Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Freezer to Crock Pot Chicken and Corn Soup

Since becoming pregnant this Spring, I've had just about zero energy and motivation to do anything. On top of having all-day-sickness, cooking dinner has been the last thing I've wanted to do lately. Thank goodness for Pinterest! Meals that go from the freezer to the crock pot are all the rage right now, and with good reason!

Most recipes I've seen will make you two dinners, serving 4-6 people and they take minutes to put together. The most time consuming part is chopping veggies, but that's not really hard to do anyway. So last weekend, I picked three different freezer to crock pot recipes (which makes 6 dinners!), and they took me less than an hour to put together. It probably would have taken me even less time had I not been nursing a tweaked lower back... I was pretty slow movin. Anyway, we had this lovely for dinner last night, and it was fantastic!

Something about this soup screamed, "Season me with Old Bay!". So I did, and the flavors meshed together perfectly!! As you can see in the picture I used shredded chicken breast, because I already had some cooked and frozen. So I'm thinking you can use any type of chicken you want here. The next time I make this, I'm going to add more veggies. The soup was great on it's own, but some carrots and zucchini would be great in here, and fresh celery added the day of b/c celery doesn't freeze well. Some freshly torn kale would also be great thrown in the last 30 minutes of cooking also. You might need to add more broth if you add more veggies, just keep that in mind. I also decided to add four cups (instead of two cups) of chicken broth because it didn't have enough liquid in my opinion.

One more thing I want to mention is to make sure you're using the proper size of crock pot for cooking. If you've ever had an issue with cooking in the crock pot, you might be using the wrong size for your recipe. Did you know your crock pot should be at least 2/3 full? I must have forgotten that, because I tried another freezer to crock pot meal, and it barely filled my crock pot 1/3 of the way and at the end of cooking, all I had was a pot of mush. I don't prefer to eat mush for dinner. It makes me sad. So, for recipes like this, that maybe come half way up a larger crock pot (mine is a 6 quart), you might want to invest in a smaller 3 quart crock pot. They're about $15, so thankfully it's not a big ticket item! I don't have a small one yet, so I've been checking my recipes about half way through cooking time, and it's worked OK, but I do plan on picking up a small crock pot this week.

We served this soup with a salad and some homemade whole wheat biscuits. It was delightful! I'm so happy I still have another bag of it in my freezer!!

Chicken and Corn Soup from Love, Eat, Feast

1 lb red potatoes
1 lb sweet potatoes
4 lbs chicken thighs
4 cups chicken broth, I used 8 (which I will add the morning of)
4 scallions
4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1 bag frozen corn
2 red peppers chopped

Mix all of the ingredients for each recipe together and divide evenly into two, 1 gallon sized freezer bags per recipe. Seal, and freeze. On the day of, thaw the bag on the counter for about 30 minutes (I didn't do this, I just whacked mine on the counter a few times until all of the clumps broke up into pieces), dump into the crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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