I love to use the slow cooker in cooler months. I can make meals in bulk that freeze well for days when I am too busy to cook. I usually cook an whole container of brown rice and freeze in 1 cup servings for later use as well. As always, read your labels carefully as they can change at any time, and note that some folks report issues with eating chickens that have been fed soy.
Many people swear by browning your meat before placing it in the crock pot, but I think that defeats the purpose of a quick and easy meal with little clean-up. Also, make sure that once you start the crock pot, you do not take off the lid until it is done. I have read that every time you take off the lid, it adds 20-30 minutes of cooking time to the slow cooker.
It’s also super easy to make your own cream of mushroom if you have an extra couple of minutes. You really just need some milk or heavy cream, sliced mushrooms, some spices, and a little soy free flour in case you need to thicken the sauce. Just add it to the crock pot, and voila!
Slow Cooker Chicken With Mushroom Gravy
16 pieces chicken tenderloins
1 cup mushrooms (you can use any mushroom here, but I use shiitake)
2 containers 12 oz. Pacific Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup and 12 oz. milk
Onion Flakes, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper to Taste
I also add: Penzey’s Old World Seasoning (1 tsp) and a pinch of Penzey’s Berbere
2 cups Brown Rice (pasta is also great)
Green peas and carrots also make great additions to this recipe.
Place all ingredients except rice in crock pot and cook on high for four hours. Cook brown rice according to package directions. Serve or freezer in individual servings.
Makes 6-8 servings. Great side dishes include spinach or english peas (be careful of other legumes if you haven’t tested them.)