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I truly believe my energy level is fueled by sunlight alone. I’m a little ball of energy in the summer and spring. I can hold my own through early fall. But as the sun starts setting earlier and earlier, I find my vigor decreasing with the sunlight.

In addition to the pending winter, the weather here has been abysmal. While Hurricane Sandy wasn’t too harsh with us in the Philadelphia area (rumor has it she was sympathetic to the disasters our sports teams have already endured this year), we went almost a week without a drop of sun. And I need sun. Without it, I fall into a sad cycle of pajamas and Chinese takeout. In an effort to curb my gloomy weather blues, I’ve attempted to morph my lethargy into coziness. And what says cozy better than a slow cooker meal?

This recipe takes very little time to prepare. It took about 10 minutes to throw everything in the crock pot at the beginning of the day and another 10 minutes to cook the rice before dinner. The result was a creamy, lemony, sauce-drenched chicken over brown rice prepared simply with almonds, olive oil, and fresh parsley.

If you’re feeling gloomy over the weather, put on those comfy slippers and bad movie, and let the slow cooker do the work.

The Ingredients

Serves 4

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 can of condensed “cream of” soup (chicken, celery, mushroom…whatever you’ve got on hand. I use Campbells.)
1/3 cup of chicken broth
1-2lb chicken breast or thighs cut in 1 inch pieces (breast is healthier, thigh stays moister in the slow cooker—pick your poison)
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups of brown rice, cooked
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup sliced almonds

The Directions

  1. Combine first three ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Place pieces of chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Toss with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover with the soup/broth mixture. Top with parsley. I throw lemons in there for the first hour or so if I’m going to be home. If you leave them in there all 6 hours, it can get a bit bitter.
  4. Cook on low in slow cooker for 6 hours. Stir in parmesan. When done, season with salt, pepper, and parsley as needed.
  5. Prepare the rice according to the package. When the rice is cooked, toss with olive oil, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, and almond slices.
  6. Serve chicken over brown rice. Top with parsley and/or parmesan.