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Slow Cooker Rio Chicken
This was a recipe that I discoveded on facebook a while back, and while it was probably excellent as it was, I still had to alter it to suit my own tastes and cravings. Not only that, have found it can make an amazing quesadilla, salad, chicken sandwich, or even a simple cover for Mexican style rice and beans. The flavor is great, and even better, despite my husband and step-son being avid haters of ranch dressing, they even enjoyed this dish.
When I created my alternative, I was pressed for time, had not chicken thawed, and was wanting a meal with a little different flavor. This recipe helped me move beyond all those concerns and still create a delicious meal with little to no effort on my part. Not only that, all the ingredients are things I always have in the house, and required no extra shopping that night!
Normally, I attempt to thaw meat that I freeze the night before if I am going to have a meal created in the slow cooker, but the day this became a favorite recipe, I quickly discovered I did not have anything thawed, and homework was beckoning to me. The recipe I had started with said that the chicken could be frozen and placed in the slow cooker with no problems. Immediately, placing all my hope in the simple statement, I began editting the recipe to suit our own tastes. Though the original sounded amazing, there were a few things I immediately knew would have to be added in order to accomplish the meal I had in mind.
Tossing everything in the slow cooker, I took a deep breath and hoped it was not a mistake. Then started my homework. When the time for dinner arrived, I was already beginning to feel nervous and worry that perhaps I had made a hasty decision, and was already discussing where we may have to run out for dinner, just in case. Fortunately, I began shredding the chicken, took a tiny sample, and knew immediately I had found a recipe that I would be using again and again!
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, frozen or thawed
- 1/2 c. zesty Italian salad dressing
- 1 tbsp. dried ranch seasoning mix
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp. cumin
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red pepper, orange pepper, and green pepper, diced
- In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients, minus the chicken together.
- Place chicken in Slow cooker and pour the mixed ingredients over top.
- Cover and cook on high for one hour, then turn down to low and let cook for seven hours.
- Take two forks, and shred the chicken, then stir the shredded chicken together with the other ingredients.
- Serve in the style you prefer!
There is a tie between the two favorite ways to serve this in our house: (1) lightly butter two soft taco shells, spring cheese on one of the shells, place meat on top, cover with a touch of refried beans, sprinkle some more cheese on the beans, place the other shell on top and then place in a quesadilla grill until cheese melts to hold the two shells together; or (2) using the favorite taco shells, place the chicken and all your favorite ingredients for a taco together and enjoy!
While these are the two most popular in our home, I do know that it is an excellent addition to a salad, or even placed on a bed of rice. When I prepare this, usually prep some con quesa dip and serve with tortilla chips. It is an excellent meal for those nights when the family is wanting a little Mexican flare.
Not only this, but can refridgerate the chicken and create a cold salad for lunch the next day! I am a huge fan of adding kidney beans or refried beans as a complilment to the chicken and enjoy this in all the ways I have tried it. Not only this, instead of being a recipe where the ranch is overpowering, as well as the Italian dressing, they work well in complimenting each others and creating a unique flavor! Definitely a favorite in our home, not to mention if something happens and I do not have any meat thawed, can quickly turn to this in the morning and not have to worry about having to cook that night.