Sunday, January 26, 2014

Freezer to Crockpot Mediterranean Chicken

Isn't it the loveliest of all pictures? This is another meal we enjoyed during our kitchen remodel when I was cooking in a crockpot on the bathroom counter and eating on paper plates in the basement. The activity tablecloth is on the table since the other half of the space was being used to paint a school project. Ahh - the joys of remodeling! During that remodel, I learned to love the freezer to crockpot method. It was the only way we survived the remodel with home-cooked food! It has made my life since the remodel so much easier also. I serve a freezer to crockpot meal at least once a week to free up my dinner prep time to be used shuttling kids to and from events.

Mediterranean Chicken is a recipe my sister shared with me many years ago. We make it pretty regularly. In fact, it is one of the recipes I would crave being pregnant and my husband was so sweet to make it for me while I "hung out" on bed rest. I have made it in the crockpot many times before, but this was the first time I prepared it ahead of time for the freezer. It worked out wonderfully!

As a freezer meal, place the chicken breasts in your freezer bag whole. Add the diced tomatoes, chicken bouillon, dried onion (or chopped, fresh onion,) sliced olives, and spices. To cook, thaw and place in crockpot. Cook on high for about 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Take the chicken out of the crockpot to dice it and then return it to the pot. Thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch or flour or use ultra gel* and adjust spices as needed to taste. Serve over cooked pasta.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do.

*Ultra Gel is the same as ultra sperse and instant clear-jel and these can be used interchangeably as the thickener in this recipe. It is an instant thickener so you can very quickly get the sauce to the thickness you want. Just sprinkle a tablespoon in and mix it up. If it is not as thick as you like, add a little more. This is the thickener I choose for all my crockpot meals so I can have it how we like it in an instant.

Mediterranean Chicken

2 chicken breasts, cubed
¼ cup dried, minced onion
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
Sliced black olives
½ can water
Garlic, oregano, parsley, basil to taste
2 chicken bouillon cubes
8 oz noodles

Cook chicken in a small amount of oil. Meanwhile, mix all other ingredients. Add chicken. Thicken with a flour and water mixture if desired. Serve over noodles. I love to make a big pot of this sauce in the crockpot. It freezes very well and makes for a quick meal another time.

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