Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken (Chicken and Rice)

This is actually a slow cooker chicken recipe where the chicken may be served with rice, pasta, potatoes, etc, but I usually serve it with rice because it's yummy and also quick and easy for me.  I usually call it Chicken and Rice because when Scott asks what we're having for dinner I say, "Chicken and Rice."

The original recipe started out as that Italian Chicken recipe that I've seen on so many websites that is yummy, but didn't satisfy my cravings for something warm and creamy.  THIS satisfies that craving and is my ultimate comfort food.

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken (Chicken and Rice)

3 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bone -- 3-4 each
1 can cream of chicken soup or alternative
6 ounces cream cheese -- to taste
chicken bouillon -- to taste
more seasonings -- to taste

Season chicken breasts and place them in a slow cooker (I use my 3.5-quart slow cooker) that has been sprayed with cooking spray (my seasoning consists of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder). Cook for several hours until cooked through.

After chicken is cooked, remove chicken from slow cooker and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, turn slow cooker to High and add cream of chicken soup to the warm juices. Whisk to combine. Add cream cheese to slow cooker and allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk to combine. Taste and add more chicken bouillon and seasonings as desired.

Break chicken into bite-sized chunks or shred and return to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Continue to heat for another hour until everything is warmed through. Serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

You can use whatever flavor condensed cream of ???? soup that sounds good.
CREAMY CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS:  My favorite is to pour an entire can of mushrooms on top of the chicken in the beginning and letting them cook together. Then sometimes I use a cream of mushroom soup. This is also good with chopped onions and a little bit of minced garlic added in the beginning.
BEEF AND MUSHROOMS:  I have also made this with a roast beef, canned mushrooms, chopped onions, minced garlic, beef bouillon and cream of mushroom soup and it was delicious.

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use gluten and soy free cream of chicken soup or alternative, cream cheese, and chicken bouillon.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use a dairy free cream of chicken soup or alternative. Omit cream cheese.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS:  Use LID-safe chicken. Use an LID-safe cream of chicken soup alternative. Omit cream cheese and chicken bouillon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jen's Gluten Free Gravy and Cream Soup Substitute

Since I have had to go gluten free, it has been difficult to find gluten free recipes for a lot of the foods that I love.  This chicken gravy satisfies that gravy niche for me.  It's smooth but also creamy, and very easy to make.  And one of the nice things about it is that it makes a good cream of ??? soup substitute, too.

Jen's Gluten Free Gravy and Cream Soup Substitute

2 cups broth, stock, and/or water (stock really tastes the best)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons instant dry milk (1-2 Tblsp) -- optional, to taste
chicken bouillon or base -- to taste
salt -- to taste
black pepper -- to taste

Whisk broth, cornstarch, and dry milk in a saucepan. Heat until bubbling and thick. Add bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste.

CREAM OF ??? SOUP SUBSTITUTE DIRECTIONS:  To make cream of ???? soup substitute, use about 3-4 Tblsp dry milk and 3-4 Tblsp cornstarch. To make cream of mushroom, throw in a can of finely minced mushrooms (processed in the food processor).

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use gluten and soy free broth and chicken bouillon.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use dairy free chicken bouillon. Use a dairy free powdered milk substitute such as Vance's DairFree. If you do use Vance's DairFree, add it when the sauce is warm in order for it to dissolve better.

Yield: 2 cups gravy

JEN'S NOTES: This makes a good creamy gravy, but you can leave out the dry milk if you would like.