Friday, December 14, 2012

Make It This Weekend: Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

I'm a huge fan of my slow cooker - it really is the best $50 I've spent! I had a tiny sized one my mom gave me when I was living in Boston, but I've since upgraded to a programmable 6 quart model which has been a dream. Most recipes require a bit of prep beforehand, but rarely there's that one recipe that really is just pouring everything into it and leaving it alone (for the most part!). I made such a recipe a couple days ago, and it is sitting near the top of my all time favorite slow cooker recipes. 

It was All Recipe's Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup. Mr. Love Bird and I were actually checking out All Recipe's channel on our Roku (I'll share more about our experience with this awesome little gadget later!) and came across the video recipe. 

You can click the link above for the recipe, but essentially all the prep work you have to do is to chop an onion then toss it in the slow cooker with drained canned black and kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, taco seasoning packet, diced tomatoes, a can of beer and 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. After 5 hours on low take out the chicken, shred it, put it back in for 2 hours then it's ready to eat! We topped ours with cheddar and had yellow corn tortilla chips (Snyder's are really hearty). 

One thing that I did differently than the recipe: the chicken appeared to shred so easily with just forks in the Roku video, but mine didn't so I put it in the food processor. It kinda over did it, but in the end Mr. Love Bird pointed out that it was actually good to be over-processed because it made it easier for Lil Love Bird to eat. And eat she did! I have never seen her devour dinner the way she did her bowl of soup! Her tummy was so hard and full and she was blinking slowly by the end of the bowl and slept so hard that night. I think I might rename the soup "Night Night Chicken Taco Soup." 

Besides being perfectly seasoned (thanks to the taco packet) and packed with nutritious protein, the best part is the soup packed up easily for leftovers making it super easy for me to reheat and put a meal on the table ASAP. 

What do you like making in your slow cooker? If you've never tried using one this is a great first-time recipe!

P.S. If you don't like using beer you can find alternatives in the recipe reviews. We used beer and it didn't overpower the recipe, but offered wonderful flavor!