Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Move Over Gandalf, I Need the Crock Pot.

Did you ever simply stare into the refrigerator wondering what to do with anything inside? It's like that with creative people, you simply hit a wall; a road block saying, "You shall not pass!" We home chefs, or cooks, depending on your attitude about the titles, hit road blocks; we are artists in our own right. Our studio is the kitchen, the palate is the plate, and the tools used to put the artwork onto the plate our pots, pans, skillets, crock pots, utensils of all shapes, sizes and forms. We are also writers, putting down onto paper our recipes; all the ingredients and precise measurements for the next person to understand; directions so it can all be done the way we intended.

Like an author would add to, or revise, a book, so does a cook revise recipes.  Trial and error has a lot to do with this, but it's also the creative side of "wonder if" that has the home cook saying, "I wonder if okra would be better in this recipe, than peas?"  Then there is the ever popular, "I don't want to cook today, but we need something to eat, and I don't want take out...again!"  All hail the crock pot, a kitchen deity unto itself; put all the ingredients inside, cover, and as an ever popular infomercial shouts out to us when surfing the channels, "Set it and forget it!"

So let's get to this adventure, another version of a crock pot favorite, "chicken and stuffing" and the good old can of cream of mushroom soup.  It would be so easy to simply put those three items inside, set it and forget it; but oh no, we can't forget those veggies.  Goodbye broccoli, as it gets chopped and dropped, inside the pot that is. Wow, I better do something with that package of sliced mushrooms in the vegetable bin too, before they turn black and moldy.  Funny isn't it that fungus, yes, mushrooms are fungi, would be so gross after turning moldy; sort of ironic really.

Oh, by the way, for all you out there with picky eaters in the family; the broccoli and mushrooms become completely incorporated into the dish, so you can't tell they're in there!  Also, by cutting the chicken breasts up, the cooking time is greatly decreased, so you can have this ready for lunch or dinner is no time at all.

Crock Pot Chicken Broccoli Stuffing Bake – Version 2


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch strips
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 and ½ cups sliced mushrooms
1 (6 oz.) package stuffing mix
1 (26 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk


In a 4 quart crock pot, mix together chicken, broccoli and mushrooms.

Spread stuffing mix over all. In a medium bowl, mix together soup and milk; pour over top of stuffing mix.

Cover, set on low for 3 hours.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour