Friday, June 5, 2009

a very yummy crock pot meal... and it isn't even chili

depending on the day, my crock pot is my favorite kitchen appliance. (those other days, its my espresso machine because i NEED caffeine. with sugar.) i like the convenience of making dinner in the morning while my kids are happy and occupied.

but there is only so much you can do in the crock pot. of course, there's the crock pot lady who has a recipe for everyday of the year. but it seems the easiest meals are chili. and... another form of chili. and while i can eat this just about every day of the week (because the psychological flavor enhancement brought about by the ease of opening up a few cans of beans and such), i think my family needs some variety.

so... i bring you my new favorite crock pot meal. yummy and easy.

italian chicken sandwiches:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 2/3 ounce italian salad dressing mix
1 can chicken broth
1 8 ounce jar of mild giardiniera

put all ingredients in order of listing in crock pot, and cook on low for 6 hours. (or however long it ends up being between when your kids allow you to cook and when they start getting unruly and need dinner.) shred chicken at some point during the day, or right before eating. serve on italian bread or rolls with a slice of provolone cheese.

my notes:
i didn't count out my chicken. i probably used more than 6 breasts. i just threw in whatever i had in my freezer. (also, i think there is a bit of nasty flavor/consistency brought about by cooking my chicken completely in the crock pot. its probably just me, but should you suffer from this same issue, i boil my chicken first and then put it in the crockpot.)

and although i enjoyed the flavor immensely, my 4 year-old daughter said it was way too spicy for her. when i make it again, i'll use much less pepper. or give her extra ketchup for dipping.

and what is giardiniera? i sure didn't know, but discovered it is an italian relish of pickled vegetables. i found them in a jar both in the pasta section of my grocery store, as well as near the pickles. my jar was bigger than 8 ounces and it still turned out yummy.

so yeah, go make it and let me know what you think.

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