|Chicken thighs, slow cooked in a seasoned Creole sauce with The Trinity, and served with fettuccine noodles.|
Crockpot Creole ChickenThis Creole Crockpot Chicken recipe was born out of me still trying to learn to love my crockpot, especially for chicken. I'm a low and slow oven kinda gal, and you see, chicken in a slow cooker, even dark meat chicken, that goes longer than it should, well... it can easily transform to the shredded stage, kinda like this...
More like pulled chicken. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It was still good.
With that particular recipe I ended up getting distracted with time and figured it wouldn't matter if I let the chicken go longer before I got to it. Well, when I tried to take it out, it all just fell off the bone. I ended up fishing out the bones and stirring it all up, and making some pasta to spoon the chicken over. Lesson learned. Not at all bad. It's just that I kind of prefer my chicken end up identifiable!
My experience with chicken breasts in the crockpot in the past hasn't been much better either, often ending in dry and tasteless, chewy chicken. Chicken breasts in a crockpot, especially boneless, skinless chicken breasts, generally take a very short trip, even on low. Not all that helpful for a working man or woman who is away from the house for 9 or 10 hours.
So... I guess as far as using a slow cooker, I'm still a work in progress.
For this recipe, I whisked together a cup of Coca Cola Classic with some tomato sauce since I thought the Coke might help to boost the flavor like with my Crockpot Coca Cola Roast Beef. Then I added a healthy dose of Creole seasoning, and some basil and garlic powder, and tossed in some chopped onion, celery and coarsely chopped green bell pepper.
Instead of a whole chicken or a combo, I focused on dark meat again, using mostly chicken thighs and one package of thighs that had a couple of legs in it. Remove the skin from chicken before cooking to reduce the accumulated fat in the crockpot. I don't usually bother, unless I intend to make the drippings a central feature. Make sure that you generously season your chicken here with salt and pepper before it hits the crock. I forgot to do that before I snapped the photo. Then pour the sauce over and around the chicken.
Cover and cook on low about 6 hours. I would have added some fresh mushrooms but I didn't have any and I was out of canned too. Add them in the last ten minutes of cooking if you like. Skim off any excess fat from the top and spoon some of the sauce into the cooked and drained pasta to coat, then serve the chicken alongside the noodles with another veggie or a nice side salad.
I used Zatarain's Big & Zesty original Creole seasoning, which is a big flake seasoning pictured below. If you substitute a more finely ground Cajun or Creole seasoning, such as Slap Ya Mama or Tony's, you'll probably want to reduce it significantly, and also, be a little more frugal with salt.
Recipe: Creole Chicken in the Crockpot©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 6 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 3-4 pounds of chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of classic Coca-cola
- 2 tablespoons of Zatarain's Big & Zesty Creole seasoning, or your favorite Cajun/Creole seasoning, to taste
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of chopped celery
- 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms, optional
- Fettuccine or other wide pasta, cooked al dente
Remove skin from chicken to reduce excess fat if desired. Season the chicken on both sides generously with salt and pepper; add to a 6 quart slow cooker. Whisk together the tomato sauce, Coke, Creole seasoning, basil and garlic powder. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and whisk. Pour over the chicken, cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. Add fresh, sliced mushrooms if desired, in last 10 minutes of cooking. Skim off any excess fat from the top and spoon some of the sauce into the cooked and drained pasta to coat, then serve the chicken alongside the noodles with another veggie or a nice side salad.
Variation: Try this with some nice bone-in pork chops. Use 4 to 6 1/2-inch thick chops and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Brown the chops for color before transferring to the crockpot if desired.
Note: I used Zatarain's Big & Zesty original Creole seasoning, which is a big flake seasoning pictured in the post above. If you substitute a more finely ground Cajun or Creole seasoning, such as Slap Ya Mama, you'll probably want to reduce it significantly, and be a little more frugal with the salt.
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