Spicy Italian Chicken

IMG_8289This month at Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipes we were challenged to randomly pick a cookbook we received for Christmas last year and then randomly open that cookbook to a recipe and cook it. Picking the cookbook was easy, because I only received one cookbook for Christmas last year. It was from my cousin. Knowing how little time I’ve had with school, she got me a cookbook of slow cooker recipes, Fix-it and Forget-it Big Cookbook. By far it’s not the best cookbook I’ve had the pleasure of cooking out of, but it really is a BIG cookbook of slow cooker recipes.

Fix-It-and-Forget-It-Big-Cookbook-9781561486403I opened up to pages 370 and 371. Four recipes greeted me: Spicy Italian Chicken, Chicken and Veggie Bake, Zesty Italian Chicken (which is basically the same recipe as the Spicy Italian Chicken by the way), and Creamy Italian Chicken. I closed my eyes, pointed at the page, and it landed on the Spicy Italian Chicken. Though who knows how guided my finger was, because it did look like the best recipe of the four.

I’ve been super skeptical about this recipe. It’s made with salad dressing. Salad dressing? Chicken? Slow cooker? This just didn’t sound horribly exciting.

And really, it wasn’t horribly exciting. It wasn’t bad, in fact it paired well with the side dishes. The first night I served it over rice (as suggested in the cookbook) with a zucchini bake (which I’ll share the recipe for tomorrow.)  Tonight I had the rest of it with mashed potatoes with a lot of garlic and cheese. But, it wasn’t the best slow cooker recipe I’ve made.

No complaints though – this was a random recipe!

Spicy Italian Chicken

1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (I used Kraft fat free Zesty Italian)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water


1. Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients except the chicken, cornstarch, and water in the slow cooker.

2. Add the chicken to the slow cooker and turn to coat.

3. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.

4. After the chicken is cooked, remove and keep warm.

5. In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch and cold water. Add the cooking juices from the slow cooker gradually. Stir and bring to a boil, until thickened.

6. Pour the sauce over chicken and serve over either rice or noodles (or mashed potatoes even!)

* serves 4
* Shared with Random Recipes, Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, & Wednesday Extravaganza



Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew



This will probably be the last slow cooked recipe you see for a month. I’m done with school! This meal was made for last night because I had an evening final. I have one more evening final on the 4th, but I decided to make an easy salad that night (maybe I’ll start sharing my meal plans again, because why not?) Yeah, I think I will.. They will be listed at the top of the blog with the other links once I get it up.

Anyway, because I’ll be home in the evenings for the next month I’ll have time to cook! Wahoo! But next semester is going to be even crazier than this one; I have late classes three days a week. But then.. Then I’ll be done. If I pass.

This was a really easy recipe. It didn’t take any culinary skill besides the skill of dumping. But it tasted good and it lasted more than one meal. Tonight I made biscuits with fresh oregano from my AeroGarden to go with it and it was perfect and full of carbs.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
5 red potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
4 (10-oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp chicken bouillon
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 (16-oz) bag frozen mixed vegetables


1. Combine the chicken, potatoes, carrot, soup, bouillon, garlic, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 7 hours.

2. Add the frozen mixed vegetables. Reduce slow cooker to low and cook for 1 more hour.

* makes about 8 servings
* Shared with Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, & Weekend Potluck

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin Two Ways

This month at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching the movie Julie & Julia. The movie is about a blogger, Julie Powell, who blogs for one year, making each one of Julia Child’s recipes from the famous cookbook The Art of French Cooking.

When this movie first came out I saw it with my mom in theaters. We both loved it so much that I bought her Julia Child’s cookbook for Christmas. For Mother’s Day she requested from my brother and me that we make her Boeuf Bourguignon. It was time consuming when we made it, but at least we didn’t have the same disaster Julie did when she made it. That was the first Julia Child recipe I made. It was yummy, but a lot of her recipes are far too time consuming for my typical day-to-day cooking.

(Meryl Streep plays an excellent Julia Child.)

For my recipe this month I had planned to make something with Hollandaise sauce. But the night I was making the dinner, it just flopped. The sauce was butter. I wasn’t about to pour melted butter onto a dish if it wasn’t at least sauce. So I left the sauce off and had my asparagus plain. I went back to the drawing board.

