Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Southwestern Crock Pot Chicken

I didn't manage to get a photo of this recipe (instead, I'll share a shot from my parents' backyard--really it doesn't do justice how beautiful my Dad's landscaping really is--he's one very hardworking, talented guy!).  At first thought (at least in my mind), Crock Pot dishes seem better suited for wintertime and the need for cozy, comforting meals.  That said, using the Crock Pot in the summer means keeping the kitchen cool and hey, we're always busy so it's nice to have an easy, hands off meal anytime of year.  I was introduced to this Southwestern Style Crock Pot Chicken recipe by my family while I was home visiting this past week.  It's become one of their staples (and my mom doesn't cook anymore, so you know it's easy).  My sister who's currently dancing in New York also makes it in her tiny apartment all the time (proof that it needs minimal equipment, makes minimal mess and is a really healthy option).  I definitely felt it was worth sharing with you!  

Southwestern Crock Pot Chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any icky bits if necessary (about 3 chicken breasts, straight from frozen is just fine and won't affect the cooking time)
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (plain or a Southwestern flavor, if desired)
2 cups favorite salsa
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz brick cream cheese

Set a large crock pot on high heat.  Place chicken in bottom of crock pot.  Dump beans, entire can of tomatoes and salsa over chicken.  Sprinkle garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper over mixture.  Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.  Use two forks to shred chicken.  Unwrap cream cheese and set on top of chicken mixture.  Return cover and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.  Stir in melted cream cheese.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve over hot cooked rice or as a filling for tortillas or topping for nachos.

adapted from recipe by Nutritional Weight and Wellness recipe for Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken

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