Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.
This recipe is from my little brother. It's a strange thing to get a recipe from the brother who is 11 years younger than you. Yet, eventually there comes a time in life when such a thing happens. When this happens, you can rest assured that you, the oldest sister, are very old. But don't worry, because as the oldest child you were most likely born old. So you might as well take advantage of your brother's recipe because it's super yummy. (Your mother--for whom he made it--even said so. By the way, when your littlest brother is not only making food that does not consist of peanut butter and jelly, but also sharing that food with others, you can bet that you are, in fact, even older than you thought. You can bet that young people who see you don't see the hip cool thirty-something you suppose yourself to be. You can bet that they see some lady with several kids who has forehead wrinkles and frequent bad hair days.)
Besides being super yummy, your brother's recipe comes of age in a crock pot. Which, as the outside temperature creeps up into the 90's, is a very good thing. And in addition to not requiring you to sweat over a skillet or an oven, this recipe is super easy. It's perfect for a Sunday dinner after church. It's perfect for a potluck. It's perfect for a short visit from your sister. It's perfect for any old Tuesday night. It's perfect for nights after/before soccer, baseball, cub scouts, piano. It's perfect if you work. It's just really good. Kip said so several times last night. Several.
Of course, as an oldest child I did fuss it up a little bit. It's my job after all. Because I am old. And because I did not have cream of anything soup on hand. Below I will post the super easiest version--truly one for a morning when you need to be out the door in 3 minutes. And I'll post mine which involves the making of a white sauce. This only adds 5 minutes to the meal. And I thought it was really good. (P.S. For another 5 minutes, you can make your own Italian dressing mix as well.) And while we're talking about time, if you forget to get your crock pot going in the morning, I'm betting this would be really great prepared in an oven at 375 or so for about 45-60 minutes.
Crock Pot Italian Chicken
Prep time: 3-10 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours in crock pot
(chicken: 4.00, cream cheese: I got mine for .50, but a more normal yet still cheap price is a little over a dollar, white sauce: .30, Italian dressing packet: homemade: .05; I don't know how much it is to buy it.)
4 chicken breasts--about 2 lb.
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (or 2 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp flour, 1 C milk, 1 tsp bouillon granules)
1 packet Italian dressing mix (or 2 Tbsp homemade Italian dressing mix)
Put chicken in crock pot. Add cream cheese in chunks. Add cream of chicken soup and sprinkle with Italian dressing mix. Cook on high for 6 hours (my chicken was frozen; if yours is thawed, this will take less time) or whenever dinner is. Shred chicken and mix chicken with cream cheese, sauce, and seasoning. Serve over rice or starch of your choice. We had a salad on the side the first day and broccoli the next day. I also thought it would be really good with a few lovely seasonal tomatoes sliced up on the side.
If making a white sauce instead of using cream of chicken soup:
Melt butter in a pot. Whisk in flour and bouillon. Let bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk. Stir until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened (should take 1-3 minutes).