Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice Dish.

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I mean it too. I adore the time immediately before Thanksgiving. Just knowing that I'm going to spend time with my family and that my kitchen is going to be full of wonderful scents makes me happy. This year I'm getting my kids involved in the process. I want each of them to have a contribution to the Thanksgiving meal. I've also decided that I don't want to spend ALL my time in the kitchen. So, I've got a plan to help myself enjoy the festivities. I've bought up hot chocolate and apple cider mixes that can prepared in a jiffy. I'm keeping bars of cream cheese and boxes of Wheat Thins on hand. I like to throw pepper jelly on top of the cream cheese and serve it with the Wheat crackers. Really good.....really, really easy. I've also got myself stocked up on brownie mixes. And finally, I'm utilizing my slow cooker as much as I ever have. It's so nice to get things going early in the day, be able to clean up the mess, leave, and walk back in to delicious smells and a ready to serve meal. I always have a lettuce mix in the fridge with an assortment of dressings and some kind of bread that can be served alongside this sort of meal. It's a no brainer (for those of us who really need to not to have to think). Cheesy chicken and rice is a family favorite. It really couldn't be simpler either. Let me give you the recipe for this Comfort 101 dish: 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 large onion (chopped), 1 (8 oz) box Zatarain's Yellow Rice mix (cooked according to the directions), 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup, and 1 (15 oz) can whole kernal corn (drained). Begin by placing chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Scatter chopped onions on top. Spread cream soup over that.  Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine and serve hot. Now just for something a little different, I use a can of Mexicorn because I like the bright red and green colors that it adds to the dish. I got this recipe & photo from Christy at southernplate.com. Christy was recently feature in Southern Living magazine. She's got many, many, many wonderful southern style recipes on her site. There is a printable version of the above recipe on there too. I hope you will let your slow cooker do some of your cooking for you over the next few weeks. I like to think of it as my own personal chef.....as in the kind I can actually afford. Enjoy!

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