Friday, September 13, 2013

Salsa Chicken in the Crock Pot

I've been cooking a lot more lately, trying to slow down spending on meals out. I still shop at Dollar Tree, but I've also broadened my horizons where I can. (I'll need to do a separate post on Aldi soon!) Reddit has some great discussion boards (subreddits) on both budgeting and cooking: /r/frugal/, /r/budgetfood, and /r/slowcooking.

The Slow Cooking subreddit turned me on to Salsa Chicken. This was super easy to cook in the crock pot, and I'd highly recommend it.

All you need is:
  • A couple of chicken breasts. (I defrosted a couple of huge ones we bought at Jewel when chicken was on sale for $1.99/pound.)
  • A jar of salsa. (That would be Dollar Tree's finest $1 medium chunky salsa, thank you very much.)
  • A packet of taco seasoning. (How much? Don't remember. Probably $.79 from Family Dollar.) 
  • Peppers. (I bought a bag of little sweet peppers at Aldi for $1.49. They aren't always very good; I should have just bought a couple of big red peppers. A few of these little ones were crappy and I threw them out. The others worked out okay, though.)
  • Geen onion. (I only had dehydrated onion bits handy, so a neighbor came up with some green onions for me to chop up and add to the mix.)
  • Can of black beans. (I was worried that a whole can would be too much, but it worked out fine. I strained the beans before adding them. $1 at Dollar Tree.)
  • Can of sweet corn. (I was also worried that a whole can would be too much, but it was fine. I strained these as well. Nobody wants to drink corn juice. $.79 from Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, I forget which.)
  • Whole large tomato, diced. (I had a tomato left over from checking out the new Trader Joe's by our house. It was $.79. I actually felt TJ's produce was kind of beat up. I'm glad I checked it out, but I probably won't be buying produce there again.)
I sliced the chicken into 1/2 inch or one inch slices or so. Then I just mixed everything up in the crock pot, and made sure the chicken was mostly covered. I cooked it in the crock pot, on low, for about nine and a half hours. This came out fantastically well. You didn't even need a knife to cut the chicken. We ate this with tortilla chips.

Not counting the chips or green onions, this cost under $8 to make a huge dinner for two, with leftovers. We could have comfortably fed one or two more people. And you don't have to add peppers or seasoning. If you only have corn or beans (and not both), you could have just added one. I also didn't need to add the extra tomato, was just using up what I had around.

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