Summertime usually means a lot of grilling to avoid heating up the kitchen. However, sometimes we want dinner right now, and don’t want to wait for the grill to heat up; some apartment-dwellers can’t have a grill due to fire hazards, so grilling isn’t an option. The slow cooker is your best friend during the hot summer months, since it doesn’t heat up the kitchen and the ingredients can be put in the cooker ahead; dinner is ready when you are. The following ”Grilled” Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil is great for summer; The chicken breasts (or thighs if you prefer) are seared on a grill pan to get the look of grilled chicken – then everything is put in the slow cooker to finish unattended. Heavy cream is stirred in at the last minute to make a luscious sauce to serve over pasta or gnocci (quickly cooked stovetop), or polenta (cooked perfectly every time in the slow cooker – start at the same time as the chicken).
I like to take the chicken breasts straight from the freezer, rinse them and cut out any veins or fat with a sharp knife while still frozen. Then I brown them on a grill pan sprayed with non-stick spray and set to high so that the breasts don’t cook, but still have the grill marks. A package of Italian dressing mix is sprinkled over the chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil are added. This one is really easy!
2 pounds frozen boneless skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of veins & fat, and cut into 8 serving size pieces
coarsely ground black pepper
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 to 6 sprigs fresh basil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato strips, (oil packed) well-drained
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Fresh basil, for garnish
- Place the chicken breasts on a grill pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and is heated to high heat; when the pieces have grill marks on both sides, transfer them to a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
- Cover, set the slow cooker to low, and let cook 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and it's time for dinner.
- Remove the basil sprigs and discard.
- Transfer the chicken breasts to a serving platter, whisk the whipping cream into the sauce in the slow cooker; pour the sauce over the chicken, and serve, garnished with fresh basil, over pasta, gnocci, or polenta.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 216
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 64% Protein 33% Carb. 3%
Nutrient Amount per Serving:
Total Fat 24 g
Saturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 138 mg
Sodium 89 mg
Total Carbohydrate 3 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 28 g
Vitamin A 16% Vitamin C 2% Calcium 0% Iron 6%
If you don’t have a grill pan, or can’t find one in your area, you can order one from Amazon: Lodge L8SGP3 Pre-Seasoned Square Grill Pan, 10.5-inch