A few months ago I tried something brave. A daring thing that highlighted all of my insecurities and bucked against all common sense. It was audacious and wild and risky.
I made a Pinterest recipe.
But I was craving something hearty and warm and Crock-pot-ish. Something that I could serve over a bed of rice or egg noodles. And so (because I don’t kid myself by keeping recipe books around) I turned to Pinterest. And lo and behold, this photo spoke to me.
“I am hearty and warm and Crock-Pot-ish. I will not judge you if you destroy me. If you annihilate me I give you permission to go get a Chicken Philly and Potato Soup from The Pickle Barrel.”
And I could not argue with that logic.
Here is the original recipe, from Jo and Sue.
And here is what I learned along the way.
-I used extra veggies, because I always use extra veggies. I added another big carrot and another stalk of celery or 2.
-I lobbed them into larger-than-usual pieces, since they get so tender in the Crock-Pot. I wanted saucy veggies, not veggie-mush-sauce.
If you stop to admire your work here, you will feel like this meal is very, very healthy. Bask in that feeling for a little while.
-Next I added the chicken. My were completely frozen, right out of the bag, because that’s how we roll around here, y’all.
-Then I seasoned it. Not sure exactly how effective this was since my chicken was covered in a thin layer of ice, but whatever. I normally salt and pepper my chicken, but there is NO point in adding salt to this meal when you see what’s coming next.
-I used oregano here (which is a pretty reliable substitute for tarragon). If I can’t identify the herb, I don’t use it. Bye -bye, tarragon. Also, I didn’t measure even a little bit. Want to know how much thyme and oregano I put on there? This much:
I hope you enjoyed basking in the healthiness of this recipe until this point.
That’s a can of cream of chicken soup and one packet of dried onion soup mix.
– This is why you should not salt your chicken.
-This is going to be freaking delicious.
And then you turn on your Crock-Pot! The original recipe said “on high for 3-4 hours.”
My version is “on low for as many hours as you are over at a friend’s house watching the Falcons lose the NFC Championship in the last 30 seconds of the game.” (It’s okay Matt Ryan, you’d still be my top pick.) Incidentally this turned out to be around 5 or 6 hours.
Then, 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat, you cook your egg noodles (this time we used leftover rice instead).
A word about the egg noodles: the first time I made this I used 6-8 chicken breasts (a whole bag, like the recipe called for), so I made a whole bag of egg noodles to go with it. It was WAAAAAAY too much. Even with all that chicken, we ended up with a huge bowl of noodles and nothing but some sauce to go on them. I’ll do half a bag next time.
Okay, so while your noodles are going, whisk together 1/3 c. cooking sherry (you could also use apple juice or white wine) and 2 T. of cornstarch.
I was cooking into the night, y’all. The shadows tell me that this was around 8:00pm. This was a next-day lunch/dinner for us.
Then you stir this into your warm, hearty, Crock-Pot-ish chicken and here’s what will happen:
Your house will smell DIVINE. A combination of chicken pot pie and some kind of amazing wine sauce mingling together, ready to blow your tastebuds minds.
Let this simmer for at least 15 minutes (I turned my Crock-Pot up to high and left it for a while). The alcohol cooks off and you’re left with one of the most flavorful Crock-Pot meals I’ve ever made.
I can smell it now. Oh my.
Veggies: perfect texture.
House: not on fire.
Dishes: One cutting board, one knife, one spoon, one crock pot.
Hallelujah, thank you Jesus. (And Jo and Sue.)
The end. Enjoy, friends!
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