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.
Fig Balsamic Chicken (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.
More good news- I’m already working on the Soup Edition of freezer crockpot cooking- can’t wait to share it with y’all!
And in case you’re looking for more freezer crockpot cooking-
1- Freezer Crockpot Cooking Round 1
2- Freezer Crockpot Cooking Round 2
3- Freezer Crockpot Cooking, Garden Edition
What have you been cooking up lately? Anything freezer-y or crockpot-ish?