Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken

Hooray, I finally purchased a crock pot! This purchase was prompted by a CSN $50 gift certificate that I won last month over on Lizzy's blog. The first recipe to grace the Hamilton Beach 4 Quart Slow Cooker is adapted from here, and boy was it ever making me appreciate the wonder that is preparing an easy, savory meal without much time or energy. Add the ingredients into the pot, turn the dial up two notches and walk away. Clean up is a cinch as well since both the stoneware and lid are dishwasher safe. I must admit, my feelings are mixed regarding the definition of "walk away". Do you leave a slow cooker on all day when you are at work? Or do you only prepare slow cooker meals when you are home to monitor them? I read many blogs where preparing slow cooker meals falls into the former category, but there is still much hesitation on my end to leave an electric appliance on all day. (Seeking all opinions and advice, thanks in advance!)Now, I'll offer some advice of my own. Make this Santa Fe Chicken in your crock pots as soon as you possibly can! Whether, like me, you need a lazy Sunday at home or you feel confident enough to prepare it and set off to work; this southwestern inspired meal of shredded chicken, scallions, tomatoes, black beans and corn seeping in flavors of cilantro, cumin and cayenne is overwhelmingly delicious.

- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 can chicken broth
- 1 can diced green chilies
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 oz frozen corn
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 3 scallions, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt, to taste
- shredded cheddar cheese
- avocado, for garnish
- sour cream, for garnish.
- flour tortillas, if desired

Combine the ingredients listed from the chicken broth through the salt in the crock pot. Chicken broth was added first, followed by the green chilies. Next, in went the chopped ingredients - the tomato, onion and scallions.Then the spices and cilantro. P.S. how cute are my new starfish measuring spoons? (Thanks Jackie!)
At that point I gave the pot a quick stir.
Then I added the corn and black beans.
And lastly, the chicken breasts are placed on top. The original recipe suggested cooking on low for ten hours or high for six hours. Since this was an impromptu Sunday afternoon cooking session, Adam shopping for the ingredients around 1pm and my prep completed by 2pm, I chose to cook on high for six hours until 8pm. One half hour before serving, I removed the chicken breasts and shredded them. This takes no time at all because the chicken is so tender it practically falls apart on its own. Then I returned the chicken to the pot and gave it another good stir. Just another half hour to go....At this point I decided to make a box of Near East Spanish Rice. 20 minutes on the stove top and the meal was coming together! I served the chicken and rice over flour tortillas with sour cream and avocado. On top I sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese, fresh scalions and a pinchful of fresh cilantro. The result was incredibly satisfying. This is definitely one of the best, most flavorful meals I've ever made! Really, the slow cooker does all the work. It almost feels like cheating!The side of Spanish rice was bold enough to stand up to the flavors in the chicken, but overall it has a mild spice. It's not often I find myself eating just a pile of shredded chicken with all the fixins. Although to call this "just a pile of chicken" isn't really fair. I did contemplate rolling the chicken up inside the tortilla, but decided against it for at least the first round. When enjoyed by the forkful the cheddar cheese melting with the shredded chicken, hearty black beans and sweet corn accented by a bold crisp from the scallions and a bright burst of cilantro was blissful. Finally learning and enjoying the wonders of the appliance that is a crock pot. #winning!


  1. Yum!! I just posted a slow cooker enchilada recipe today. Great minds think alike :) I do leave the slow cooker on during the day - but at the lowest temp. And the enchiladas sauce on my blog was slow cooked overnight. No problems yet but I understand your hesitation!

  2. This looks awesome! I think today is slow cooker day between Emily's enchilada recipe and my beef stew! I definitely leave my slow cooker on low when I'm not home but I didn't for a very long time until I felt comfortable doing it!

  3. WOW that looks so good!! Such a great looking meal - cannot wait to try!

  4. This looks great. There are a lot of ways to use the leftovers too!

  5. Yay congrats on using the slow cooker for the first time!! I feel you made the PERFECT first dish too, a beautiful pile of chicken. hah. Can't wait to see more recipes!

    PS. When I expressed my concerns to my mom about keeping the crock pot on all day she said the amount of energy and heat used to cook the dish is way less than a normal oven or electrical applicance. Due to the "slow cooking" nature of the applicance its not going to burn your house down. I still get nervous but that made me feel better. ALSO say you have a recipe that calls for 5 hrs of slow cooking...after those 5 hrs are up, the crock pot turns to "warm" so it doesn't keep cooking the food but doesn't let it get cold either. :) Always looking out for our food.

  6. i need to remember my slow cooker more often... love this :)

  7. I'm loving the slow cooker recipes today! I also really like looking at the big plate of chicken hehe. And now I'm hungry...

  8. Looks DELICIOUS! I am absolutely petrified of slow cookers so I don't own one-and therefore will be no help to you- but this looks fantastic!

  9. looks yummy and so easy! i loove my crock pot. I leave it all day- cook on low for 10 hrs- and it's usually fine.

  10. great ideas!
    now following, so follow back!


  11. I leave mine on when I'm not home... and OMG this looks soooo good!

    (And you will be seeing Near East rice pilaf in some of my photos in upcoming post... I swear we eat it all the time too!)

  12. I have this exact same crockpot and I love it, although I do forget to bring it out and use it! But I do have to say that it can be difficult to get it really clean - there always seems to be this weird rim around mine!

  13. This looks amazing! I love my crock pot and need to use it more often. I'll have to pull it out soon and try this!

  14. I cant believe you are just know getting a crock pot! I live by my crock pot. I leave it on while I am at work and have never had a problem. That was really the whole appeal for me. This dish looks yum.

  15. this looks so good. holy mother - i do love a crock pot. you've inspired me to haul mine out.

    re: the ace - it was about $200/night on the weekend, but only $89/night during the week. hollar!!


  16. Oh, delish. The tortillas seal the deal because that just looks awesome.

  17. I have yet to use a crock pot or slow cooker. I need to get on that!

  18. Delicious! I love the measuring spoons. I'm too freaked out to leave my slow cooker on while I'm away. Maybe someday.

  19. I like all any corn recipes. I love to eat them. Feeling like getting lots of calories and energy from them. Thanks for your recipe.
    -Slow Cooker

  20. This looks awesome!!! I can't believe I don't have a slow cooker, but I kind of have mixed feelings about leaving them on all day, too. I ALWAYS think of a story Chelsee told me about someone her family knows who said she made chili in her slow cooker and ate it for weeks because it was still plugged in and hot. UM, not ok! haha!

    Oh and this looks absolutely delicious! Definitely an argument for the slow cooker :)


  21. This looks sooo yummy! I have a slow cooker and I definitely leave it on when I am at work - I love love love coming home to the smells of a finished meal. It's a great feeling.
    I do like to leave it on top of a heat-proof surface though, just in case it gets a little too toasty for the counter.

  22. Yum, that looks delicious!!!!!!! I'm glad you got to buy something you wanted.

    I don't use my slow cooker during the week. I'm usually gone (with my commute) about 12 hours a day. But on the weekends when I can monitor it, I leave it fo 4-6 hours : )

  23. Congrats on the new slow cooker! I don't think you should worry too much about leaving it on while you're away from the house.