Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

I am a wonderful meal prepper…when I have the motivation to do it. Some Sundays, I am running and raring to go, at least three days worth of breakfasts and lunches made for work in a two-hour span, neatly stacked in my fridge in coordinated containers. Other Sundays, I’m exhausted and think aloud, “I am going to rack up a lot of points on my Sweetgreen app this week.”

With this slow cooker recipe, I have no excuses not to meal prep. It’s all too easy!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

There isn’t much else to say, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Tomatoes + Onions + boneless chicken breast = an amazing shredded chicken that gets you four meals, easily.

Get down on your knees and praise your slow cooker. Give it a nice big kiss, though preferably wait until it’s cool enough.

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Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion
(Yields 1 average-sized boneless chicken breast’s worth of shredded meat)

Ingredients:

– 1 boneless & skinless chicken breast
– 1 15-ounce can chopped or diced tomato, with juices
– 1 large white or yellow onion, roughly cut
– 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
– Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.) Add all ingredients to slow cooker and turn on to High. Cover and cook for 3 hours.

2.) Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred chicken with two forks. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and stir into tomato and onion mixture. Cook for an additional 15 minutes before turning off slow cooker.

3.) Eat immediately! If storing for meal prep, place chicken in container(s) along with some of the tomato and onion mixture to keep the chicken moist, and allow to cool slightly before placing in fridge. Chicken should stay edible for up to five days.

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Slow Cooker Brown Bread Rolls

‘Tis the season for the slow cooker to make its annual trip from the lower cabinet near my sink to its rightful place upon my already cramped breakfast bar. (Typical Manhattan Apartment Life, yo.) I know most people will use their slow cooker year round, but I’m strictly an autumn and winter user. It’s just how I roll. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ve been searching the World Wide Interwebz for new and unique ways to use my slow cooker beyond just making soups or shredded meats. Creating slow-cooker desserts intrigues me, but I’m looking outside of the realm of that, for now. On a well-spent work lunch break, I stumbled upon a recipe for slow cooker bread. BINGO! This was the unique recipe that I had been craving! Via Kleinworth & Co., I decided to give their recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bread a roll. (Get it? Roll? Yeeeah, I love those bad puns. Bless you if you continue to read this post. Ha!)

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Now, the first time I made this recipe, I questioned it. I followed its directions and measurements to an absolute T, minus using instant coffee (or any coffee!) in my mix. I would like to think that that simple omission wouldn’t affect the integrity of my dough. That being said…by the time I got to the step in which I had to knead the dough, it was nothing short of batter in my bowl. Granted, I was doing this by hand and not with a dough hook; with the insanity of my post-bedbug extermination coming to a close, I still have my Kitchen Aid mixer tucked away in a place that’s not easily accessible. The original recipe called for 2 & 1/2 cups of flour, total. By the time I was finished adding in additional 1/2 cup increments, I was up to 4 cups of flour! By that point, I had achieved a kneadable texture. Also, the cooking time on the original recipe definitely varied from the time I took to bake it (90 minutes in the original vs. 2 hours for mine), however, that didn’t shock me since all slow cookers are not made equal.

slow cooker brown bread rolls

You know what? WHATEVER. I ended up making rolls that were so delectable, the trial and error was worth it. These rolls are wonderful! The molasses and chocolate infuse them with the most wonderful smoky sweetness! I brought them over to a friend’s house for his parents and brother, and they were all fans as well! I’m glad they enjoyed them. I wouldn’t want to be kicked out of their house. 😏 I think these rolls would be a hit on any dinner table in these cold months ahead, especially at Thanksgiving. *hint hint*

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Of note, these babies are WONDERFUL slathered with some homemade pumpkin butter, also cooked up in my slow cooker! (On a different occasion though, but of course.) I made some based on this recipe by Practical Stewardship, and I can absolute vouch for it. Mmmmm!

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Slow Cooker Brown Bread Rolls
(Recipe adapted from Kleinworth & Co’s recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bread)
(Makes approximate 10 – 12 rolls)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup warmed milk, dairy or non-dairy
– 1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
– 2 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (see Before We Get Started…)
– 1/2 agave nectar
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 teaspoons molasses
– 1 tablespoon cocoa
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/8 cup old fashioned rolled oats (optional, to sprinkle on top of rolls)

Before We Get Started…

– As I mentioned in the prelude, the amount of dough I used to create this differed a fair amount from what I used based on the original recipe. After trial and error, I’d say to start with using the aforementioned 2 & 3/4 cups of flour. If the bread dough still seems too sticky to knead after Step #3, add more flour in 1/4 cup increments and mix until the dough yields a kneadable texture.

– Feel free to use 3/4 cup honey in place of the 1/2 cup agave nectar & 1/4 cup honey mix.

Directions:

1.) Line slow cooker with a large piece of parchment paper and carefully mold to the outline as best as possible. Lightly spray parchment paper with cooking oil or use one tablespoon of vegetable oil and spread with basting brush or clean paper towel.

