Garlic Lime Chicken… by far the most versatile dish we have discovered on this FREEZER MEAL journey that has become life!
This chicken is perfect anyway you cook it… it started as a perfect grilled chicken (thaw and throw it on the grill), then a baked chicken (pan fry, crock pot it or throw in the oven then serve over rice with veggies – I also thicken the sauce)… and now I have begun cooking all day in the crock, then shredding it and using it for AMAZING wraps! Our favorite has become this shredded chicken with some jack cheese and diced up veggies – cucumbers are phenomenal – then drizzled with ranch! We have even taken to making double batches… we get a FULL sit down meal out of it, then have wraps for a quick dinner and THEN use the leftovers to make delicious quesadillas (another quickie meal for busy weeknights!)… entire family approved – 5 thumbs up – TRULY!!!!
Because I am on my 3rd week in a row of making a batch of this chicken (family demanded) I just knew I had to post it to share!
This is such a GREAT recipe to make ahead and freeze… Give it a try!
GARLIC LIME CHICKEN (Freezer Meal)
- 2.5 lbs chicken breasts – trimmed and cut in 1/2
- 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce (MAKE SURE you use LOW SODIUM soy sauce – it makes a HUGE difference!)
- 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
- 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 TBS Minced Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1/4 cup water
Everything into a freezer bag! Thaw 24 hours prior to cooking… OBVIOUSLY – you can just make and cook but a bit of marinating is better!
Preferred Cooking Method: Crockpot, 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low
You can serve the chicken as is (You may add cornstarch to remaining sauce to thicken and use as a “gravy/sauce”) – or OUR FAVORITE way to eat – Shred chicken, in crock, with 2 forks… stir around in juices…. And serve on wraps (ladle the chicken out with a slotted spoon) with diced cucumber, shredded cheese and ranch dressing!
TRY IT – TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Creamy…white chicken chili… I had only heard about it – you know, saw it on menus, but never deviated enough from my standard order to try anything new… BUT then, it happened… someone with me ordered the WHITE CHICKEN CHILI!! The smell alone…wholly Moses! Spice and garlic and YUMMMM… so of course I had to taste test – you know in the name of truly caring about my friends and making sure their food is safe for consumption… OMG… that stuff was AMAZING!!!!!!!! I knew then and there – just as sure as that cup of soup would now be mine – I had to remake this recipe!
Regular Chili has always been a favorite in our house…. Click HERE for our favorite regular CHILI recipe… but sometimes we overdose a bit on the red sauce versions of things – and even though that statement is so far from the truth – having another chili (soup really) option is AWESOME!
Go ahead – get this WHITE CHICKEN CHILI rolling, then make a batch of the Copy Cat Red Lobster (Cheddar Bay) biscuits to serve along with it… what a perfect combo!!
Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili
• 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts – *cooked and shredded = 3 cups
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 4 cups broth – either from the carton or make with bouillon chicken base
• 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 can chopped green chiles (4.5 ounce size = ½ cup)
• 1 can corn, drained = 1 cup
• 2 cans white beans, drained = 2 cups (cannellini, white kidney, butter or great northern)
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• Salt to taste if needed
• 1/2 cup sour cream
*If you don’t have precooked shredded chicken in a twenty pound stash – SERIOUSLY, I know the CRAZY that I am – then go ahead and cook and shred your chicken… any cooking method will do but I generally cook up large amounts in my crockpot with a bit of garlic and season salt in a cup of broth for about 8 hours on low (overnight even). The meat will fall right apart and can easily be shredded with 2 forks. So set aside 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken.
In a pan, melt the butter then whisk in the flour – stir constantly. Add the milk and mix well. At this point you can pour this “cream starter” into your crockpot (if you want to set it and forget it) – or continue in your soup pan (where you will need to stir regularly – but the soup will thicken quicker).
Add the broth and then the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, STIR REALLY WELL, and add the chicken, green chilies, corn and beans. At this point you could FREEZE this soup and then cook it another time.
