Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chicken With Italian Sausage (Crock Pot Meal)


Hard to believe this meal came out of a Crock Pot! It is definitely one of our new favorite meals! We're having it again tonight, but above is a photo of the finished product from the last time I made it!

Recipe adapted from: "Crock Pot - The Original Slow Cooker - Recipe Collection" cookbook

Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces bulk mild Italian sausage (you could use hot if you like more spice) (original recipe called for only 10 ounces but our grocery store sells them in 16 oz packages and I didn't go through the work of breaking them up into 10 oz packages).
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs (original recipe called for 6 boneless/skinless thighs, but for our family, we do 4 to a meal and I leave the bone in to cook - see directions below for removing bones after cooking)
  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans - rinsed & drained (I use Great Northern Beans)
  • 1 can (15 oz) red beans - rinsed & drained (I use Dark Red Kidney Beans)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (you can also use 1 chicken bullion cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water) - I like Swanson broths (I can usually always get a good deal when they are B1G1F and I have a coupon)
  • 1 medium onion chopped (you can use white or yellow onion here - I have not tried it with red though)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • chopped parsley (fresh or dried - for the top - this doesn't go in the Crock)
  • 3 packages "boil in a bag" brown rice (we like Uncle Ben's)
NOTE: all photos below show the above recipe step by step, but I've DOUBLED it for tonight's meal. Sorry if there is any confusion!

 1.Brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat (I add a little olive oil to the pan & heat the oil first, then brown the meat) - make sure you break the meat up in small pieces as you go to ensure it's thoroughly cooked.


2. Drain fat/grease and place sausage in bottom of Crock Pot.

3. Trim excess fat from chicken (as I stated above I use fewer thighs for this recipe and leave the bone in for cooking. I buy my thighs with skin on them - they are much cheaper that way - I get them for roughly 99 cents a pound - and just remove the skin when I trim the excess fat).

4. Place chicken on top of sausage.

5. Add beans over chicken.

6. Pour broth over the above items.

7. Add chopped onion on top (I spread it out to an even layer so it cooks up nicely).
8. Sprinkle pepper and salt over top of the onions.

9. Cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours (DO NOT STIR!!!)
10. When there is about 20 minutes left on the cook time, start water for rice & cook as directed - it should finish exactly at the same time as the meal.
11. When cook time is complete, carefully use tongs to remove chicken thighs from the crock - trying REALLY hard not to shake loose any meat/fat/small bones in the process. The goal here is to get the cooked thighs out WHOLE.
12. Pull / shred chicken meat from thighs getting rid of any fat / cartilage / bones.
13. Return chicken to Crock and stir all of it together.
14. Place some rice on a plate.
15. Spoon chicken/sausage mixture from Crock over rice.
16. Sprinkle top with parsley.

Enjoy!

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