I loooove my Crock Pot. It is truly my favorite gadget of all time (some gals may argue that a smaller, battery-operated (errrm “bedroom”) gadget tops the Crock Pot, but that’s another story.
O Crock Pot, My Crock Pot, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
- You allow me to toss a bunch of seemingly haphazard ingredients into you and somehow I am rewarded some hours later with a great tasting meal.
- Bargain cuts of beef or chicken are magically transformed into mouthwatering, tender delicacies.
- You are one of the most energy-efficient appliances around…who doesn’t love to save on their utility bills?
- In warm summer months you save me from having to crank up the oven to cook food, and we can all stay blissfully cool in our little home.
- You allow me to cook HUGE pots of whatever for a price that makes me dance a happy little jig. 🙂
- No babysitting required, you always seem to take care of yourself. And with your low, high, and warm settings, it is easy for me to control the cooking time to coincide with the time I actually want my dinner to be finished. Also, your warm setting is a lifesaver in party situations when I’ve made a hot appetizer and would like to keep it hot for the crowd for the duration of the party.
- You come in many different sizes. From Big Daddy Crock that can handle a whole chicken and then some, to Itty-Bitty Baby Crock that is perfect for party dips, you always cater to my specific cooking needs!
So, In honor of My Friend The Crock Pot, here is my first recipe in what I hope becomes a regular feature here on Frugal for Two. This recipe received two enthusiastic thumbs up from a normal, somewhat unadventurous eater (Mike), yet has enough kick and ethnic flavor to satisfy the global gourmet in all of us.
White Chicken Chili With Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread
(Note: I’m including the prices I paid for the ingredients, these can either be more or less depending on creative substitutions, ingredient omissions, your coupon habits, or where you shop.)
Ingredients you will need:
- 3/4 to 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (leftover meat from a whole bird or chicken quarters would reduce the price of this)99 cents
- 1 can of corn (25 cents, use only half in the chili portion of the recipe)
- 1-2 cans of cannellini or great northern beans (50 cents, you could also use dried beans that you’ve soaked over night, which would further lessen the cost)
- 1 package of taco seasoning (I make my own taco seasoning, which costs a lot less. It’s easy to find a recipe on the internet and make your own. I’m estimating 5 cents as my cost for this)
- 1 can of diced jalapenos (75 cents, again seeding and dicing your own fresh jalapenos from the store or garden is potentially cheaper)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup (40 cents)
- 1 14 oz can chicken broth (FREE because I made mine from scratch. You too can make your own stock or broth from a chicken carcass, some veggies, and some herbs)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (50 cents)
- 1/2 to 1 cup taco blend or monteray jack cheese (or cheddar, or mozzarella, whatever floats your boat. 75 cents)
- 1 egg (8 cents)
- 1 package cornbread or corn muffin mix (40 cents)
- Onion and garlic, diced (this can be omitted, but it adds flavor. I used half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic. 50 cents)
- Scallions (optional) I had some from my friend’s garden so FREE
White Chicken Chili
- For the chili, simply place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the Crock Pot, cover with the raw onion and garlic if you’re using them, and cover everything with the beans and HALF the can of corn.
- In a bowl on the side, make a sauce out of the taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, HALF the jalapenos, and the chicken broth/stock. Whisk it all together and pour it over the ingredients in your Crock. Simple, right?
- Cover and cook on low for around 9 hours. If I need to speed it up a bit, I’ll start the cooking on high for the first few hours, then bring it back down to low. This usually decreases the entire cooking time to 6 hours or less.
- When it’s done cooking, take two forks and gently shred the chicken in the bottom of the crock. Stir in HALF the sour cream till it’s melted.
- Garnish you’re fantastic creation with some of the shredded cheese, or even green onions or crushed tortilla chips if you have them on hand.
- Heat oven or toaster oven (it’s cooler in the summer months!) to 350 degrees. Coat an 8 by 8, or 9 by 9, or 9 by 5 baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg, and the other half of the sour cream until mixed thoroughly. Stir in the reserved jalapenos and corn, the remainder of the shredded cheese you didn’t put in the chili, and some scallions if you happen to have them on hand.
- Add the muffin mix. Stir for around 60 strokes or for one minute, and get a nice bicep workout while you’re at it. Let sit for 3 minutes, and then briefly stir again, to get a nice crown on your cornbread.
- Pour in baking pan and cook for 35 minutes. If you’re not sure it’s fully cooked. Poke the very center of the pan with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re ready to eat!!
So, for a grand total of $4.69, I’ve created a meal that will feed the two of us for at least two days! Sometimes we have it for dinner two nights in a row, sometimes Mike is getting it for lunch for a few days, sometimes we invite a friend or two over for dinner and cocktails! Feel free to experiment, occasionally I leave the corn out of the cornbread and instead heat it up on the stove with some more taco seasoning and a few diced red and/or banana peppers if I have them on hand.
Happy Eating!! Stay tuned for my next $5 recipe!!