I’m back to my slow cooker this week, concocting another recipe following one of my favorite formulas:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts + 1 can of cream of mushroom soup + 1/4 cup of another wet ingredient + a few tablespoons of dry seasoning = YUM
This time I’ve adapted one of my favorite Weight Watchers’ recipes into one I can throw into my Crock Pot. I love strong flavors, so Dijon mustard is a favorite of mine anyway–combine it with balsamic vinegar and some sliced mushroom and it’s a big hit at my house.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2-4 tbsp ground mustard
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
10-12 fresh mushrooms, washed (one small/normal sized foam container, white button or baby bella)
1. Throw everything except the mushrooms into your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for six hours, or on high for three hours.
2. Midway through the cooking cycle, use metal tongs to flip the chicken breasts over. The chicken may be tender enough to begin shredding with the tongs, and you should–before you add the mushrooms.
3. Slice up those mushrooms and add them to the chicken mixture. (You can add them at the beginning of the cooking cycle, but sometimes all that heat cooks the ‘shrooms so thoroughly that their texture becomes an issue with picky eaters. Add them in the beginning if you must, but I usually throw them in halfway through. Or add them toward the end of the cooking cycle, but give them at least thirty minutes of slow-cooker heat in order to avoid serving up raw mushrooms with your delicious Dijon chicken.) Now is also a great time to grind some black pepper in there, if you’re into that kind of thing.
My finished product was not very pretty, but a whole lot tastier than this photo makes it look. I served it next to whole wheat penne topped with grated asiago and cracked black pepper.
Footnotes (my specific advice to you is underlined below)
- In the end the mixture was too dry to serve over rice or to incorporate into pasta, which were my original intentions. I could have made a sandwich with it if I’d had foccacia or other crusty type of roll. Next time I’ll add 1/2 c of broth at the beginning of the cooking so that when I serve the mixture over rice, the juices find their way to the bottom of the bowl and flavor is all over the place.
- I should have thought to add whole cloves of garlic. Dammit Jim, why didn’t I think of that? They would have slow cooked into sweet dollops of savory goodness after six hours and added that element of delightfulness which only roasted garlic can add to my plate. Garlic bread also would have been a good choice for a starch.
- Mustard is full of salt, so hold off on adding The Silent Killer during the prep and cooking and allow each person at the dinner table make that choice for his or herself. We all consume too much sodium to begin with, so just take it easy.
- I realize I failed to use a green vegetable to really pull this meal together, but that felt really ambitious. What vegetable side could complement such strong flavors as Dijon and balsamic vinegar? Comment with your ideas
- My kiddo taste-tested two bites and didn’t care for it (made me wonder if I should have omitted the dry ground mustard?). I was bummed, but whipped up a veggie burger for her while I daydreamed about all the leftovers I will enjoy tomorrow.