Monday, September 9, 2013

Crockpot Sweet Garlic Chicken

Saw this on Facebook and had to try it.  I used frozen chicken breasts (from the big 10 lb. bag from Costco) so this was a PERFECT recipe to try since I had no thawed chicken at all.  Definitely got a thumbs up from everyone in the family.  I served it over rice with green beans on the side.

Crock Pot Sweet Garlic Chicken 

4-6 chicken breasts

1 cup packed brown sugar 
2/3 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (diet or regular)
2-3 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons water
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken (frozen, thawed or fresh) inside slow cooker. Mix together brown sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper together. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. 

Take chicken pieces out of slow cooker (mine basically fell apart) and pour remaining sauce into saucepan. Place saucepan over high heat. Mix together corn starch and water, pour into saucepan, and mix well. Let sauce come to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken and turns into a glaze. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute or two (it will continue to thicken as it cools down). 
Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top if desired. This can be served over rice or noodles, I also like it with a baked potato on the side (It's good on top of the potato too!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crockpot "Refried" Beans

Oh my gosh - these are perfect!!  How inexpensive!!  How easy!!!  How yummy!!!!!!  The original recipe is from Pennies & Pancakes and I only changed it by not adding the salt as they cooked (because I remember hearing that salt will make the beans tough??) and adding it at the end.  I wasn't even home for a lot of this cooking and I cooked it on low for 4 hours instead of 2 because, well, I wasn't home in 2 hours.  :)  But still they are perfect and now I have a big batch of beans for dinner tonight and the freezer.

Crockpot "Refried" Beans

2 lbs. pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
4 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic (or 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
Up to 2 1/2 Tbsp salt (wait to the end and add a little bit at a time and taste)
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cumin
10 cups hot water

Rinse the beans in a colander.   Pick out any bad beans or stones.

Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot.  Remove any floating beans.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours and then LOW for 2 hours.

Uncover and remove extra liquid (I only drained off a little bit - like a quarter cup?).  Leave enough liquid to reach the desired consistency when the beans are mashed.

Mash beans with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Serve warm.  Store in air-tight containers in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks or freeze in containers or zip lock bags for later use.