I happened to check the time before I started making this Italian chicken slow cooker recipe and — starting with a clean kitchen all the way through putting the cutting board into the dishwasher and the slow cooker into the fridge for the night — it took me thirteen minutes to make this. If I skipped the onion chopping and rosemary I could probably get it under ten. Then just a few minutes the next day for the rolls and we had a delicious dinner.
Perfect for those days when you have too many things to do and not enough time — or for when you don't have time to waste in the kitchen because you need to catch up on Game of Thrones.
- One package of chicken (around two pounds)
- About half a cup to a full cup of Italian dressing
- Some vegetables
- If you're feeling fancy, you can add some herbs. I had rosemary handy but it's fine without it; the dressing brings a lot of flavor.
Now about those vegetables:
Things that work well in slow cookers are potatoes, onions, diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnips. (I've tried bell peppers in the past but mine become bitter — has anyone else had this problem?) I haven't tried these myself but you could also try squash, turnips, or rutabagas. Mix and match whatever strikes you.
For this I grabbed what I had on hand — the last onion, carrots, and some frozen vegetables. You want the slow cooker to be at least half full when everything is in there. If it's not already in small bits, chop up your vegetables.
At this point there's two ways you can make this:
You can put the chicken in first and then the vegetables, or the vegetables and then the chicken. (The rosemary got smushed in the middle so it could share its tasty goodness with everyone.)
Once you have everyone in the slow cooker, drizzle the dressing over the top. Honestly I don't really measure, I just make sure what's on top has a good coating because I know it'll work its way down as everything heats up.
The chicken in these pictures was still totally frozen, by the way. I made this the night before and put it into the fridge, but I've done this same recipe in the morning before work with frozen chicken and the slow cooker set on low all day and it was totally cooked by the time I got home nine hours later.
When I got home, the chicken was falling apart and the house smelled lovely. Notice all the liquid in the bottom with my vegetables. This may impact what you want to be on the bottom — I admit my vegetables were a bit mushy, which was fine that night but did not make for good leftovers.
You know what does make good leftovers? The chicken. So be good, eat all the vegetables like your parents told you to when you were a kid, and you'll have leftover chicken to use later in the week in a fabulous sandwich or pasta or salad or whatever.
If you think your chicken turned out a bit dry, use a fork to make it into smaller chunks and push it down into the liquid then go do something for five minutes (check emails, catch up of Offbeat Home, pet your cat, contemplate the meaning of life) and it should be in better shape when you get back.
If you added rosemary, take that sucker out and trash it. It's done its duty (heh, duty) and eating it is like chewing on a damp twig. I don't recommend it.
I got wild and crazy and busted out the rolls from a tube to serve on the side. You could also do a salad or garlic bread or noodles.