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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crockpot Shredded AdoboLada Chicken

So I must warn you ~ this post is a little all over the board. I started out with one intention and ended up in another direction. I didn't even know what to call it. But I bet you're curious as to what AdoboLada is. 

I came across a recipe from Bless This Mess that said it was spot on for Subway bread. Now, usually if I'm going to make subs at home, I stop at Milio's or Jimmy Johns and pick up a couple of their day-old loaves for dirt cheap - like 50 cents each. You can't beat that, unless of course you aren't going near a Milio's or a JJ, then making your own at home would come in handy! Between you, me and the fencepost: out of all the sub shops, Subway is my least favorite, but I enjoy making bread so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Then, while reading the comments in the bread post, someone mentioned a commercial for the Subway Frito Chicken Enchilada Melt. I thought hmmm... that sounds kinda good! I will make the bread & try to duplicate the sub. (Which I later found out is actually on flat bread, not their sub bread, but oh well.)

My favorite way to make shredded chicken (or beef) in the crockpot is with just Sweet Baby Ray's sauce and root beer. MMMMM. So, I decided to swap out the Sweet Baby Rays for something more "enchilada-ish" and I only had a small can of enchilada sauce. (And I've mentioned before, I'm still on the mad hunt for a good homemade enchilada sauce.) I decided to use a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - which from prior experience, has taught me they are like hellfire! So I decided to throw those in the food processor along with a can of regular diced tomatoes to tone everything down, and make that my "sauce". And in hindsight, I should've only used a half can of the peppers. Next time. Anyway, here are my 3 main ingredients (well, aside from chicken breasts):

 So I combined my peppers and tomatoes. And I tell you... whew! Even rising out the pepper can for recycling had me coughing from the pepper/adobo fumes!

I then put my chicken breasts (I like to use the boneless, frozen ones) in my crockpot and poured my sauce and 3/4 of the can of root beer in.

I'm going to say I have THE BEST crockpot ever. It's a Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 Slow Cooker with 2-, 4-, and 6-Quart Crocks, Stainless Steel. So, it has a nice base, and comes with 3 different removable crock sizes. The lid fits all. Then you just let it know what size you are using and it determines how to heat it. It's my second kitchen appliance BFF.

Cover, cook on low for about 5-6 hours, shredding the chicken when it has an hour left to cook. At this point I usually just use a potato masher and mash it, but I had a sneaky suspicion the sauce might be too hot to use. So I took the chicken out and shredded it on a different plate. And yes, the sauce was HOT.  Here's where my AdoboLada (yeah, I made that up) comes in: I then used the can of enchilada sauce to continue cooking with the meat after I shredded it. I did add a spoonful of the hot sauce to the enchilada sauce because it was mild. 

While it was all cooking, I made my bread. Pretty easy stuff!

The combination of the two did give the chicken a great taste! So then topped with some cheese, Fritos and chicken on top of my "Subway bread", it was delish!!

 I used the leftovers the next day and used the bread again, and to change it up a bit, grilled it on my panini pan to make a panini.

Mmm. Good stuff, even the next day.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cold Weather Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

I don't know where you are this winter, but here in Southern Wisconsin, it's been brutal. Not so much snow-wise, but bitter cold. We've had so many school closing days, my kids will be going until the Fourth of July to make up. Everyone is cranky, has major cabin fever, colds are being passed around because it's too cold to do anything, so every one is cooped up together all. the. time. So, when I describe this recipe as "cold weather", it covers all the bases - cold as in temperature-wise and cold as in health-wise. But with this recipe, you have something to look forward too.... hot, comforting chicken & dumplings. This post is dedicated to my aunt... feel better Aunt Donna, love you!

This recipe calls for the {what I consider} real dumpings - the dense, almost chewy kind. If that's not your thing {gasp!} then you could always use your own dumpling recipe or go for ease and use Bisquick {even bigger gasp!} Just kidding. It's your call, and I promise I won't judge. :) 

This recipe is adapted from two different sources. I have made some changes to the actual recipe from Southern Bite. I added some veggies, which are not in her recipe. Another change is, I am trying to stay away from canned soups. Again, if you have no problem with that and are going for ease, use canned soup. But, I think it tastes so much better using a homemade Cream of Chicken soup recipe, which I have also made a few changes but got the basics from Pinch of Yum

Let's get to producing some comfort!!

Cold Weather Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings (printable version)

Cream of Chicken Soup ( approx same as 2 store bought cans)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cans)
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning

Combine the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of the milk in a large saucepan and bring to a low boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour and seasonings into the remaining 1 cup of milk and stir into a smooth, thick mixture. Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan with the broth/milk over low heat and stir continuously, whisking until the mixture simmers. Continue to simmer & whisk until smooth and thick, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

Main Chicken Part 
2 tbsp butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
Cream of Chicken soup from above (or 2 cans of store bought)
1 broth/soup can of water
1 cup frozen corn (to add later, after shredding chicken)
1 cup frozen peas (to add later, after shredding chicken)

1 cup self rising flour
10 tbsp ice cold water

Set crockpot to low and add above ingredients, except for peas. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. An hour before serving, turn crockpot to high and shred chicken. You can either remove the breasts and shred, or use a potato masher to break them up in the crockpot. Add the corn, peas & prepare your dumplings: combine the flour and water (I just stir together with a fork). Roll dough out on a floured surface and roll thin. Using a pizza or dough cutter, cut into 1" strips, and then again into squares. Drop into the crockpot and stir; cover and cook at least another 45 minutes.

Go ahead and enjoy a big bowl... and if you are making this because it's so dang cold out, I hope it ends soon. If you're making this because you don't feel well, I hope you get well soon! And if you're making it just because it looks so good, I thank you!! 

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