While we’re remodeling this house, I’m super excited that I’ve been able to find so many of you that are willing to post on Fridays for me. Today we have Kim Morefield from A Morefield Life. Thanks Kim!
Being a busy mom of 4 small children, I absolutely love all-in-one-meals. Add the worry-free benefit of a crock pot and you have a recipe for extra time with your family instead of time slaving in the kitchen! Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still have the smiling faces and empty plates because yumminess and wholesome goodness is still an important part of any meal in our family equation – it’ll just take less time, and time is something we all could use more of, right?
I will give the basic recipe I used, but feel free to tweak it according to your schedule, needs, and family preferences. Since I am home for summer break and not teaching, I was able to add rice and veggies later in the process to make it an all-in-one meal. If I were using this recipe on a busy school day when I couldn’t be home to add the variations below (rice, broccoli, etc.), I might alter it by simply boiling some wheat noodles and steaming some veggies to go with the main course.
Place chicken in crock pot, turn on the low setting. Then, in a small sauce pan, melt butter & saute mushrooms a few minutes until tender. Add garlic, turning to brown for only a few seconds, then add whole wheat flour, mixing together, making sure that all the flour is wet. Slowly pour and mix milk constantly stirring with fork. It will be lumpy at first, but have no fear – it will thicken! Add Italian herbs & salt & stir. This will be a very thick gravy, a MUCH healthier counterpart to the far inferior Campbell’s condensed with its MSGs and trans fats.
Now I know as you read this, you may be thinking that this sounds too difficult to be a fix it & forget it meal, but it only takes a few minutes to stir up home style, hearty, and healthy yumminess. If you are rushed like me on a wild school morning, you can easily make the cream sauce the night before and refrigerate overnight, then simply throw it all in the crock pot in the morning before you rush out the door.
I simply put the thick gravy on top of my chicken, and close the lid! I then proceeded to enjoy a wonderful day in the great outdoors, working with my family in our garden, and planting lots of flowers. Occasionally we would wonder in doors for bathroom breaks (ok frequently with 3 girls!) and water breaks to smell the wonderful aroma of a hassle free dinner in the works!
Cook 7-9 hours. I cooked mine right at 9 hours, but it easily could have been shortened.
Easy Add ins:
With 2 hours before dinner time, add in 1 cup of rice (wild rice takes about 2 ½ hours) and anywhere from 1-2 cups warm water or (organic) chicken broth. The ratio for rice to water is approximately 1:2. I estimated that my chicken had about 1/2 cup of juices so I only added 1½ cup. You may need to add a little more depending on your chicken & its juices.
As a side note, I never use warm tap water to cook as this comes from sitting in your water heater. Instead, I use our filtered water and heat it in a sauce pan until warm. You never want to add cold water to your already cooking crock pot as this will slow down cook time.
With 1 hour left, add fresh veggies. Broccoli is a hit at our house, but carrots, asparagus, peas or your favorite vegetable would go nicely as well! You will want to check after about 30 minutes or so because no one wants to eat mushy veggies, especially peas! Mine was ready after 45 minutes, so dinner was served and momma got to play in her garden & flowers all day!!
I had made some rolls with our freshly ground wheat using our whole wheat bread recipe the night before & they paired great with our easy casserole dinner. There were smiling, dirty faces and empty plates and seconds to go around!
Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken & Rice Casserole (with Dairy Free option)
2 lbs boneless chicken (we use Gerber Amish chicken–no antibiotics/hormones)
~ mine was frozen and I did not thaw – simply place in crock pot frozen (this is the fix it & forget it part!)
4 tsp butter
4 whole mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
½ cup whole wheat flour (we grind ours, but feel free to use any flour)
1 ½ cups milk
1/8 cup Italian herbs
1 tsp salt (depending on taste/preference)
Optional add ins/variations:
1 cup rice
1-2 cups water or chicken broth (we use organic)
2 cups fresh veggies – I used broccoli, but peas, carrots, asparagus, etc. would fit nicely as well!
Place chicken in crock pot, turn on the low setting. Then, in a small sauce pan, melt butter & saute mushrooms a few minutes until tender. Add garlic, turning to brown for only a few seconds, then add whole wheat flour, mixing together, making sure that all the flour is wet. Slowly pour and mix milk constantly stirring with fork. It will be lumpy at first, but have no fear – it will thicken! Add Italian herbs & salt & stir.
Pour the thick gravy on top of the chicken, and close the lid. Cook on low for 7-9 hours total.
With 2 hours before dinner time, add in 1 cup of rice (wild rice takes about 2 ½ hours) and anywhere from 1-2 cups warm water or (organic) chicken broth. The ratio for rice to water is approximately 1:2.
With 1 hour left, add fresh veggies. Check after about 30-45 minutes, cooking only until vegetables are done.
Dairy Free? Simply use olive oil instead of butter and coconut milk.
Hello! We are Scott and Kim Morefield. We live in East Tennessee with our four small children (ages 7, 5, 3, and 1). We blog about parenting, marriage, nutrition & recipes, healthy lifestyle and homesteading at our brand-new site, A Morefield Life. Connect with us on Facebook to stay up to date! If you like what we are doing, please consider helping us grow our new page by joining and we’ll automatically enter you in our giveaway!