Creating food is crafting of a sort, so I thought I would share my favorite made-up recipe that has become a standby for me. I saw a recipe involving pepper jack cheese soup and chicken at some point, and turned it into something of my own. I call it crack chicken because it has no real name and as the husband and I say “it’s addicting, like crack”. I love this because I toss everything in the crockpot, leave for the day, and come home to a delicious smelling house and almost finished dinner. And with just 53 days left until graduation (not that I’m counting), the less energy spent on cooking the better. Although if you’re me, that’s always true anyway.
Also, I am totally open to suggestions for a new name, as crack chicken always gets me funny looks when people ask what I’m having for lunch that smells so good.
What you will need:
3 bell peppers (any color will do, I either get green or the 3 pack of yellow, red orange)
3 chicken breasts (or 2 large ones. You could also probably substitute some kind of beans if you want this to be a vegetarian dish. I however, am married to a carnivore).
1 jar of Vodka sauce (I generally get Classico or Bertolli, and I add about 2-3 ounces of water once it’s been emptied to rinse it out before recycling- and make a little extra sauce)
8 oz of pepper jack cheese
8 oz mushrooms (fresh is better than canned, but you can use either)
White or brown rice
Thaw your chicken. De-seed bell peppers and then cut them into strips. Cut the pepper jack into slices or cubes (just melts easier). Cut the mushrooms into slices if they aren’t already.
I like to layer things, in case I am not home to stir it periodically. Pour 1/3 of the vodka sauce into your crock pot, add one chicken breast, 1/3 of your bell pepper strips, and some of the cheese. Pour more vodka sauce, repeat with remaining 2 chicken breasts, then pour in the rest of the vodka sauce and toss remaining cheese and bell peppers on top. Set your crock pot for 6 hours (this should be low- you don’t want things to burn).
I like to prepare the rice ahead of time so it’s ready when I get home. I usually make 1.5.-2 cups. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold because you are going to add it into what will by the time you get back be a hot soupy mix.
At this time you’ll want to stir everything and use a fork to break the large chicken breasts apart into smaller pieces- it should fall apart fairly easily, I use a fork and a knife to sort of pull it apart so it’s shredded. Then (about 45 minutes before you are ready to eat) add all the mushrooms and stir. You can put them in at the beginning, but they will likely get burned on the sides of the crock pot- they’re much more delicate than everything else- so it’s best to put them in at the end for just a short time.
Lastly, add your rice to the mix- I have about a cup and a half for one jar of vodka sauce. I like mine to stay just slightly on the liquidy side, but the consistency you want is really up to you, so if you want it to go farther/don’t want it liquidy, go for 2 cups.
This usually makes dinner for 2, with enough for 3-4 lunches left over. And I hate packing lunch almost as much as I dislike cooking dinner, so built in lunch is just another plus! I swear it tastes better than this photo makes it look.