Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Chowder

I love my crockpot, especially now that the weather is getting cooler. I just throw stuff in it in the morning, turn it on, and when I get home from work - voila! Dinner! Hot soup, creamy chowder, melt in your mouth makes coming home all the sweeter.

I especially like it when I can make something healthy in it that everybody in the family likes. And by "family" I mean the hubs because he's a meat and potatoes man who makes a face like this when I say we're having chicken:

So it's a pain in the ass challenge to make something healthy that he'll actually eat...and like.

But this he will eat.

Maybe part of the reason he likes my Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Chowder is because it's delicious with warm, crispy french rolls or breadsticks and he does like his bread. If I pair stuff he doesn't like with stuff he likes, sometimes he'll eat it.

He once told me, "You know how much of the stuff I don't like to put in the stuff I like to make me like it." 

So there you have it.

Back to the recipe. What I like about it is that it's easy. There's no browning or pre-sauteeing. Just dump everything in the crockpot and let it cook. Easy peasy.

Start by cutting up 1 pound of chicken breasts into about 1 inch pieces and throw those in the crockpot.

Then cut up the vegetables. This chowder is loaded with veggies - carrots, broccoli, mushroom, corn - it's another reason I like it. Good and healthy. 

I have to go easy on the mushrooms though because the hubs doesn't like them but I do. So I cut them in large slices and pick them out of his bowl when I serve it. Yeah, I'm nice like that.

After the chicken and veggies, you dump in a can of cream of potato soup, some chicken broth, minced garlic, thyme, salt, and fresh ground black pepper, and give it all a good stir.

If you don't like to use processed foods, you can peel and boil a couple potatoes and throw them in your food processor or blender with a little chicken broth and salt. Then pulse it till it's a similar consistency to cream of potato soup and use that instead.

Then put the lid on, turn 'er on, and you're good to go.

It's important to cook this on low because the broccoli can get pretty mushy if it cooks on high or cooks too long. About 5 hours on low is good.

Taste the broth after a few hours and see if it needs more salt, pepper or thyme. It wasn't until after I married my first husband I realized I needed to taste as I cooked. I have to admit, some of my earlier meals were pretty bland. Bland meals + critical husband = unhappy wife.

But I digress.

Once the chicken and veggies are cooked, add some milk or half-and-half and turn on high for about 15 minutes until it's heated through. This is what gives it the creamy chowder consistency. The recipe calls for half-and-half, but I've used low-fat milk and it comes out just fine. 

It's important to add the milk at the end because if you add it at the beginning it will curdle and although it will taste fine, it won't look very good. (See disclaimer at end of post.)

Creamy = appetizing; Curdley = hubby or kids that probably won't eat it.

At this point, you can add some cheese if you like and turn it into Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Chowder. Cheese tends to make everything more palatable for picky husbands and kids, doesn't it?

I made this last weekend again and it was delish! My sister-in-law said it was the best soup she's had in a long time.

Here's the full recipe:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (10 and 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of potato soup (See above for alternative)
10 ounces fresh or frozen cut up broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup whole kernel corn (fresh or frozen)
4 and 1/2 ounces sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/3 cup half-and-half (or milk - 2% works fine too)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients except half-and-half or milk in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 5 hours or until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink.Stir in milk or half-and-half. Turn to HIGH. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until heated through.

If you try this, let me know how it comes out for you in the comments. Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe?

Linking up to Mama Kat's "What's Cooking in your Slow Cooker" writing prompt this week. Hop over to her site and check out what's cooking!

Mama’s Losin’ It

P.S. I doubt I'll ever make it as a  food blogger because it's probably in poor taste to put a GIF of a guy making a disgusting face in the same post as your recipe. Who does that? Me, apparently.

P.S.S. I have to confess that although I've made this a few times now, this last time I forgot and put the milk in at the beginning. So the result was delicious-but-not-picture-worthy-curdley-chowder. I had to use a different picture and in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that. The pretty picture of the chowder in the bowl looks just like the recipe chowder does though, really it does. (Pic Source)

Honestly Yours,


Lana said...

My crock pot is my very best friend, and this looks delicious! I have a whole board on Pinterest just for crock pot recipes, which is where this will be going :)!

carol daniels said...

Oh man... that first video pic had me gagging, too! I'm feeling nauseous today and that didn't help. But, the chowder does look delicious. I'll have to give it a try.

Unknown said...

Oh my - Lori this looks soooooooooooooooo good! I'm going to print it out and make it with LOTS of mushrooms:)..

Suburban Correspondent said...

Looks great - what size crockpot?

Musiqal1 said...

Your recipe sounds so yummy. Makes me want to pull out my crockpot and try it. I've only made quinoa chili and split pea soup with it but I know there's so much more that machine is worthy of.

Thanks for the recipe.

KatBouska said...

Mmmmmm! I can smell it from here. Crockpot meals are the best and those veggies look beautiful!

AiringMyLaundry said...

Ooo I'd really like that! Only I'd have to leave out the mushrooms. I don't like mushrooms.

Mrs4444 said...