I was googling around looking at Julia Child recipes to make and I somehow stumbled upon this slow cooker recipe. This was the solution for the time consuming French food! Make it in a slow cooker! I use my slow cooker every Monday and I cook enough food to get at least two meals out of it – sometimes I get more. And actually, even though I’m presenting this dish as Coq Au Vin two ways, I actually still have more in the fridge that I’m probably going to make a sandwich out of tomorrow for lunch. But anyway, I decided to skip all the Julia Child’s technique and use the slow cooker instead.

Coming home from class yesterday to my house smelling like delicious, delicious chicken. And the flavors in my mouth were even more than I had hoped for. The dish was great. It was definitely more work for a slow cooker meal than I usually put in, but that had a great impact on the flavor of the dish.

This rendition of a Julia Child’s dish was perfect. I’m sure Julia wouldn’t exactly be proud of me tossing things in a slow cooker and walking away . . . But hey, sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do to get yummy food. And I switched the cognac for marsala, but it’s just because I couldn’t justify buying cognac when I don’t really drink ever.

I’ll break down the recipes like this: First I’ll post the crock pot recipe for the chicken. Then I’ll breakdown each dish into it’s own mini-recipe using the slow cooked chicken. And shoot – I know Julia Child would not be happy with this pasta bake coq au vin, but I had class until 8:15! I’m looking for simplicity!

The entire recipe makes 6 servings. Each mini-recipe makes 2 servings.

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

6 chicken thighs
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 onion, sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup marsala wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf


1. In a large ziplock bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and chicken. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with flour.

2. In a skillet heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, allowing to brown. Stir the remainder of the flour from the bag into the skillet. Remove the browned chicken and any juice and place in the slow cooker.

3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Saute the bacon, mushrooms, and onions for about 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Drain any excess fat from the skillet and add the mushrooms, onions, and bacon to the slow cooker.

4. Mix together the wines, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

DAY 1: Coq Au Vin and Mashed Potatoes

1/3 coq au vin
4 red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 tbsp half&half
3 tbsp margarine
salt to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

2. Add the half&half, margarine, and salt. Mash the potatoes.

3. Serve the chicken over potatoes.

DAY 2: Coq Au Vin Pasta Bake

1/3 coq au vin
6 oz pasta
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

2. Pull the chicken off the bone and tear into pieces. Stir in the chicken and some of the sauce into the pasta and half the cheese.

3. Top with the remaining cheese.

4. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 for 20 minutes.

* Made for Food ‘n Flix hosted by La Cocina de Leslie (learn about joining this month’s movie watching here!)
* Also being shared with Delicious Dishes, Tuesdays at the Table,  Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesdays, Recipe Box, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, & Wednesday Extravaganza 

Crock Pot Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Two Ways


As the semester comes to an end I’m looking forward to more days of actually being able to make involved meals instead of quick stuff for the nights when I’m in class past 8 p.m.  But as for now, I’m still making my weekly slow cooker meal to make into several meals. Next semester I have three classes instead of two classes in the evening, so that’s going to be even worse.

But then I’ll be done with law school.

This chicken was really good. When I was grocery shopping I found this Hawaiian flavored teriyaki marinade. I decided it would be the perfect accompaniment to my slow cooker meal for the week.

The second night of chicken was made into pita mini pizzas. Two favorite different and delicious dishes!

DAY 1: Crock Pot Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts, defrosted
1 bottle of Hawaiian teriyaki marinade
20 oz can crushed pineapple


1. Place your chicken into the crock pot and cover with the teriyaki. Pour the pineapple on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

2. Once the chicken is done, shred. Serve over rice.

DAY 2: Hawaiian Chicken Pita Mini Pizzas

leftover crock pot Hawaiian teriyaki chicken
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup pizza sauce
2 pitas


1. Smear 1/2 the pizza sauce on each pita. Cover with shredded cheese. Then divide the chicken and tomatoes evenly between the pitas and layer on top of the cheese.

2. Place the pitas on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

* Sharing with Foodie Friday & Foodie Friday

Slowcooker Barbecued Chicken Five Ways

This past week’s slowcooker meal made my life very easy. It made two dinners and three lunches. I sort of felt like I had pulled chicken coming out of my ears there was so much. But it really made my cooking this week easy. I tried to vary the chicken in my meals so it wasn’t the same chicken sandwich over and over again. I think I succeeded!

Out of this one slowcooked chicken recipe I got:

– Pulled chicken sandwiches
– Taco salad
– A pasta dish
– Hash
– Chili

I’ll break down the dishes like this: First I’ll post the slowcooker recipe for the chicken. Then underneath I’ll break down each dish into it’s own mini-recipe using the slowcooked chicken.

