Earlier this week I broke out my severely neglected crock-pot. I adopted her in the late 1990s. Yes, a long time ago. When I first brought Crockie home I used her relentlessly. Then, I don’t know, I needed a break. She agreed. You know how it is. Spending too much time together, you start to take each other for granted, get on each other’s nerves. Close to 15 years later (OMG where does the time go), she has found her way back into my life, and with a bang (and she still worked)! Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. As does a well cooked meal. Warning, I’m about to drop another cliché in the same paragraph… Forget about men, their stomachs and hearts. MY stomach is the way to MY heart. I love clichés, they make me smile.
Here’s what I love most about crock-pot cooking meat. It’s easy! As easy as 1, 2 , 3. Kinda literally. You need 3 things.
Uno) Meat of choice
Dos) Liquid of choice
Tres) Seasonings of choice
That’s it. Can’t get much simpler! And so up my alley, which you’ll know if you’ve checked out my blog
For a base for the chicken recipe (I promise, I’ll get to recipe after a little more storytelling and shameless self promotion) I decided on veggie rice which I’m totally addicted to. Need proof? Check out my veggie rice recipe
and my post about veggie couscous
And if you are not following me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you need to (just sayin’) because you’d see all my variations of my veggie rice and veggie couscous. They are worth seeing! In my opinion at least. Yes, I’m Alliefitfoodie on all of my social media sites. Go find me and follow me! Go now! Hurry!
I must say I’m still in the honeymoon phase of all this paleo meal creation business. But you know, I don’t see how this fun can possibly ever end in that the recipe options for a paleo diet are limitless which makes me fall even deeper in love with the paleo lifestyle daily! The ability to make things like rice and couscous out of vegetables is still super exciting to me, which is why I’m addicted! You know, the whole “I can turn anything paleo” mentality? SO IN LOVE with the paleo lifestyle and what can be done with whole, clean, real, unprocessed, unrefined food! Who knew? Did I mention I’m in love with paleo?
And finally… the recipe!
Chicken recipe and instructions:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water
6 oz tomato paste (organic and make sure under ingredients it only has tomatoes)
2 tbsp chili powder (more or less depending on your liking for spicy stuff)
2 tbsp crushed red pepper (more or less depending on your liking for spicy stuff)
2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves of garlic minced/chopped
1 onion chopped (white, red, yellow, whatever your preference)
Cilantro, about a good size bunch (you can add to the chicken, rice and/or use as garnish)
I don’t cook with salt but if you like you can add salt to your taste, same for pepper.
All you need to do is dump everything into your crock-pot, then cook on low for about 12 hours. While still in the crock-pot, before eating it (so 12 hours later), mix it all together to “shred” the chicken. It’s super tender at this point so you really only need to stir it around a bit for the chicken to wonderfully and magically fall apart. Voila! Shredded chicken!
Rice recipe and instructions:
Now for the rice. I use a mix of veggies, but you can use whatever you like (such as just cauliflower). My mix includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and carrots, and I find it to be much more flavorful with the mixed veggies. As for quantity I go big. Always. Did you see this post of mine?
With the veggies, I just dump in as much as I think I’m going to eat, probably at least 2 cups raw (pre chopped) into Cuisi (my Cuisinart food processor). Yes, I personify inanimate objects as you may have noticed in that my crock-pot has a name as well. Dump your veggies into your food processor and chop until the consistency is to your liking. Sometimes I go more fine when I want a couscous consistency instead of rice.
You can fry up the rice in whatever fat you choose. I like the taste of it with olive oil. Add your fat of choice to a fry pan, then add the chopped veggies and cook covered on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes. Next I added some sauce from the crock-pot of chicken, and some additional seasoning (the spicy stuff) to the rice. Cover it again and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so. I watch it a bit. I want the flavor of the sauce to absorb into the rice, but I don’t want my rice super mushy. It’s a bit of a delicate balance. I did this as leftovers another day this week, and when I made the rice I dumped the sauce AND chicken in with it to cook. That was delish also!
That’s it! Plate it and eat it! Of course this recipe would also be great with paleo guacamole, just avocado, chopped tomatoes, lettuce or any other Mexican or Spanish style condiment you wish.
The 4 chicken breasts makes for quite a few meals. I like having leftovers, but you can always use less meat if leftovers aren’t your thing. If you use less meat, you’d also likely want to adjust the seasonings per your taste. That would be weird though, if someone didn’t like leftovers. I find they taste better a lot of the time since the sauces, seasonings and such have more of a chance to intermingle. The rice I make to eat for each meal, but you can have that as leftovers as well.
This is Crockie, Cuisi and me, Alliefitfoodie, signing off and leaving you to explore the wondrous world of paleo crock-pot cooking!