I know that this will sound silly, but this freezer crockpot stuff feels absolutely revolutionary to me. Part of it, I’m sure, is that I count on naptime to ‘work’ (sew, create, blog), which always makes dinnertime sneak up on me. But having something already-prepped to put in the crockpot in the morning feels… well, revolutionary.
I tried mostly new recipes for this installment (I kept the coconut curry chicken because it was our family’s favorite from the first round of freezer crockpot meals).
-2 batches of honey rosemary chicken
-2 batches of coconut curry chicken
-2 batches lime salsa chicken
-2 batches of balsalmic fig chicken
-2 batches of santa fe chicken
I also write the cooking directions on the outside of each freezer bag (including what to add besides the contents of the bag) so that I don’t have to look anything up, just add to the crockpot and press some buttons.
Also, I can only vouch for the coconut curry chicken (delicious!) and the honey rosemary chicken (crowd favorite around here- seriously yummy!). We’re still working our way through the meals. If you try one out, let us know in the comments how it turns out.
One note about thawing– all of the recipes except the fig balsamic chicken have enough other added liquid to o straight from the freezer into the crockpot. If I remember to let them thaw in the fridge, I do. However, only the fig balsamic chicken needs it for sure.
Honey Rosemary Chicken
IN THE BAG- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces, 1/3 c balsamic vinegar, 1/3 c honey, 1/3 c olive oil, 3 T chopped fresh rosemary, 1 t salt. Let marinate for several hours in the refrigerator before freezing.
TO COOK- Let defrost completely in the fridge. Add 1 cup of water and the contents of the bag to the crockpot. Then cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Ten minutes before serving, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
TO SERVE- Serve over couscous (or rice). Be generous with the sauce as you ladle- it’s fabulous.
Coconut Curry Chicken (modified from this Chicken Curry recipe at Martha Stewart)
IN THE BAG- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2 lbs. of chopped butternut squash, 2 medium onions,chopped, 8 minced garlic cloves, 1 oz fresh ginger, 2 T curry powder,1 t ground coriander, 1 t ground cumin, coarse salt
TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag and a can of coconut milk to a slow cooker and cook on low all day. 25 minutes before serving, add another can of coconut milk and a bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro (except if you’re us and you hate cilantro- then just garnish with cashews).
Lime Salsa Chicken (modified from the Cilantro Chicken recipe at Pip & Ebby)
IN THE BAG- Juice from one lime, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional), a 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning, 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional), 3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or thighs, 1 chopped red pepper, and 1/2 onion, chopped
TO COOK- In a slow cooker, mix together the contents of the bag and one 24-ounce jar of salsa (I used mango salsa, but use whatever kind of salsa you like). Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
TO SERVE- Serve in corn tortillas with rice.
Balsamic Chicken with Figs and Herbs (recipe adapted from this recipe at What’s Cookin Chicago)
IN THE BAG- Brown 2 lbs of chicken and saute one onion and two cloves of garlic in olive oil until softened, then add of the above to a freezer bag. Also add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup balsamic fig jam, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano,1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1 cup dried figs. **Two notes- the original recipe calls for all of the spices to be dried, but I had all of them growing in our garden, so I just used those. Substitute dried spices if that’s easier/cheaper for you. Also, I had balsamic fig jam on hand- if you don’t, just add 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar.
TO COOK- Defrost the bag completely in the fridge. Add the contents of the bag plus one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes to the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8
TO SERVE- Serve over rice or potatoes.
Santa Fe Chicken
IN THE BAG- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, 1 chopped red pepper, ½ onion, chopped, 1/2 t cumin, 2 T cilantro (optional).
TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag plus 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn and 1 medium sized jar of salsa to a crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.
TO SERVE- Serve over rice.
And in case you’re looking for more freezer crockpot cooking- check out Freezer Crockpot Cooking Round 1, the Freezer Crockpot Cooking, Garden Edition, more Freezer Crockpot Cooking, even MORE Freezer Crockpot Recipes and some tried and true favorites turned Freezer Cooking Recipes.
UPDATE- after trying this out for the last couple years, I wrote a review of our freezer cooking experience. It’s a good place to start if you’re new to Freezer Crockpot Cooking.