Cook on low for 4-8 hours (It’s a broad range, but that is the beauty of it). Add salt to taste and just prior to serving, add the sour cream – either stir it all in, or just plop a dollop in each in bowl.
THE Orange Chicken
We are still laughing over the fact that I became so obsessed with making a delicious Orange Chicken that I pulled out my tri-crock and actually made 3 different sauce combos at one time to see which we preferred… as we tasted and discussed the sauces we realized that no one in my family had ever actually had Orange Chicken so we are not even sure what it is supposed to taste like… but we did make a variation of sauce that was so refreshing, a bit tangy, a bit sweet and A LOT delicious – and we all agreed and couldn’t wait to make it a meal!
HERE it is… throw it all in the crock pot, or in a freezer bag to cook later.
I cooked mine in the crock on low for about 6 hours… then I actually threw it all in a skillet and ‘stir fried’ it for a few minutes to get the sauce to thicken… an unnecessary step but made for some amazing carrots I’ll tell you!
The more chicken you use, obviously the more you could feed….
We served this over rice… SCRUMPTIOUS!!!
- 2-3 lbs Chicken, Large (or bite) size chunks
- 2 cups carrots (I used 1 bag)
- 2 Cup diced (large chunk) peppers
- 2 TBSP minced Garlic
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup Orange Juice (prepared – not concentrate)
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- PINCH of Red Pepper Flakes
Kick’en Chicken (Slow Cooker Angel Chicken)
Okay I started with your standard Angel Chicken recipe… it was really kind of bland – even for me… I am learning to love the red pepper flakes and garlic powder, but that still wasn’t enough… AND my sauce was so thick that even with my addition of milk, it still needed something… BAM (I said to myself – on the cooking show in my head)…. ZESTY Italian Dressing!! The ZESTY took it right where it needed to be… creating a sauce I could have drank (drunk? – maybe with some VODKA… OMG – why didn’t I try that??) right from the pot and saved myself the carbs of the pasta… but I used Angel hair pasta and there is no room for carbs in those tiny, thin noodles – right? RIGHT??!!
So at this point – starting with the original recipe and all of my additions, I ended up with enough sauce for 4 complete meals… I quickly bagged up chicken breasts in 2lb bags and added 2 heaping cups of sauce to each one… NICE – 3 extra freezer meals ready to go!
Then with pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as it may be… GAWD why aren’t a poet??) I “fixed” the recipe to make it ‘normal’ meal size. AND I renamed the recipe – because now it is a “KICKED UP” version of Angel Chicken!
BUT – This is still a BIG meal – using 4lbs (or 1 big pack of breasts) so either serve it for company, or know you will have left-overs, or plan and set aside ½ the chicken making yourself a complete freezer meal – ready to go for another day! *Truthfully you could ½ all the ingredients, but who wants a ½ packet of dressing or ½ can of soup left laying around…
Here are the Ingredients ~
- 1/4 cup Butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 packet Italian Dressing Mix Powder (0.7 ounces each)
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth (I made mine with a bouillon cube)
- 1 cans golden mushroom soup
- 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 brick)
- 1/2 Bottle ZESTY Italian Dressing
- 2 cups milk
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes
- 4 lbs (+) chicken breast
- 16 ounce box angel hair pasta (or 2 if you are making this all now, or another box for later when you pull the freezer meal out) Some have even mentioned preferring RICE
- Okay – if you are making all of the chicken at once, simply place the chicken (I cut my breasts in ½ width wise then again length wise… creating ‘chicken strips’) in your crockpot.
(If you are making 1 meal now and 1 for the freezer, place ½ the chicken in the crock and ½ in a freezer bag… If you are spontaneous or just CRAZY like me, you can then eyeball all of the sauce ingredients and place ½ of each on each chicken meal… or you can mix the sauce ingredients all in a bowl and then put ½ on each… your call… your circus! – Oh wait, that’s a whole ‘nother show in my head!!)