The entire recipe makes 10 servings. Each mini-recipe below serves 2.

Slowcooked Barbecued Chicken

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can tomato sauce
3 chipotles in adobo, finely diced
2 tsp of the adobo sauce from the canned chipotles in adobo
1/4 cup orange muscat champagne vinegar (from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced


1. Whisk together the tomato sauce, chiptoles, adobo sauce, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and cayenne.

2. Spray the slowcooker with cooking spray and place the chicken inside.

3. Scatter the onions and garlic evenly over the top of the chicken and pour the sauce over the top.

4. Cook on low for at least 5 hours. I cooked mine for more like 10. Place the chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on. Turn on for a minute, allowing the paddle to shred the chicken. If you don’t have a stand mixer, allow for the chicken to cool enough so that you can touch it and shred it with two forks.

DAY 1: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

1/5 of the barbecued chicken
2 hamburger buns
2 pickles


1. Toast the hamburger buns.

2. Put 1/2 of the chicken onto each bun.

3. Serve with a pickle.

DAY 2: Pulled Chicken Taco Salad

1/5 of the barbecued chicken
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 oz tortilla chips (~30 chips)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tomato, diced
2 tbsp sour cream


1. Take two bowls. Fill each bowl with the tortilla chips. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Place the shredded chicken in the center and top with sour cream. Sprinkle the top with cheese.

DAY 3: Barbecued Chicken Pasta

1/5 of the slowcooker chicken
6 oz pasta in a shape of your choice
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled


1. Put the chicken in an oven proof dish and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.

3. Mix the onion, cheese, and chicken into the pasta.

DAY 4: Barbecue Chicken Hash

1/5 of the chicken
2 red potatoes, diced
2 slices of bread, toasted


1. Mix the chicken and potatoes together in a bowl with your hands.

2. Bake the chicken and potatoes together until the potatoes are tender.

3. Serve with toast.

DAY 5: Barbecued Chicken Chili

1/5 of the chicken
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups chicken broth


1. In a deep pot heat the oil. Cook the onions and garlic until they begin to brown. Add the sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables.

2. Pour in the chicken broth. Mix in the chicken.

3. Heat for about 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

* Shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Slow Cooked Curried Beef

One thing I’m trying to do with my slow cooker meals is make two meals out of one. I don’t mean by that to eat the same meal two days in a row – I mean to make something different with the slow cooked recipe the second night. The last slow cooker meal I made didn’t make it to my blog because I forgot to take a picture – but it was lentil chili. The first night I ate it just as is. The second night I ate it as chili fries. I don’t like eating the same meal multiple nights in the row. It’s one of my quirks. But this a way where I can make use of a big meal over two days.

This is how my Mondays work:

– I wake up at 6 and sit on the couch for a little bit.
– I eat some breakfast.
– I prepare dinner in the crockpot.
– Around 10 a.m. I turn on the crockpot and I go to my Public International Law class until noon.
– I eat lunch in the Student Center.
– I go to back-to-back classes from 1:30-8:15.
– I come home and eat the slow cooked meal.

Tuesdays aren’t quite as crazy:

– I wake up at 6 and get ready for work.
– I work til noon.
– I eat lunch at the Student Center.
– I go to class from 1:30-3:30 and then 6:15-8:15.
– I reconfigure my crockpot meal.

From there my week is downhill and I can cook stuff not in the slow cooker.

Now, back to my curried beef meal. I should have taken a picture of it both nights, but I kind of was hungry when I got home from class tonight so I just chowed it down.

Day 1: Curried Beef over Rice
Day 2: Curried Beef Tacos

Slow Cooked Curried Beef

2 tsp canola oil
2 lbs beef short ribs, trimmed
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup green onions
3 tbsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce

1 cup cooked rice

4 flour tortillas
1/2 tomato, diced
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp sour cream


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Add half the ribs to the pan, cooking 2 minutes on each side. Place the ribs in a slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining ribs.

2. Add the green onions, garlic, and ginger to the pan, sauteing 2 minutes. Stir in the water and curry paste, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Add this mixture to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

3. Remove the ribs from the slow cooker. Shred rib meat with 2 forks. Discard bones.

4. DAY 1 INSTRUCTIONS: Serve beef over 1/2 cup of rice.
DAY 2 INSTRUCTIONS: Reheat curried beef in oven set at 350 for about 20 minutes. Take two small tortillas. Spread with sour cream. Place beef on top of the sour cream. Top with diced tomatoes and feta.

