Monday, October 10, 2011

Crocktober: Chicken Breast with Swiss Cheese & Cranberry Stuffing

For a lot of people, when they think of crock pots, they think of a variety of weird canned goods bubbling away mysteriously in some big clunky ceramic jobber. Hopefully if you read this blog you already know that there is a huge variety of things you can cook in a crock pot. But sometimes the best solution to the question of "what sort of sauce will I cook this chicken in?" is one of those old-timey canned products. I did use low-sodium cream of celery, so I only feel slightly goofy about it. And can I just say, I had no idea that there were so many "condensed cream of xfood" options. The soup aisle was like one epiphany after another. Some were better than others. Cream of mushroom! Useful! Cream of... Shrimp? As a fan of seafood and an even bigger fan of any food that is not disgusting, I want to die.
This came out golden and juicy and deeelicious.
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
2 tablespoons milk
1-2 tablespoon(s) butter, melted
1 10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of celery soup (reduced sodium if possible; you could also use cream of chicken or mushroom)
1 cup whole wheat croutons (I made mine; if you make your own, you'll need about three slices of bread)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins infused with 100% pomegranate juice) 
1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded (or to your taste)
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

1. Spray or lightly oil your crock pot insert, and place chicken inside. Pour in broth, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Swiss cheese.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine soup and milk, and pour mixture over chicken as evenly as possible.
3. Mix breadcrumbs with dried cranberries and add to crock.
4. Pour melted butter over everything, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4ish. (Check the temperature of the chicken to be sure). An hour or so before it is expected to finish, stir stuffing and leave lid off for last hour of cooking to reduce, on high heat. (In my 2-quart crock pot, mine cooked for 2 hours covered, and one hour uncovered, on high the whole time).

This isn't too much to look at, but it's super yummy.
 I have to admit, I messed this up a little. Not a lot, but I did. I forgot about the Swiss until the stuffing was in the crock, so I mixed it in with the breadcrumbs and cranberries instead of cheesing the chicken. This definitely changed things a bit, since I meant for the chicken to be cheesy rather than the stuffing, but I'm definitely not arguing with cheesy stuffing. It melted so completely that you just got sort of the "essence" of it without it be actually cheesy, which I consider a happy accident. 

This dish is definitely not the healthiest thing I've ever made, but it's super yummy and has a lot of homemade appeal. The recipe I've shared will definitely make more than one serving of stuffing. I seem to keep doing that. Oh well. 

Quote of the Day: Stupidity is the devil. Look in the eye of a chicken and you'll know. It's the most horrifying, nightmarish and cannibalistic creature in the world. ~ Werner Herzog (German film producer, director)


  1. I'm a little confused - is it bread cubes, or crumbs - and do you stir the "stuffing" INTO the chicken/saucy portion?

  2. Thanks for asking - The writing of this one got a little muddled. It's cubes, like croutons, and in step 3 I did stir it in with the saucy portion (leaving the chicken at the bottom of the crock, of course)about an hour before the whole thing finished cooking.