This Sunday, I decided to do some cooking for the week ahead. I had 4.5 lbs of frozen chicken breast in the freezer from Costco. I put the chicken in the microwave to turbo-defrost, which took about 16 minutes or so.
While that was going on, I got out the crock pot, and opened a box of crushed tomatoes. No, it’s not fresh tomatoes, but the box packaging is better than using canned (this was an organic variety that I found on sale at Whole Foods and stocked up). To the tomatoes I added: olive oil (a few glugs), garlic powder (generous amount), dried diced onion (also generous), chili powder, and a bit of chipotle pepper seasoning. And some sea salt.
Once the chicken was done in the microwave (mostly defrosted), I added it to the crock pot, covered, and turned to high. Then I cooked the bejeezus out of it for hours. Every once in a while I’d rotate the chicken breasts with tongs, to baste them in the sauce. Eventually, the breasts started shredding apart, and a chickeny, tomatoey, spicy, soupy sauce formed. It was very hands-off. Perfect.
To store the chicken, I removed the breasts from the sauce, and shredded them a bit, to refrigerate in a storage container separate from the sauce. I stored the sauce separately because, while it was way too good to toss, I didn’t want soggy/soupy chicken for my purposes… my husband uses it for making burritos, and I like it for salads.
Incidentally, I baked some Colombian “pandebono“, a yucca-cheese bread that is not paleo, or low-carb, but is gluten free and has a decent amount of protein in it. They sell these in the freezer section at my local Publix, but that may be a south Florida thing (we have a good variety of Haitian, Caribbean, and Latin American foods at our local “regular” supermarkets, to cater to our diverse community, and I like to take advantage). Depending on where you live, you may need to check out a Latin specialty market to try it (or just be less lazy than me and make it yourself from scratch). I mentioned the pandebono because it turns out this crusty cheesy bread was fantastic dipped in the hot chicken-tomato broth. Why wouldn’t it be?
Anyway, with minimal effort I created a large amount of protein pre-cooked for the week. Good for salads, burritos, served with a side of veggies, whatever! I am sharing this stupid-easy recipe because I was so pleased and surprised with how good it was, despite being so easy. Not just “ok” but affirmatively mmm-mmm good. And yes, you could use fresh minced garlic and diced onion, and crush your own fresh tomatoes, and add other stuff, too. But, if you’re looking for super easy & super lazy, this recipe was a hit… even using plain old dried cabinet spices and boxed tomatoes.