* makes 6 servings of the beef, (DAY 1 & DAY 2 both make 2 serving portions)
DAY 1 CALORIES: 382 calories
DAY 2 CALORIES: 480 calories
* Shared with Tuesdays at the Table, Tasteful Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Recipe Box, & Delicious Dishes

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew


The first week of my last year in law school was this week. Just two semesters left and I’ll have to change the name of my blog. It won’t be the Law Student’s Cookbook anymore, but the Unemployed Law School Graduate’s Cookbook. Well, that is until I pass the bar and hopefully get hired somewhere great. Then my blog will be called The Public Defender’s Cookbook. But more likely it will just need a new name that leaves me unaffiliated with a career. When that day comes . . . No. I can’t even think about it. It’s still so far off.

Anyway, school started this week and I have night classes two days every week. Last semester I had a ton of night classes.
Last semester I also got really fat because I ate out so much. On top of gaining pounds, my wallet got pretty slim. I would prefer things to work in reverse, so I’ve decided I really just need to implement ways that make getting home just before 9PM okay. The number one way this is going to work is if in the morning before I leave for work or school I throw everything for the day into a crockpot. That way when I do get home just 2 hours before my bedtime, I don’t feel like I need to run and get fast food to satiate myself. And frankly, anything I can make at home tastes a million times better than something that comes through a drive through.

This week has been a pretty mellow week compared to what the rest of my semester is going to look like. Two of my classes got cancelled the first week of school, so instead of two nights of needing quick dinners (rather, slow cooked dinners,) I only had one.

During the middle of my Prosecutorial&Defense Ethics my stomach started grumbling. I was happy to find this slow cooker stew when I got home.

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 potato, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup green beans, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry lentils


1. Add everything except for the lentils into a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Add lentils during the last hour of cooking.

* serves 6
* 273 calories per serving
* Shared with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen & What’s Cooking Wednesday

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’ve been all about soups lately. Besides it just being cold outside, I have night classes three days a week and need easy things I can grab and go before 5 or 6PM. Mondays I have class from 5-8, Tuesdays from 6-8, and Wednesdays from 6-9. I hate eating late, so eating before class is definitely the best thing for me to do. But.. to do this, I need something I can make QUICK.

Crockpots work well for this quick kind of cooking I’m looking for. Though it does take all day for the meal to cook, when it’s time for me to eat, I can eat quick. I can wake up early in the morning, throw everything in the pot, turn it on, go about my day, and come home to a house smelling delicious and dinner hot and ready. It’s like having a personal cook.

Except I’m the one doing the cooking.

This chicken tortilla soup was packed with flavor. It was great the first day, but even better the second.

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cans Ro-tel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1 onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried cilantro
96 tortilla chips
1/2 cup sour cream


1. In a crockpot combine the chicken, Ro-tel, beans, corn, onion, chicken broth, water, and spices.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours.

2. Serve the soup with 12 chips and 1 tbsp of sour cream.

* serves 8
* 346 calories per serving
* This recipe is being shared with Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen.

Slow Cooked Hoisin Pork

I love my slow cooker, but for some reason I don’t give it much use. This doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, because given the fact that I am considerably busy with school and work and just life in general, the slow cooker would make sure that I had dinner at a reasonable hour without having to rush home from working and going to school to make sure I have time to eat before running to my night class again.

Whenever I use the slow cooker I get the same thoughts, but just as fast as I think it the slow cooker makes its way to the back of the closet where it sleeps until I beckon it again.

This dinner was absolutely delicious. I had this chunk of pork that I had cut into two pieces. Unfortunately the first chunk just turned into a huge fail with another dish I made a few nights before.

Using the slow cooker was definitely the way to make sure this pork was cooked to perfection!

I am only going to share the pork recipe in this post. I served it with white rice and a peanut cabbage slaw. The slaw wasn’t something I’d make again, so it’s not worth sharing.

Slow Cooked Hoisin Pork

3 lbs pork, trimmed of thick fat
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 piece of ginger about 2 1/2 inches long, peeled and grated
about 7 1/2 oz hoisin sauce


 1. Rub the trimmed pork with salt and pepper. Put it in the slow cooker. Add the garlic, tucking the cloves around the pork. Put the grated ginger in the slow cooker. Pour the hoisin sauce over everything. Cook on low for 10 hours.

2. When the 10 hours has passed, with two forks shred the pork and make sure to mix the sauce around.

* serves about 6 – this kind of depends on what sized servings you get
* no calories calculations on this one due to my uncertainty regarding amount of servings