I dreamt this recipe up in my sleep. Actually, I probably wasn’t asleep. It was probably 3:30am and I was nursing. I do a lot of thinking while I nurse – and reading. But it’s hard to read in the dark, so I think about food instead.
This is a take off an Italian dish that my roommate Niki used to make in college – except it involved beef….and cream cheese. So, yeah – maybe this is way different, but still it’s where the idea started. Does anyone else’s thoughts start in one place and end up somewhere else? Kinda like thinking about doing laundry and then ending up organizing under the kitchen sink instead?
This sauce is soooo flavorful – but the chicken is what really shines in this recipe. If you like lots of sauce, you might want to double it. I like meat – I eat a lot of meat…therefore, MEAT shines in this recipe because that’s the way I like it, uh huh, uh huh.
This is a fix-and-forget dish. You just throw it all in the crock and come back 8 hours later. The prep is pretty easy and you should be able to finish everything at dinnertime in less than 30 minutes – more like 20 minutes unless you get interrupted by screaming because there is a wasp in the living room.
The spinach in this recipe is mainly a garnish. It just makes it look pretty and gives it a bit of flavor. If you hate spinach, you can leave it out. If you love spinach, you can double or triple the amount. In other news, I hate raw spinach. The end.
If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can use canned or frozen – just warm them and drain very well…otherwise everything will be floating in spinach juice on your plate. Ew. Spinach juice. *Shudder*
When everything is done, you have two options: serve the breasts whole or shred them. I like shredding chicken, so I shredded mine. Whatever floats your boat.
Also, people tell me you can easily shred chicken in your stand mixer. I cannot make sense of this in my mind. Why would I want to dirty my mixing bowl and attachment when I can just use two forks? Two forks are WAY easier to wash than all that mess – I’m just sayin’. This chicken is so tender you won’t have difficulty shredding it AT ALL.
Crock Pot Red Chicken with Spinach
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sucanat (or other sugar)
- 9 ounces fresh spinach, sautéed and seasoned as desired – or 10 ounces frozen, cooked and drained
- Parmesan for topping
- Rice, pasta, or quinoa for serving
- Put chicken in the bottom of a greased crock (I use my 4 quart).
- In a small mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, sauce, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and sucanat. Stir well.
- Pour sauce over chicken.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Prepare spinach when time is up.
- Shred chicken if desired.
- To serve, use a slotted spoon and place chicken mixture over your bed of rice/quinoa/pasta. Top with a spoon of spinach and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Yield: 6 servings