Monday, May 7, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Italian Herbed Chicken

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Today I had one child at soccer practice, one at cheer practice, one child at scouts then football practice, and the finale was a football game.  Here's the husband is out of town and I have been up since 4:45 AM.  I will be driving from 3:55 PM until 8:00 PM tonight and I knew I would be exhausted.  Everything just seemed to fall on Tuesday and I needed a plan for dinner.  I had heard of Amy & Jack from Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cookers taking their thermal cooker on the road and today was my chance to have "fast food" for dinner with mine.  I made an Italian Chicken with Rice in my Saratoga Jacks thermal cooker (Wonderbox and Slow Cooker instructions below) and it will feed my children whenever they end up in the car tonight.  Having 2 pans in the thermal cooker allows me to cook a complete meal ready-to-go when I am on-the-go.

A great shelf stable recipe too!

Italian-Herbed Chicken
 2-2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, thighs,and/or legs, skinned (or home canned chicken)  (if using the Saratoga Jacks thermal cooker cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces so they will cook faster)
2 C sliced fresh mushrooms (I used 2 cans of mushrooms)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts, cut into bite sized pieces *see tip*
1/2 C sliced olives
Clear Gel for thickening.
3 T quick cooking tapioca (I used 3 T or more of Clear Gel to thicken the dish)
1 can chicken broth
1 T dried Italian seasoning

Rice or Pasta for serving. 

 *Tip* Don't drain your canned veggies and use that water instead of the broth.  That will conserve your canned broth in an emergency.  

Saratoga Jacks directions for cooking rice:  
  • 4 C water brought to boil with salt
  • Add 2 1/2 C rice and boil 2 minutes and place in cooker.

Saratoga Jacks Directions:
Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil for 4 minutes with the lid on.  Boil water for rice in smaller pan, stir in rice, boil 2 minutes, after boiling large pot for 4 minutes place smaller rice pan on top and close in the cooker.  Cook for 4-8 hours in the base without opening the lid(If you use canned chicken you can serve dinner whenever you are ready but with raw chicken you'll want to cook at least 2 hours before serving. Use a meat thermometer test if done)  If you want a thicker sauce add the clear gel until you reach desired consistency. Serve with rice or pasta.

It was good with rice, but it was really good with fettuccine.

WonderBox Directions:
In a pan that fits the amount of food you have, boil all ingredients for 10 minutes.  Place in wonderbox.  Cook rice or pasta to serve with it.

Slow Cooker Directions:
Combine mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with tapioca or clear gel.  Place chicken on top the veggies.  Combine the broth and Italian seasoning and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3 1/2-4 hours.  Serve over pasta or rice.  
(Please ignore the crazy hair and outfits, it was a run around sports day.)

Can you tell which child doesn't like my food :)

Now I can serve a fast and healthy dinner even if we are on the road.  As Amy of Saratoga Jacks says "It's not what's for dinner, it's where is dinner tonight".  Having a Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker gives me freedom as a mom to have home cooked meals for my children anywhere we happen to be

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