A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Italian Beef Sandwiches in the crockpot! March 31, 2011

Filed under: crock pot,meat,one dish — frappqueen @ 8:47 am
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I’m back! Sort of….baby is now almost FIVE months old if you can believe it! We’ve been getting back in to the swing of cooking for awhile, but I kept forgetting to photograph it til recently. I’ve been utilizing the crock pot even more now as it really is helpful with a little one at home. She’s at her best in the mornings, so she plays in her bouncy chair while I assemble dinner in the crock, and it cooks and smells awesome all day and is ready when we are tired and hungry! perfect!

This recipe is an easy one, and I made it even better by making the italian rolls into garlic bread! Try it out!

Italian Beef Sandwiches

3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style
salad dressing mix
1 (5 pound) rump roast

Combine water with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.

Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.

Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.


serve shredded, on a crusty Italian bread roll! To make it even better, make the rolls into garlic bread!

butter both sides of the roll, add some italian seasonings and garlic salt and toast til toasty! So good and so easy!


Spaghetti and Meatballs in the Crock Pot (or…not!) March 31, 2010

Filed under: meat,one dish — frappqueen @ 7:29 pm
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This past weekend, I had a real hankering for homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Mike and I also had a hankering to go see “Hot Tub Time Machine”. But, I didn’t want to eat at like 8pm! What to do, what to do?! I finally decided, why not try to make it in the crock pot instead of on top of the stove? That way I could prep it all and come home to delicious ready-made sauce!

Usually when I make sauce I do it all in one giant pot on the stove, I also cook my meatballs right in the sauce, none of that frying or baking them first business. When you cook them right in the sauce, the results are plump and flavorful meatballs that are tender and awesome! It probably helps that I am in no way Italian, so while this recipe is not at all authentic, it really is good. Ask anyone who’s eaten it! It turns out that converting it to the crock was really easy and pretty much just as delicious. The only problem with the crock is that when I cook it on the stove top I definitely cook according to taste. I’ll just add more of this or that until it is perfect. With the ingredients going into the crock pot, I couldn’t really taste it as it went along, I just had to add stuff and hope for the best. It went pretty well though.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp basil

1 tbsp oregano

2 tbsp garlic salt

1-2 tbsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

In a large, deep pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and saute as well, another 2 or 3 minutes until the garlic is browned but not burnt! Add in the can of tomatoes and the can of sauce. Add in all remaining ingredients and stir. Taste sauce and adjust any flavorings as  you need. If the sauce is still very acid-y, add a tad more sugar. If you put in too much sugar, add another can of tomato sauce.  Let the sauce simmer on low as you prepare the meatballs. Cover the sauce if it is splattering all over the place, that stuff hurts!


1 or 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey (I get the dark meat from Whole Foods, I find the really lean stuff is too dry)

1/2 to 1 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 c. parmigiana cheese

1 or 2 eggs depending on how dry it is

3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp italian seasoning

1 tbsp garlic salt

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together. The way it looks will tell you what you need to do. If it is not incorporating enough, add more egg. If it is too wet, add more crumbs! Try to make it an even amount of cheese vs. crumbs. When meatballs easily form a ball, the consistency is good. Form the meatballs into about 1 inch balls. Drop the meatballs one by one into the bubbling sauce. Be careful! You don’t want to get sauce burn! DO NOT STIR THE SAUCE WHEN YOU FIRST ADD THE MEATBALLS. After a few minutes, you can stir a bit. Let the meatballs cook in the sauce, covered, for at least 20 minutes, until the meatballs have turned white and appear to be done. If you are unsure, cook another 10 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti with some garlic bread. So good!!

Crock Pot Method:

It is totally the same method to do in the crock with these few exceptions:

For the sauce, start out with the onions sauteing in a small pot. Add the garlic and cook as stated above. When they are translucent, remove and add to the crock. Add all the remaining ingredients into the crock pot. Make the meatballs and drop them into the crock full of sauce. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Easy enough, right?


Crock Pot Week! Pesto chicken with sweet potatoes March 30, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,poultry — frappqueen @ 7:59 am
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Okay so the way I’ve been updating, its more like Crock Pot Two weeks! It’s okay, we really ate them all in one week, I promise! This last recipe was interesting…also from the 365 blog, it featured cooking two things at once, which sounded like it would never work, but totally did! Basically, you put the chicken in the bottom, top it with cheese and homemade pesto, then cover with foil and pop the two sweet potatoes in on top to steam to perfection! The chicken came out a tad dry but I think I left it in there waaay too long, so that was probably my own fault. Either way, Mike declared it a dish I must make Often!

I didn’t actually change anything in this recipe, and I’m lazy today, so here’s the link to the recipe directly from it’s source!

Pesto Chicken with sweet potatoes!

The sweet potatoes came out SO great this way, I’d totally just make them all alone using the crock method…insides were so soft and flavorful, yum!!


Crock Pot Week! Chicken Noodle Soup March 24, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,poultry,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 5:35 pm
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This one is also from the 365 Blog. The thing that made it awesome is the dash of balsamic vinegar that they say to add. Genius! It made it have a really nice extra zing that was hard to identify. Fantastic! I used a lot of pre-cut veggies from the grocery store, which made it even easier to chuck in the crock. Try it!

