I am not the world’s most loyal crockpot user. I’ve made some good meals in it, sure, but it’s not something I use on a weekly or even monthly basis. The reason is simple — I’m gone from the house for at least 9 hours on the typical workday, so recipes that have 4, 6, or even 8 hour cooktimes strike me as pretty inconvenient. I’ve also had problems with chicken drying out in there (although I’ll admit it does one hell of a job cooking pork).
However, after verifying that my crockpot does that nifty thing where it lowers the heat to “warm” after the cooktime is complete, I decided I just had to make this chicken chili. I’ve heard from some readers that they want meals that are quicker and easier, and not only does this fit the bill perfectly, I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time because it sounded seriously tasty.
Verdict? Unqualified success. Since I wasn’t going to be around to stir the chili partway during cooking, I decided to cut the cream cheese into small cubes to help it combine better (rather than just tossing a block in the crock, which you’re also free to do). I also added some chicken broth and milk before serving this up, because this makes an incredibly thick chili that I wanted to even out a little. If you do that (which I recommend), you’ll probably want to punch it up with some extra seasoning, too. Get in there and mix it up!
CROCKPOT CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN CHILI (adapted from Plain Chicken)
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can no-salt added corn kernels, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package Ranch dressing mix
1-2 tbsp cumin
1-2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8-oz package cream cheese (I used lower-fat neufchatel cheese)
up to 1 cup chicken broth or skim milk (optional)
chopped cilantro and green onions, for serving
1. Place still-frozen chicken breasts in crockpot. Top with Rotel, corn, black beans, ranch dressing mix, and spices. Stir to combine, then top with the cream cheese (if you’re not going to be around to stir this a couple times, cube the cream cheese and stir it into the remaining ingredients). If you want thinner chili, add chicken broth or milk
2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring one or twice to blend in the cheese (if possible). When done, shred chicken with two forks and return to crockpot. Stir and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with chopped cilantro and green onions.
Crockpot success! This tasted great, and I was able to cross something off of the ol’ bucket list!