Slow Cooker Chicken Azteca

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Azteca

Chicken Azteca is a satisfying dish in which chicken breasts are covered with traditional Southwestern-style ingredients such as salsa, corn, black beans, green chilies, garlic and cumin. About thirty minutes prior to serving, cubes of cream cheese are added to the sauce and allowed to melt, forming a deliciously creamy sauce. Chicken Azteca may be served over rice and topped off with shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast, a good way to keep the heat down in the kitchen in the summertime is to utilize a slow cooker or Crock Pot. This week in Charlotte has been exceedingly hot, in fact it feels like a blow dryer on high heat when I walk out the door, so I was grateful to have this recipe in my file box to pull out and prepare for supper one night.

Cream cheese just adds a wonderful creaminess to any dish! If you are watching your fat intake, you may substitute reduced-fat cream cheese in this recipe. The green chilies I used were “mild” but feel free to kick the heat up a notch if you so desire. (I’m a wimp when it comes to “spicy hot” food!) I used fresh corn in this recipe because I had some on hand but you could use frozen or even canned corn with successful results.

I always rinse and drain black beans before adding them to any recipe. Salsa is mixed with the vegetables and placed in the slow cooker, then the chicken breasts are added and additional salsa spooned over the top of the chicken. This recipe specified chopping the chicken before serving  but I preferred to leave the chicken breasts intact to be able to serve an entire chicken breast to each person. This is a nice option though in case an additional person showed up for supper the chicken could be chopped up to make it go further!

Chicken Azteca – The Recipe

Chicken Azteca
Serves 5
Chicken breasts covered with a creamy sauce containing cream cheese, black beans, corn, salsa, garlic and cumin. Serve over rice and top with Cheddar cheese.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained
  2. 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1-2 cups salsa, divided
  6. 1 4-oz. can mild diced green chilies
  7. 5 boneless chicken breasts
  8. 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cubed (may use reduced-fat version)
  9. Cooked Rice
  10. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine beans, corn, garlic, cumin, green chilies and half of salsa in slow cooker.
  2. Arrange chicken breasts over top. Pour remaining salsa over top of chicken.
  3. Cover. Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-6 hours.
  4. Remove chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Return to cooker.
  5. Stir in cream cheese. Cook on high until cream cheese melts.
  6. Spoon chicken and sauce over cooked rice. Top with shredded cheese, if desired.
Notes
  1. Chicken breasts may be left whole instead of chopping them up - your choice.
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 Black Beans

Just a few words about black beans are in order. Recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health. Black beans are a good source of fiber and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. With a low glycemic index, black beans have about 114 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Black beans are also called turtle beans and are a staple in the cuisines of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Another great fact about black beans is that there is little difference in the nutritional value of canned black beans and those that you cook yourself from the dried state. If canned black beans are more convenient then use them.

Try this recipe soon – I know you’ll enjoy the creamy sauce with the Southwestern flavors with chicken!

Beat the heat by using your slow cooker this summer!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast

 

Cranberry Pork Roast

Whole cranberry sauce, brown sugar and mustard combine to add great flavor to a pork loin cooked until tender in the slow cooker. What a delicious entrée to come home to at the end of a busy day!

Slow cookers, used instead of the oven, can help keep the house cooler during the summer months, too! For make-ahead convenience, food items may be placed in the removable crock insert the night before, covered and refrigerated overnight and placed in the slow cooker in the morning.

When cooking a roast weighing 3 pounds or more, as for Cranberry Pork Roast, cut it in half before placing it in the slow cooker to ensure thorough cooking.

Excess fat should be trimmed from meat before placing it in the slow cooker. A slow cooker retains heat, and large amounts of fat could raise the temperature of the cooking liquid, causing the meat to overcook and become tough.

Cranberry Pork Roast Recipe

Cranberry Pork Roast
Serves 8
Pork loin covered with a mixture of whole berry cranberry sauce, brown sugar, and mustard, cooked in the slow cooker.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 3-lb. lean boneless pork loin roast
  2. 1 16-oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  5. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  6. 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from roast; cut roast in half crosswise. Place in a 4-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray.
  2. Combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, and mustard; pour over roast.
  3. Cover with lid; cook on high heat setting for 1 hour. Reduce to low heat setting and cook 6 hours.
  4. Remove roast from slow cooker, reserving cranberry mixture in cooker. Set roast aside; keep warm.
  5. Combine cornstarch and water in a 1-quart glass measure or bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended.
  6. Gradually stir reserved cranberry mixture into cornstarch mixture. Microwave at high for 2 minutes or until thick, stirring after 1 minute. Serve sauce with roast.
Notes
  1. Serve with your choice of vegetables and/or salad. Good with corn in the summertime!
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 A Few Closing Thoughts

Cranberry Pork Roast is so tender that the meat just shredded when I tried to slice it! I used my homemade whole berry cranberry sauce in this recipe. If you’d like to see how to make your own cranberry sauce click here. Of course you may have to wait until late fall to find cranberries available in the stores! Homemade Cranberry Sauce is so good and it’s really not difficult to make.

Slow cookers first arrived on the scene in 1971 with Rival’s Crock Pot. Millions of Crock Pots were sold in the 70’s as they were marketed to working women who could put food in the slow cooker before leaving for work and come home to a hot cooked meal. Slow cookers are as popular today – in 2011 Consumer Reports survey results found that 83% of American families owned a slow cooker.

When cooking a large amount of food for a crowd, don’t forget to utilize the slow cooker. At Thanksgiving I prepare a Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole that I like much better than the traditional Green Bean Casserole. Using the slow cooker frees up the oven for the turkey, dressing and other baked foods. Check out Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole by clicking here. This recipe would be great prepared with fresh green beans in season currently!

Beat the heat by using your slow cooker to prepare some meals this summer!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

*If you’d like to receive new Silver Foodie posts automatically, please enter your e-mail address in the space under “Silver Foodie Updates” on the right side bar, then click “Sign up.” Thank you!

For a list of link parties in which I participate weekly, please click on “Link Parties” on the header menu bar or scroll down the right sidebar.