By now, I am sure y’all know how addicted to my crockpot I am… it’s not quite as important as coffee or chocolate… but it’s close! Oh, and when I make something with chocolate in it…well, that’s a bonus!
And why do I love my crockpot? (I’m starting to think I should name it, what do y’all think? Any suggestions?) It’s simple really, it makes my life so much easier. I’m a stay at home momma, but that doesn’t mean my dinner time/afternoons are easy… yes, we are done with home school fairly early in the day,
but my one traditional schooler, well, she comes home with projects and home work… and then there are sporting events, church events, even evening events for the hubby and I … having dinner ready to go in the crockpot (see what I mean, it needs a name folks!) means I can help with homework, or put a hot meal on the table shortly after the school or sports run, it means I can leave something besides frozen pizza or chicken nuggets for the kiddos when hubby and I have some where to be.
This recipe came about on one of those nights… we literally had there cars in the same parking lot. Hubby met me at an event, oldest did a school run and then brought me her siblings for the second event that was across the street, she then ran home to grab dinner before she ran off to her evening classes… and when the rest of us walked in the door an hour and a half later, we had a hot meal waiting for us. Now, I could’ve told the oldest to have leftovers or a sandwich, I could’ve thrown $1o at her to hit a drive through (and I could’ve done the same for the rest of us later), I could’ve gone to a popular stand by of frozen pizzas (believe me, we do that too!), but after some retraining of my mind, I have learned to embrace the crockpot and plan ahead just a bit. So, the way this day went down before the chaos I described above? Well, it was a pretty typical day… school run for #3, home school for the boys and then hubby came home and joined us for lunch. After he left for lunch, I could’ve vegged with the boys (we are usually done with the traditional subjects by then), played a game, watched a little HGTV, gone for a walk… but instead, we pulled the crockpot out of the pantry and the boys got a home ec lesson! And, boy, are they glad they did… this recipe quickly became one of the favorites and was given a 4.5 star rating. And the next day, there was much groaning and moaning that there were not any left overs! (That’s almost worthy of another star!)
King Ranch Chicken Soup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 TBSP cumin
- 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 green chilis, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 2 cups shredded mexi cheese
- 2 tsp flour
- 2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- tortilla chips, fresh cilantro and sour cream for garnish
Now, this does require a bit of prep work, and you can use canned or jarred peppers and tomatoes, but I prefer the taste better with fresh! Place olive oil in a large skillet and saute garlic until fragrant (about 2 min) over medium heat. Add flour and stir until it makes a bit of a paste…you might need to add more olive oil or a bit of butter…it’s a feel thing for me, I rarely measure! Next add in the chicken broth and whisk until it is fully combined. Remove from heat. Place chicken breast (whole) in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle with chilis, jalapeños and tomatoes. Pour garlic broth mixture over the top. Add cumin. Cook on low for about 4 hours (until your chicken is completely cooked). Remove chicken and shred. Place chicken back in the crockpot. Next, take cheese and place in a ziplock bag with the 2 tsp of flour and mix up until cheese is coated … this little trick helps keep the cheese from clumping when it melts. Pour cheese/flour mixture in crockpot and stir to mix in (just once or twice). Cover and turn to warm. The cheese will slowly melt. This is one of those recipes, where less is more… at least for me. I tend to add a little more cheese to everything (I mean, it’s cheese, right?!?) but if you add too much to this it winds up more like a dip than a soup (which isn’t bad, but isn’t what you are going for!). I like to put a few chips in the bottom of the bowl, dump a big ol’ ladle full over the top of them and then sprinkle some cilantro on top….