Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

The slow cooker has officially won me over. Like for reals. I will marry it. That's how good this Salsa Chicken came out. It took my relationship with my crock pot from on the rocks to marital bliss.

Salsa Chicken recipes have been floating around Pinterest like crazy. Most include cream cheese or sour cream. I wanted a recipe that didn't use cream cheese and felt "healthier," so I tweaked this basic recipe and came up with this delicious concoction. It has no cream cheese, substitutes low fat greek yogurt for sour cream, boosts a healthy dose of fresh peppers and is sprinkled with fiber rich black beans. I even made my own "cream of chicken" soup, since I didn't have any of the canned stuff. So easy - who knew?! This came out so creamy and delicious you would swear it was packed with cheese. Adam and I inhaled this dish. It would be great served over spanish rice or topped with tortilla chips. We ate it by itself by the bowlful.

Michelle's Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
Serves 4

1 pound frozen* chicken tenders or breasts
1 anaheim chile, chopped into pieces
1 red pepper, chopped into pieces
1 cup salsa
1/2  packet taco seasoning (or 1 to 2 TBLS homemade seasoning)**
7 - 8 oz non-fat or low-fat greek sour cream
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
optional: jarred sliced jalapeno peppers
1 cup homemade "cream of chicken"
salt if needed (read the ingredients of your taco seasoning to see if it already includes salt)

For the homemade "cream of chicken"
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth

- Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, sprinkle flour into skillet and whisk to make a roux. Add the cup of chicken broth. Whisk out lumps. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken - about 2 minutes. Set aside.

For the Salsa Chicken:

- Chop pepper and chile into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces. 
- Place chicken and pepper and chile pieces in crock pot. Add 1 cup salsa, the homemade cream of chicken, taco seasoning, and jarred jalapenos depending on how spicy you want it. (I added about 10 jalapeno slices for some spicy Salsa Chicken)
- Cook on low for 8 hours. Use forks to shred the chicken.
- Add greek yogurt and rinsed and drained black beans to the crock pot. Stir. Continue to cook for 30 more minutes on low.
- Serve over rice or with tortilla chips.

*I use frozen chicken because I always have some in my freezer and I can let it cook the whole day while I'm at work. If you are using unfrozen chicken, reduce the cooking time to 4-5 hours.

**I use Trader Joe's taco seasoning because it has a simple list of ingredients made up solely of spices. No additives. Their seasoning packs a kick and one packet is meant for 2 pounds of meat. So I only use half a packet in this recipe. It's also on the spicier side, so keep that in mind if you are using it.

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