I know many of your are busy planning for your Christmas celebrations today, but bookmark this easy and comforting slow cooker recipe for those busy post-holiday nights when real life is back in full swing.
I've always been a big fan of my slow cooker, but now that I'm pregnant it's become a crucial element in my kitchen. Sometimes the slow cooker is the only thing that will guarantee we're not ordering takeout three weeknights in a row. With my slow cooker though, I can make sure that we're having a real dinner after a long day at work. And all of the work (with the exception of boiling some pasta) can be done the night before! I made this super flavorful chicken for dinner during the busy week after Thanksgiving and I think it would be ideal as a post-Christmas or New Year meal since it's both easy and healthy.
This chicken recipe is one of my favorites: it's full of rich flavor from a combination of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar that only intensifies as it cooks all day. The chicken stays moist and takes on a wonderful fork tender quality from the slow cooking process. I added shallots and carrots to the mixture because they add nice sweetness and stand up really well to slow cooking for several hours. You could add mushrooms to this as well and they'd hold up nicely too. You can put this all together the night before or in the morning before you leave. When you get home, all you need to do is cook some pasta or rice, discard the bay leaf, and enjoy!
- 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14.5-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pasta, orzo, or rice, for serving
Drizzle olive oil evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker vessel. Add chicken breasts in an even layer and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the shallots and carrots evenly into the slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, combine garlic, tomatoes, broth, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasoning, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over the chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker. Add bay leaf.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Remove bay leaf and serve hot over cooked pasta, orzo, or rice.