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 cups already cooked chicken meat
6 cups water
1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (check for gluten, this was clearly labeled gluten free)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt to taste (probably a good 1 teaspoon, since the base is water)
50-cent piece size, or so, handful of raw spaghetti noodles to add at the end (I used Trader Joe’s brown rice)
1 large handful raw spinach leaves to add at the end
Parmesan and Asiago cheese, optional garnish


Toss everything into the crock up until the kosher salt. Let cook on low for 8 hours or more until sweet potatoes are tender. 15 minutes before serving add in the spaghetti and spinach ( I ended up leaving the spinach out as I had somehow miscalculated all of my ingredients and there was no way it was fitting in that pot!) Serve with some crusty bread or crackers and enjoy!


Crock Pot Week! Corned Beef and Cabbage March 21, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,meat — frappqueen @ 8:23 pm
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Of course this particular crock week came up the same time as St. Patrick’s Day. Being that I’m blue eyed, freckled and Irish, Corned beef has got to be made! It is actually one of my favorite meals and I only make it once a year for some reason. I don’t know why I don’t ever make it any other day than St. Pat’s day, its so easy when you use the crock! Anyway…I call it corned beef and Cabbage but..I HATE cabbage. It is nasty and mushy and I just don’t like it when it’s cooked for so long. So, I reallly make corned beef and carrots and potatoes. But that’s okay, you can add the cabbage to your crock if it makes you happy!

Corned Beef minus the Cabbage in the Crock

Package of corned beef WITH seasoning packet (this year I used Nathan’s, but any brand will do, just check for the packet!)

1 pound baby red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half

1 bag baby carrots

water to cover it all in the crock


This is surely the easiest thing ever: Toss the meat, packet, carrots and taters into the crock. Add enough water to the pot to cover the meat completely. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5. Serve with some mustard and some Irish Soda Bread if you’ve got it! Sadly I made too small a hunk of meat this year: no leftovers!


Crock Pot Week! Carnitas in the Crock March 20, 2010

Filed under: crock pot,pork,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 7:31 am
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This is also from the 365 blog. I made this when my school had March Madness, which means our school’s teachers play vs. the teachers of our rival intermediate school. I do not play, but I always get suckered into selling water the whole night. It is fun, but we don’t get home til after 9, which is exhausting! In past years, I end up eating a lovely KFC bowl or somethings, but this year, I decided I ought to eat real food on my arrival home. The recipe for carnitas looked easy enough and it really was! It took about 5 minutes to prep it in the morning…with the exception of the fact that as I was reaching into the cabinet for my beef stock, I knocked over a jar of chicken bouillon and it SHATTERED all over the counter! Ugh! It took 20 minutes to clean up all the shards and made me late for work. But uh, the meal itself was still fast, I promise!

Carnitas in the Crock Pot

2 pounds pork shoulder (I couldn’t find shoulder, just used a roast)

1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice (1 large orange)

1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice (1 large lime)

7 cloves garlic, smashed but intact

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 c. beef broth

tortillas (she says corn but we like flour better)

sour cream, avocado, salsa, cheese for toppings!


In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork and put it in the crock. Add the garlic cloves and squeeze on the citrus. Pour in the beef broth evenly over the top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the pork shreds easily with a fork. If your meat is still intact after 8 hours, cut it into chunks and cook it on high for about an hour or two.

Shred meat fully and serve on tortillas with toppings!

We will totally make this again, the pork was amazingly good!! The citrus gave it a really yummy tang and the cumin made it smokey and awesome. I didn’t even use salsa on my carnitas, the avocado, sour cream and cheese were perfect touches. Delicious!!


Crock Pot week! Cranberry Roast March 17, 2010

Filed under: meat — frappqueen @ 8:30 pm
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One of my favorite websites in the whole entire world is “356 Crockpot” This woman set a goal two years ago to cook for her family EVERY day in her crock for a year! Not only did she do it, she ended up making a career out of it! She has cookbooks and was on tv and is still super funny and awesome and I wish she was my friend in real life! Anyway, I had forgotten about her blog, but this weekend, I remembered and she inspired me: How about I try to cook for a week once a month using my crock? Every meal for a week, fun new recipes each time? Why not!

First up I tried her recipe for Cranberry Roast as it lured me with its four simple ingredients. It seriously took me about five minutes to prep it in the morning. I got it ready while my bread toasted! The recipe itself was super simple, but next time I think I would add a bit of liquid, it came out a bit dry for my taste and Mike agreed. I think a 1/2 a cup of beef broth added to it would have made it perfect. Using whole cranberries and cooking it on low for hours ends up with a tangy-sweet sauce, and the cranberries mellow out. So good over mashed potatoes!

Cranberry Roast:

2-3 pounds beef or pork roast or stew chunks (I used stew chunks)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 16 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce

(next time I’d add a 1/2 c. beef broth)


Throw all the ingredients in the crock in this order: onions, beef, soy sauce, can o’ cran…then add the beef broth if you want to. Cover and cook on low for like 10 hours*…can be done in 7 though. If you cook it on high, it would be ready in roughly five hours. Serve with the gravy over some mashed potatoes. I used instant, talk about the easiest meal ever invented!

*I’m wondering if my meat was dry because I just cooked it too long and used stew pieces and not a whole piece of beef? If I’d been home to check it at 7 hours it might have been perfect then. So I guess if you will be away awhile, add some liquid! Otherwise, give it a try as-is. Tell me how it goes!