2.) Heat milk in a mircowave or a small saucepan until just warmed to the touch; do not allow milk to bubble. In a large bowl, add warmed milk and sugar, then sprinkle yeast on top. Do not mix; wait five minutes for yeast to begin to bloom, then mix until combined.

3.) Add part of the flour (1 & 1/2 cups), salt, butter, and molasses to the yeast mixture. Stir until combined, then let dough rest for 5 minutes. Add the remaining flour, cocoa, agave nectar, and honey. Stir until combined; at this point, the dough should start to take on a doughier and kneadable consistency. (Please see Before We Get Started… if your batter is still a little bit sticky.)

4.) Sprinkle flour on a flat, clean surface. Turn dough onto surface and knead for 10 minutes or until dough is uniformly elastic. Sprinkle dough with additional flour when kneading, if necessary.

5.) Pull off pieces of dough and shape into rolls, rolls should fit in palm of your hand, about twice the size of a golf ball. Place rolls together in parchment paper-lined slow cooker; it is fine if rolls touch. If you have a smaller slow cooker (such as I do!), it is fine to layer the rolls if not all of them can fit on a singular level. Conversely, you can wrap additional dough tightly in plastic and store in the fridge to bake later. (Such as I DID.) Sprinkle dough with (optional) oatmeal.

6.) Cover rolls and turn on slow cooker to High. Cook for 90 minutes; if rolls are still tacky to the touch or do not not have hard exteriors, cook for up to an additional 30 minutes. These rolls should be finished by the two hour mark!

7.) When rolls are finished baking, turn off slow cooker and remove top. Allow rolls to sit for 10 minutes before removing. After 10 minutes, remove and place rolls on a wire rack to cool. Eat immediately after cooling or wrap firmly in plastic wrap to maintain freshness.

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This Christmas, Santa blessed me with two staples of every amazing kitchen: A Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and a slow cooker. Here I was, for years, mixing batters with an electric mixer, or by hand, like a sucker. Oh, and who knew I could just plop three pounds of meat into a metal pot, pour some broth and spices onto it, turn a switch, walk away, then have a meal six hours later?

Amazing times we live in.

I do have to laugh, because I am a person that adores cooking and going through the process, no matter how lengthy it may be. Trust me: I’ve spent 2+ hours on certain mornings just to make eight bagels. For years, I thought creating meals in a slow cooker was an easy way out. I’ve learned better. Just as I love to make soups en masse to freeze so I’ll have some lunches for the weeks ahead, I can use my slow cooker to make meals with purposeful leftovers at a low cost. For this recipe, the only items I needed to buy were the pork butt, apple cider vinegar, and tomato sauce. Those three items cost me $8.33, and with about six cups of pulled pork yielded, that knocks it down to about $1.38 a cup! (Note: In true NYC fashion, I got the vinegar and tomato sauce, both Goya, from my local bodega for $1.89 combined, the transaction completed while the new bodega cat weaved in and out of my legs.)

On the day I chose to take the ol’ girl out for a spin for the first time, this lil’ guy named Jonas came to visit, but he was kind of rude and made me spend a lot of my day inside.

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Well, I really can’t complain about cooking this up, can I?

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

Props to my roommate Sally’s mother for sending along some ideas for rubs and sauces. This pig did not die in vain. Our stomachs gave it a very happy home.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
(Makes…a lot of servings [roughly 6 cups])

Ingredients:

– 2 – 3 pounds pork butt (shoulder), bone-in or boneless

Rub:
– 2 tablespoons chili powder
– 1 tablespoon ground cumin
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon paprika
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Sauce:

– 1 & 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 cup tomato sauce
– 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Before We Get Started…

– The measurements in this recipe can be adjusted; the measurements in this recipe are suited to accommodate those using a 3-quart slow cooker.

– The rub can be applied right before cooking, though I highly suggest applying the rub and letting the pork sit for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Directions:

1.) Place pork shoulder on cutting board; if using a bone-in pork shoulder and are planing to leave the fat layer on the pork, score with a knife. Otherwise, discard outer fat layer. If using boneless pork shoulder, cut into several large pieces, roughly fist-sized.

2.) Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Apply rub to pork, thoroughly covering the surface. Allow pork to sit for at least four hours before cooking. (See note in Before We Get Started… for rub suggestions.)

3.) In a large bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and whisk until incorporated.

4.) Place pork in slow cooker; pour sauce on top of pork. Cover with top. Turn slow cooker on high and cook for six to seven hours.

5.) Carefully remove pork from slow cooker and place into a large bowl; allow to cool for 15 minutes. Use two forks to shred pork apart; discard of any larger pieces of fat. Bone, if bone-in pork is being used, can be discarded or saved for other uses (bone broth, et al).

6.) Ladle 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups of the remaining sauce remaining in the slow cooker onto the pork and allow to sit.

7.) Serve pulled pork as you please!