Whole Chicken in Crock Pot

If you haven’t roasted a chicken in your crock-pot yet… you’ve got to try it!  Not only is it frugal, it’s also the easiest way I’ve found to make chicken.   Plus you can get a couple quarts of chicken broth from it too!   It seems like this time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest days of the year and who doesn’t need a quick go to meal right?  This is the perfect recipe that keeps on giving.  Season a whole chicken with just about anything you’ve got in the spice cupboard then throw it in a crock pot and let it cook for a few hours on high, or low and slow all day. The result is perfectly cooked chicken that’s ready to eat whenever you are.

Turn the leftover chicken into a few other great dishes below!

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Creamy Chicken Primavera Bake
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes
Freezer Friendly Creamy Chicken Casserole
Copycat Corner Bakery Chicken

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Ingredients:

2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. roasting or fryer chicken
1 cup chopped onion, approx. 1 medium to large onion
4-5 carrots, scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds
4 celery stalks, cut in thirds ( I didn’t have celery so I used 1/2 tsp. celery salt)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 lemon quartered

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Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl.  Remove chicken from packaging and remove neck and pouch with organs. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub garlic all over outside of the chicken. Put garlic inside the chicken. Rub the rub all over the outside and inside the chicken. Add quartered lemon to the inside of the chicken.  Place onions, carrots and celery inside the slow cooker. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover slow cooker and cook chicken on low for 4-8 hours or until the chicken is very tender and the thigh bone easily twists off.

Remove chicken and place in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Allow chicken to rest after removing it from the broiler for 5-10 minutes.   20131215-224243.jpg

Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes

This is a wonderful recipe my mother used to make in the winter time.  I always loved it and now my kiddos LOVE it.  It’s thick and creamy and can be served alone or on a bed of mashed potatoes.   It’s the ultimate comfort food and high in carbs but your family will feel the love. This recipe makes a boatload and freezes like a dream.  In fact, when you decide to eat the rest of it up, you can always add some extra chicken stock and just have it as Chicken Noodle Soup!  It is best made with homemade noodles, but I’ve found Reames Homestyle egg noodles work great.  Perfect for a cold winter night:)

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3 cups shredded chicken or turkey
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2-32oz boxes of chicken stock or broth or homemade is even better!
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles (found in the freezer section)
Potatoes for mash potatoes
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Mix all ingredients except chicken/turkey. When combined completely add poultry.  Bring to a boil and add the noodles a handful at a time until they are all in the pot! After cooking there should be VERY little broth.  You want it thick.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture with the chicken and noodles. 😦

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Ladle your noodles over a bed of mashed potatoes and eat your heart out.  If you don’t have a great mashed potato recipe, here is a great one from my frugal gal Loaded Mashed Potatoes20131030-190459.jpg

So delicious!

Chicken and Dumplings

The cooler temperatures we’re having in Texas ( a whopping 75 degrees! ) has me in the mood for some tasty comfort foods.  And because I am a true southern girl, I had to share my favorite Chicken and Dumplings recipe with you. The flour in the dumplings thicken up the broth to create a great, creamy sauce.  While this dish does take some time and effort, it truly is a perfect and comforting meal.  I try to make this ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge a few hours before I heat it back up.  It’s tastefully filling and my kiddos love it.

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Chicken and Broth
3 quarts water
1 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut up (Breast or bone)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 small onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
4 to 6 whole parsley leaves
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Dumplings
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk

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Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and parsley to the pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third. Once the chicken is cooked, cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot.  Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot.  Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

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For dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, salt and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut the dough into 1/2-inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes until thick. Stir often.  When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions into bowls and serve hot.

Creamy Chicken Primavera Bake

One main lesson I’m learning in my frugal adventure… the better I stock my pantry the quicker I can make a delicious and wholesome meal.  I typically try to stock my pantry with a variety of convenient foods and pantry staples that I can grab quickly when I’m planning for the week.  Depending on what’s on sale, I try to purchase more of these staple items to save money. Pasta, rice, marinara, broth, and salad dressing are all must-haves in my pantry.   Basil pesto is also a good item to have.  It’s a simple delicious stir-in for pasta, salads, and sauces.  Check out how to make and freeze your own Basil Pesto for a quick fix in a meal.

This casserole is a tasty one I found in  Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Money Saving Meals recipe book.  It turned out really good and  makes a quick freezer friendly go to meal as well.

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8 ounces rotini pasta

1 bag (16 ounces) frozen Italian-blend vegetables

1 jar (16-ounce) Alfredo sauce

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 pound chicken breast or rotisserie chicken cut into 1 inch pieces

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta for 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, cook and cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.  In a covered, microwave-safe dish, microwave vegetables on high setting for 6 minutes.

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In a large bowl, stir together Alfredo sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.

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Add pasta, vegetables, chicken and mozzarella cheese, fold to combine.

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Transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This is a wonderful, yummy and gooey casserole my whole family loves.  I found this recipe from one of my favorite cooking website The Pioneer Woman.  There are a lot of vegetables in this casserole, but the key way my kiddos will eat this, is to keep everything diced very small. You can also make adjustments to suit the needs of your family. Another great benefit to this casserole is its super freezer friendly or perfect for a meal train.  It’s always comforting to have this recipe on hand.

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What you need:

6-8 Chicken Breasts

1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces

2 Sticks of celery

1 Small can of olives chopped

1 4-ounce jar of diced pimento, drained

1 Small finely diced onion

1 finely diced green bell pepper

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s

Freshly ground pepper to taste

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil chicken, (to make more flavorful add 1 bouillon cube.) take out and cool and save 2 cups of broth from the pot and set aside.  Bring the remaining broth back to a boil and add the spaghetti.  Cook it until done.  Drain the spaghetti, discarding the cooking liquid.  Set aside.  With two forks (or your fingers), remove the chicken.  Shred or cut the meat into bite-sized chunks.20130731-082158.jpg

Drain the pimento.  Then dice the vegetables:  finely dice the onion, celery and cut the green pepper into Julienne strips…then slice them in the other direction to create dice.  Sauté celery, onions, peppers until tender.

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Place the cooked spaghetti in a large bowl.  Add the cream of mushroom soup.  Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Then add the onion, green pepper, and pimento.  Add the seasoned salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Finally add the chicken and broth.  Stir together well, then taste to check the seasonings.

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Pour the mixture into a large baking dish, and top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes, until bubbly.

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Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken

20130719-105016.jpgBacon.

Seriously I think you could add it to almost any recipe and it would make it go from good….to FANTASTIC!

Last week, I was having some friends come over for dinner and didn’t want to have to go to the store.  I had to get creative and I figured if I just used bacon it would all come out fine.  This is the delicious result….

Here is what you need:

4 chicken breast

4 ounces cream cheese

6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

1 package bacon

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp chili powder

20130717-221930.jpgMix your cheeses together. Set aside.

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Mix your chili powder and brown sugar together in a bowl, and set aside.

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Slice your chicken in half to make them thin.  Then put a tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the middle.

20130717-222010.jpgRoll your chicken breast up.

20130717-222025.jpgWrap it in bacon and secure it with toothpicks.  Make sure to wrap around the sides so your cheese does not come out.

20130719-104603.jpgRoll your chicken in the sugar mixture to coat.  Repeat with all your chicken.  Put in a baking dish and cook on 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy!! 🙂

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