Friday, February 18, 2011

Tales From the Crock Pot Rookie...

Well my third crock pot chicken adventure was a FLOP.
Promise to self: I will never cook chicken for 8 hours. EVER.

I tested out a pesto ricotta stuffed chicken recipe a friend gave me, and the stuffing and sauce tasted so good, but the chicken was just overcooked and dry. It was trash.

When in doubt, make pasta!

I cooked up some whole grain pasta and tossed it with some bell peppers, olive oil, salt, pepper, and leftover (not that had been stuffed! eww) ricotta, and pesto, and a bit of the mushroom & white wine sauce from the chicken (not so eww)
And we had decent enough dinner.

I tend to make what I call "kitchen sink pasta" all the time...mostly for myself because the combinations I come up with scare the boyfriend.  And they are always best with fresh mozzarella chunks, or other cheese. I have added olive tapenade, wilted spinach, and all kinds of other leftovers and it always turns out great! (to me!)

So, I learned I need to figure out a way to pound chicken thinner, because the stuffed chicken rolls were more like struggling fat tacos. I also learned....DO NOT EVER COOK white meat chicken breast for more than 3-4 hours. Just stop doing it.

I meant to do it for 3 hours, but it got late, so I changed it to 8 hours on low instead...lazy.

I am going to try this recipe again sometime and not screw it up!

Here is the recipe  (Thanks Katie!):

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breast (makes 6 servings)

1 cup - ricotta cheese
¼ cup - Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup - prepared pesto sauce
6 - Chicken breast, pounded thin
salt and pepper
½ can (10 3/4oz) - condensed cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup - milk
¼ cup - white wine

In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and pesto. Place a dollop of the pesto-ricotta mixture on each chicken breast. Roll up each chicken breast and secure with a wooden pick or cooking string. Season each roll with salt and pepper. Arrange the rolls in the slow cooker.
In a small bowl whisk together the soup, milk, and white wine. Pour the sauce over the chicken breast rolls.
Cover; cook on low 4 to 6hrs (or on high 3 to 4 hrs).
Garnish each chicken breast with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves. (optional)

Oh, and just wait for more rookie stories, because I finally just took my sewing machine out of the box yesterday... YIKES.