A friend from church had surgery earlier this week, and I’ve signed up to bring her a few meals. I wanted to make something creamy and comforting, and this dish came to mind. Now, it’s definitely creamy and comforting, but it’s not at all diet-friendly, so there’s your warning. Were you wanting a warning? Maybe not. 🙂
I’ve been watching it lately. I have to. Something very strange happens when you hit your late 40’s: your metabolism starts arguing with you. Do nothing at all … just coast along like you normally do … and you’ll gain weight. It’s truly maddening. So now the fight is on. I’ve been jumping on the treadmill a lot more, and last week I went back to Weight Watchers and rejoined so I could learn the new “points plus” plan. I love, love, love it. If you haven’t heard anything about it, fruit and most vegetables are now free. Plus they’ve revamped the point system so that you’re encouraged to make much healthier choices. In the old days, I got kind of sloppy about counting points. I’d look at the back of a box, see “150 calories,” and automatically think, “That’s 3 points.” Well, the cheating is over. You can’t possibly figure out these points unless you plug the protein, carbs, fat and fiber info into your points calculator. I like that. And I like that you get more points — more daily points and more additional weekly points (now 49, up from 35).
So what does all that have to do with Creamy Chicken Crock Pot? I can’t remember. Except … I know I wanted to upload the pictures I took while Dave and I were having lunch at Eagles’ at the Tulalip Casino. They have the best buffet there I’ve ever seen. Truly delish. And it’s a great place to go when you’re watching what you’re eating, oddly. That’s because they offer raw veggies, steamed veggies, grilled veggies, an enormous salad bar, fruit, and sugar-free desserts, if you like that sort of thing.
Knowing I’d probably want a little Creamy Chicken Crock Pot later, I filled up on grilled veggies, roasted chicken, and salad with cottage cheese. I was stuffed … almost … but still wanted to try some of the new sherbet they had at the ice cream bar. I asked the guy behind the counter for just a taste of two kinds: apple brandy and mango ginger. Oh, they never listen, those men-behind-the-counter. Here’s what he gave me:
A bit more than “just a taste,” wouldn’t you agree? But I only took a few bites — really and truly. The mango-ginger was really different, in an “I need one more bite to be sure” kind of way. I don’t think I’d want a quart of it in my freezer, but a taste now and then wouldn’t hurt. The apple-brandy was really, really good … until I gave Dave a bite and he said, “It tastes like applesauce.” After that, it did taste like applesauce (if I dumped brandy in my applesauce.) That reminds me of the time my sister, Megan, told me that Milano cookies tasted just like Chips A’Hoy. She was right, and it kind of ruined Milanos for me, which was probably a very good thing.
Dave, of course, orders exactly what he wants every time — and plenty of it — and eats every bite. And still always looks good. This was his choice … proof that there’s no justice in the world:
I’m so, so jealous happy for him.
So back to the chicken. This is one of those embarrassingly easy recipes — just a dump-together concoction. You can make it harder by substituting the cream of chicken soup for a homemade white sauce with chicken bouillon, or by mixing up your own garlic-herb spice mix … if you want.
There are a bunch of variations of this out there. Here’s mine.
Creamy Chicken Crock Pot
- chicken–about 12 chicken tenders or 4 chicken breasts
- olive oil
- 1 package garlic herb salad dressing mix (you could use Italian)
- 1 cup chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 8 oz cream cheese
Put your chicken pieces in the crock pot and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle the dry salad dressing mix over the chicken and add the chicken broth and cream of chicken soup. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender.
About 30-60 minutes before you want to serve dinner (60 is better, but sometimes we don’t have 60 minutes, do we?), mix a little of the liquid into the 8 oz of cream cheese and blend well. Add this back into the pot and keep cooking.
When ready, serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes and gravy. Goes very well with garlic Texas Toast, or if you feel like going the extra mile, Cheesy Bread.