2

2.  Insert chicken breasts into crock pot and pour mixture over.

photo 3

3.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

photo 1 (2)

4.  Serve up and enjoy!

photo 2 (2)

Results:

Yum!  Perfect balance of sweet and tangy without being overwhelming.   Try not to shred the chicken on this one, though it’s basically impossible because it basically just falls apart.

I almost always use frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot.  This one is no exception.  I find that they are less likely to burn/overcook than non-frozen.  Frozen also store longer and allow you to throw together this meal at any time.

Advertisements

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

This one is a household favorite!  It’s simple in ingredients and effort, it makes your house smell terrific when you get home, and it’s really easy to throw together.  There are usually enough leftovers of everything to provide a second meal.  What’s not to love?

Crock Pot Lime Cilantro Chicken Tacos
(inspiration found here)

1 lb chicken breasts (about 3-4 chicken breasts)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 limes
24 oz jar of salsa [I suggest using Medium salsa for this for a little kick]
1 packet of taco seasoning

Taco fixings:
1 packet of corn tortillas
Shredded cheese
Guacamole mix
2 avocados
Any other toppings you like!

Chicken Tacos ingredients

1.  Chop up cilantro. [They always give you SO MUCH cilantro in the bunches.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t even use half your bundle.]

Cilantro chopped

2.  Mix cilantro, salsa, taco seasoning, and juice of 2 limes in a bowl.

Taco mix

3.  Coat the bottom of the crock pot with a bit of the sauce.

Coat bottom of crock pot

4.  Put chicken in the crock pot.

Chicken in crock pot

5.  Cover chicken with the salsa mix.

Crock pot cooking before

6.  Cover and cook this on LOW for 7-8 hours.

Chicken tacos done in pot

(after 8 hours)

7.  When the chicken is done, put it into a separate pan and shred it with a fork.  It should just fall apart.  Use additional salsa mix from the crock pot to flavor the chicken and add a little moisture.

Shredded Chicken

8.  Prepare the guacamole

Guac fixings

8a.  Guacamole is super easy and super delicious:  Slice your avocados in half, scoop out the pit, and create a grid in the avocado meat.

Avocado slicing

Scoop out into a bowl and mix together with the guacamole mix.  Voila!

9.  Serve and enjoy!

Tacos final

Results:

This is a great weekday meal and allows you to be creative.  The chicken is delicious and moist.   Also, there are plenty of leftovers and we like to make chicken quesadillas with the leftover tortillas, chicken, and cheese.  Two meals in one!

Crock Pot Beef Stew

The crock pot is a godsend!  No, really.  There’s no better feeling than coming home from a long day of work and having a hot meal ready to go.  No stress, just deliciousness.

This love has been extended with my new slow cooker cookbook.  I’m excited to make my way through all the recipes America’s Test Kitchen has to offer me in my crock pot.  Since this week in DC has been rainy, chilly, and all-out gross, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to crock pot it up.

EASIEST-EVER BEEF AND POTATO STEW (courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Vol. 2)

2 cans (10.5 oz) condensed French onion soup
1 cup water
¼ cup tomato paste
2½ tbsp. instant tapioca [Find it in the baking aisle]
1 tsp. dried thyme
Small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 lbs. sirloin steak tips, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces [I used 1lb of tip steak and didn’t cut it up – this let the meat really fall apart)
Salt and pepper
2 cups frozen peas

Image

1.  Whisk soup, water, tomato paste, tapioca and thyme together.

Image

2.  Coat the bottom of the slow cooker with a thin layer of the mix.

Image

3.  Place the potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Image

4. Place the beef on top of the potatoes.  Pour the rest of the mix over top of the meat and potatoes.  [I usually freeze meat before putting it into my slow cooker.  This way it cooks and melts at the same time and leaves the meat in a soft, falling apart state.]

Image

5.  Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low or 6 to 7 hours on high, depending on your cooker.  [With my machine, I set it for 8 1/2 hours and it then turns on to a ‘Keep Warm’ setting until serving]

6.  Just before serving, boil a pot of water and warm the frozen peas on the stove top.  Once peas are cooked, pour into slow cooker and mix with stew.

Image

7.  Using a fork, tear apart the meat into strings.  Use the side of the fork to cut potatoes into smaller pieces (they should just fall apart).

8.  Serve and enjoy!

Image

Results:

This was DELICIOUS and perfect for a cold day.  Even though I only used 1lb of the steak, there was plenty left over for second-day meals.