since it's getting cooler outside and it's dark when i get home these days, i don't really feel the urge to cook elaborate meals during the week. so, i've turned to my old friend in the pantry: the crock pot. there's a whole trend happening these days with the crock pot chicks or whatever they are, so i figured i'd revisit the slow cooker.
i've always had a hard time with slow cooker recipes. the meat is mushy. the cook time is 4-6 hours (and i work a full 9 hour work day including my commute). and, most annoyingly, half of the ingredients are processed.
so i finally found a recipe worth trying that doesn't involve "imitation cheese product" or vats of condensed soup.
1 pound chicken breast, cubed
1 package andouille sausage links, as spicy as you prefer
1 small onion, diced
1 rib of celery, diced (if convenience is a factor, you can buy the pre-diced packages at your grocer)
2 cans of diced fire-roasted tomoatoes, including juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons dried herbs (i use a mix of thyme, sage + oregano, but anything you have will work)
1 pound frozen COOKED shrimp, tails off
put everything in the crock pot, except the shrimp.
cook for 8 hours (or from the time you leave till the time you get home) on low. you could speed this up to 5 hours on high.
30 minutes prior to serving (or when you get home), add the frozen shrimp to the crock + stir them in. you can crank the sucker up to high at this point if you're hungry.
in the meantime, prepare some rice (big fan of the Trader Joe's brown rice packets).
once shrimp are heated through, serve over the rice. add a few slices of toasted crusty bread if you'd like to sop up the goodness.
this recipe makes plenty of leftovers, as you can see. we've gotten at least 2 more rounds of meals out of it, and it gets better with age.