Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicken Chili--Slow Cooker Style!

I love slow cookers. I love the ease of preparation and clean up. The main reason I love slow cookers these days is because I have a one year old little boy who HATES it when I cook. He feels left out because he knows something is going on up there on the counter and stove and he gets frustrated that he can't see what is happening. My husband is getting his MBA in business right now, so he is gone a lot of nights. As a result, he can't watch my little guy while I cook. We live with his parents, and I cook three nights a week for my in-laws.

So, I find myself doing dinner preparation around my son's naptimes. Slow cooker dinners are perfect for this because I can put everything in the slow cooker at about 10 a.m. when he goes down for his first nap.

I know it's getting warmer, so it's not really soup or chili weather anymore, but I discovered two very good chicken chili recipes this past winter that I would like to share.

Oh, and before I share the recipes, let me just say that if you have never used Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners, you SHOULD! They are great. They make clean up soooo much easier. Previously, the drawback to slow cookers was that it would be easy dinner prep, but then you would have a crusty, juicy slow cooker to clean up. The great thing about these liners is that you just pull them out and throw them away. You only really have to wipe out your slow cooker--if even that.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Chili (pictured above)


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 medium yellow or green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) stewed Mexican-style tomatoes (or stewed tomatoes with garlic and onion), undrained
2 cans (15-16 oz each) chili beans in sauce (mild, medium, or hot, to your taste), undrained
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Spray 4-5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray (or use a Reynold's Slow Cooker Liner). Mix all ingredients except sour cream and cilantro in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 7-8 hours.

Stir mixture to break up chicken. Top each serving with sour cream and cilantro.

Makes 6 servings (1 2/3 cups per serving)

Nutrition information: Calories: 370, Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 1690mg; Carbohydrate: 38g, Dietary Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 14g, Protein: 30g. Exchanges: 2 starch, 0 other carbohydrate, 2 vegetable, 3 very lean meat.

Source: Betty Crocker website. You can find it here.

Notes: I found that only 1 lb. of chicken thighs wasn't quite enough. I added an entire 2.5 lb. bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs and it was just right! I also added a second bell pepper to make the soup go a little farther too. I also added a little shredded cheddar cheese too, because what chili isn't great with a little cheese on top? But if you want to save the calories, this chili is still fantastic without the cheese.

Slow Cooker Red and White Chili


1Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner
6 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2 cans (15.5 oz. each) navy beans, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon each salt and cayenne pepper


Open slow cooker liner and place it inside a 5- to 6 1/2 -quart slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl.

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker liner; stir gently to mix. Place lid on slow cooker.

Cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours OR on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours until hot and sauce thickens slightly.

Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve food directly from slow cooker liner. Do not lift or transport liner with food inside. Cool slow cooker completely; remove liner and toss.

Number of Servings: 6-8

Source: I originally found this recipe in the insert of free recipes provided when you buy a box of Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners. They have more recipes on their website. You can find the recipe here.

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