Have you seen the slow cooker manufactured by Rival, that is shaped like a 9 x 13” baking dish and holds about 3 1/2 quarts? It’s about time! There are so many slow cooked dishes that are suited to this must-have time-saving appliance. It’s the perfect shape for a moist cake, as well as lasagna, casseroles, and vegetable dishes. Since mine arrived just as the tarragon was abundantly emerging in the herb garden, I developed the following Slow Cooker Tarragon Chicken with Whole Grain Pilaf. Not only is it quick to assemble, but it’s a yummy dish that is even suitable for company. Nobody needs to know, but the pilaf has 4 grams of fiber per serving as well as plenty of nutrients. It has a nutty flavor because of the wild rice and several other grains; the fresh mushrooms and zucchini complement the tarragon which is both in the pilaf and spread over the chicken breasts. There are several whole grain medleys on the market; the one I used is marketed by Archer Farms (sold by Target), but most grocery chains have their own and they are all suitable for this recipe. You can also use any favorite rice medley, except for those marked instant or minute.
While this is one of those dishes that requires two steps, you’ll find that after adding the chicken breasts and waiting the approximate additional hour for them to cook through, you can tidy up the kitchen, set the table, and prepare a salad or green vegetable to accompany the dish. Alternately, you can use chicken pieces with bones; they take much longer to cook and can be put on top of the pilaf at the start of cooking.
2 cups Whole Grain Medley, (brown rice, rye, bulgur, wheat, red quinoa & wild rice; or use a rice medley)
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pound sliced mushrooms
12 ounces zucchini, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes, or 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups chicken broth, or 2 cups water mixed with 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 bunch fresh tarragon, including stems, very finely chopped or ground in the food processor or chopper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cleaned and cut into 6-8 pieces
1 tablespoon coconut oil, or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Mix the grain medley, cream of chicken soup, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, chicken broth, and butter in the crock of a large rectangular slow cooker (either the 3.5 quart 9 x 13" Crock Pot or a 6-quart oval or rectangular slow cooker).
- Grate the zest from the lemon and add it to a bowl with the tarragon.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon and add enough to the tarragon mixture to make a paste.
- Add the remaining lemon juice, and half of the tarragon mixture to the grain mixture and stir well.
- Cover, set the slow cooker to high, and let cook 3-5 hours or until the grains (especially the wild rice) are tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil over high heat in a large skillet.
- Brown the chicken breasts.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until an hour before serving.
- Arrange the chicken breasts over the pilaf and spread the remaining tarragon mixture over the chicken breasts.
- Cover, set the slow cooker to low, and let cook about an hour or until the chicken is just cooked through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 487 Calories from Fat 156
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 32% Protein 30% Carb. 38%
Nutrient Amount per Serving:
Total Fat 17 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 91 mg
Sodium 923 mg
Total Carbohydrate 47 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 36 g
Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 17% Calcium 0% Iron 12%
If you can’t find this convenient appliance at Sam’s Club or other local store, you can order it from Amazon: Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker