3C Casserole (Chicken, Cheese, and Cauliflower)
A few years back (ten years? That can’t be right…) Maribou and I went on the South Beach Diet and spent a some years trying to find recipes that were good enough to make us not mind being on the South Beach Diet.
One of the cookbooks we bought was for the Crock-Pot called “The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker“. It had a number of recipes that we didn’t really mind making/eating in there but it had one recipe in there that was so stellar that we keep making this dish during Crock-Pot season because it is so soothing for the throat if you’re sick, it sticks to your ribs when it’s cold outside, and it just tastes really, really good.
Here’s the recipe from the book:
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, fat trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (about 4 shakes)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1. Coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray. Add all ingredients, except the cream and shredded cheddar. Mix well.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Before serving, stir in cream and cheese.
Now, as good as that is, that is not how we make it.
For one thing, don’t use chicken breasts in a Crock-Pot. Use thighs. If you’re grilling meat, sure, use chicken breasts. If you’re using the slow cooker, you want the fatty meats that are more flavorful.
When it comes to the can of cheddar cheese soup, you should keep in mind that you could easily substitute this out for the Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup. We don’t make it with the spicy stuff, but I always wistfully look at it as I pass it by for the mild soup… sigh.
Instead of chicken broth, I use a little product called “Better than Bouillon”. It doesn’t have onions (which some members of the household are allergic to) and it’s packed with a good flavor. From what I understand, vegetarians swear by the vegetarian version. I’d suggest you use that instead.
We’ve also taken to adding stuff. I like to add broccoli crowns. Maribou prefers carrot chips. You can easily put more veggies in here. It’s good for you.
Also, the thing about low-fat cheese being added at the end? That’s crazy talk. Get the full fat cheese. And, you know what? Add two cups. You deserve it.
This is probably our favorite Crock-Pot recipe after we’ve made our changes to it and we’re smack dab in the middle of the season where stuff like this is preferable to stuff from the grill. Check it out!
(So… what are you cooking?)