Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Chives

This recipe is wonderfully satisfying, creamy and so delicious.  When the chicken was finished cooking, I did it on high for exactly 3 hours, the chicken was moist and juicy.  But the sauce was very thin at this point, so I removed the chicken and as much of the veggies as I could scoop out and added my rue.  The sauce was thickened perfectly fine at this point, so if you don't want to take this next step that will be OK.  But I could see the potential for a velvety smooth sauce.  So I decided to try out my brand new (!!) Immersion blender and I was 100% right. The consistency of the sauce after blending was so lovely I highly recommend taking the time for this extra step.

Everyone gobbled it up and Jackson asked for seconds (happy Mommy moment!).  And there is only one bowl leftover for today!  I served this over some warm noodles but rice and even potatoes would be delicious too. We all agreed this recipe will be frequenting our tables a lot!

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Chives
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs or a combination of the two
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 cup baby carrots
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried) plus extra chives for garnish
12-ounce can Evaporated Milk
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (I love Heinen's Two Brothers Seasoning, but McCormick Tuscan Seasoning is nice too)
1/4 cup beef stock
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced and sauteed (optional) Or you can add them 1 hour prior to completion to cook that way

for the rue
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water

Place chopped onions and carrots into 3-4 quart slow cooker. Cut chicken breasts into wide strips and place on top of the vegetables in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, softened cream cheese, evaporated milk, Italian Seasoning, chives, stock, and pepper and stir until blended. Pour over chicken in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or High for 3-4).  You can add the mushrooms 1 hour before it is finished to the Slow Cooker, but I prefer them sauteed and added once everything is done.  It does make one extra pan the later way, so you choose.

Once finished cooking, remove chicken and vegetables to a plate and set aside. In a small bowl combine 2 Tablespoon of Cornstarch to 2 Tablespoons of cold water and blend until smooth. Stir into the sauce in the crock pot, replace lid and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. At this point you can leave the sauce as is and add chicken back in and serve. But I used my immersion blender (regular blender would work too) to blend for a few seconds to get the sauce super velvety smooth.

Add the chicken back into the thickened sauce and stir.  Serve over noodles or rice.  Garnish with reserved chives and enjoy with you family!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Poster Sara, from Finding the Time- OBA Blog Swap!

As promised earlier this morning, I'm happy to introduce you to Sara from Finding the Time.  I had the lucky opportunity to sit next to her at out last meet up and really enjoyed chatting with Sara and getting to know her "in person".  Thank you so much Sara for being a guest here today!  For a full listing of today's blog swap participants, please visit Poise in Parma.

Don't forget to follow me over to Sara's blog and read my guest post there! See you at Finding the Time!

Well hello, My Retro Kitchen readers! I’m Sara from Finding the Time! I’m excited to be here today thanks to the OBA Blog swap. I’ve been reading Amie’s blog since I met her at an OBA meet-up a few months ago and I’ve even tried a few of her recipes!

I’ll be honest; I’m not much of a cook. I was brought up going out to eat A LOT and my fast-paced life has me often cursing my lack of forethought when I come home from work with no plans for dinner. Luckily, if you visit my blog today, Amie has posted some tips for people like me! YAY! I hope you’ll stay around after reading her post. You’ll find a fun little mix of CLE pride, puppy love, DIY attempts and general silliness.

I do have a few “go to” recipes that make regular appearances on my dinner table. One such recipe I received at my bridal shower from a mom much like Amie! This crock-pot chili recipe is perfect for me because it requires only about 20 minutes of prep. After that you let the crock-pot do all the work! What could be better?!

Easy Chili
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion – chopped
1 package of McCormick Chili Seasoning
1 large can (21-28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15-16 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15-16 oz) black beans – rinsed
1 can (16 oz) mild chili beans
3 chopped carrots
1 can corn

I like to start by mixing all the canned ingredients (chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, black mild chili beans corn) in the crock-pot on low heat. It gets things moving and makes me feel accomplished! BTW- you might notice that the photo above has pinto beans instead of mild chili beans. I used those this time because they were what I had. It definitely changed the taste so – live and learn - stick with the mild chili beans!!

Cook beef and onions in skillet while cooking carrots covered in water in microwave for 5 minutes.  Drain beef/onions and carrots and add both to crock-pot. Stir well.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 1-2 hours.  Done!

I love this recipe because it makes enough to last multiple days in my house (with myself and my husband who LOVES to eat). I’m not a huge fan of leftovers but chili is just so versatile! One day I’ll have it in a bowl with cheese and sour cream, the next on chili dogs and one final meal of chili mac (served over spaghetti). For me, the one condiment that the chili cannot be served without is hot sauce. It tastes good all the time!

Follow me to Finding the Time!!

Such a fun day today in the local blogland! As a part of today's Ohio Blogging Association's All State Blog Swap, bloggers from around the great state of Ohio are guest posting on one another blogs as a way to help to get to know each other in our blogging community and in turn introduce fellow readers onto some pretty great blogs they may not have found otherwise. I participated in the last swap and had so much fun! For a full listing of today's blog swap participants, please visit Poise in Parma today.

I was paired up to swap with  Sara from Finding the Time.  This afternoon you will be able to read her guest post right here on My Retro Kitchen. She will be sharing one of her favorite Chili recipes, so please stay tuned! Yep, you lucky readers get two posts in one day!!!  ...well I do need to make up for my little hiatus.  Thank you for all sticking with me. xoxo

As a swap goes, I have taken over her blog for the day!  Please join me there to hear about some simple tips to make Nightly Home Cooking a tradition in your own household!   I also share my favorite recipe for Spaghetti and Meatball Pie. Yum!


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