- Add all of the sauce ingredients on top of the chicken, give it a good stir…
- Turn crock pot on low for 6-8 hours
- When ready for dinner, prepare the pasta according to box, stir the chicken mixture again – shredding up some of the larger chunks if you prefer…. And serve it over a heaping plate of pasta!
SERIOUSLY – this may have become my new all-time favorite meal… give it a try!!
Stuffed Pepper Soup
Oh me – oh my…. DELICIOUS!!!!
Is there a food you remember from child hood as NOT your favorite? My Mom always made stuffed peppers and I wouldn’t even try them…. Insisted I did not like them (meatloaf and mashed potatoes too = weird kid, I know!) Man, did I miss out by avoiding the stuffed pepper… it is now one of my favorite foods!
And soup – who doesn’t love soup….??!!
Combine the two and BAZAMMMMM…. Your taste buds will rejoice….. YUMMMMO!!
Easy ingredients I had right on hand…. Threw it all together in a small crock and let is simmer all day…. The house smelled heavenly and the taste…. OMG…. Make it now!!!
BONUS – this soup is full of yummy veggies that the kids all ‘surprisingly’ LOVED!!! We served it with grilled cheese but truly a hearty meal all on it’s own!!
- 2lbs fried ground beef (I always have mine fried up with diced onion and garlic…. I used 3 cups of cooked beef right from my freezer!)
- 2 cans condensed Tomato soup (about 20 oz or 2.5 cups if you are making your own)
- 3 beef bouillon dissolved in 3 cups water
- 2 cups Diced tomatoes (you can use a can – or use your own delicious canned ‘stewed’ tomatoes – my favorite ingredient to have on hand)
- 2 cups chopped green peppers
- 2 cups cooked rice (another ALWAYS in my freezer – do you make double when you make rice?)
- Salt and pepper to your liking…
Throw it all in a crock – seriously…. So easy! I simmered it on low for about 4 hours.
Definitely a new favorite!! Thanks for encouraging me to give it a shot Julie!
FYI – the remainder thickened A LOT in the crock… I added another cup of beef broth (may still need more) and there is plenty for a another meal!
Looking back through and ‘attempting’ to organize my notes from this week, I realize I talk a lot about “making sauce” and thankfully with no true ITALIAN in my blood there will be no relatives rolling over in their grave as I share this recipe… My SECRET Sauce!
MAKING SAUCE 101
- 4 jars (oh yes – premade, bought in the store, jars) of sauce… we really LOVE the Rinaldi! But any ole’ sauce will do!
- 1 can stewed tomatoes – or equivalent frozen if you were “homemaker-y” once and actually stewed and froze some tomatoes this summer… YEAH me!!
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup sugar – we prefer brown sugar
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground sausage – we like the maple flavored
- 1 small onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic
- 2 TBSP. butter
Dice your onion and pepper, then fry them in the butter until limp and add garlic.
Add both meats to the pan and continue frying until cooked through.
Drain meat mixture on paper towels and return all to a large pot. Add tomatoes and stir through. Pour all 4 jars of sauce in, rinsing jars with water and adding approximately 1 cup of water (1/4 cup in each jar) to mix.
Sprinkle with sugar and red pepper flakes. Stir often – and all the way to the bottom, while heating on high, until very hot – just starting to boil, then turn on low to simmer…all day! Make sure you keep stirring it. * You can also do this final step in a crock pot!
You have to taste the sauce often and decide what you want to add… a little more heat? A little more sweet? Perhaps some salt? Maybe malt?? MALT – ?? LOL – I’m just kidding – checking to make sure you were still paying attention!! Another pat of butter? Remember to thank your Mother! On a roll here – I know!!
Anyhow – that’s it… my “homemade” sauce… I usually make it on a day we need it for a meal… plain spaghetti, maybe some riggies… a lasagna or raviolis… throw in THESE (click HERE) delicious meatballs, or make a goulash. You can use it as a base for soups, stews or chilis… pizza sauce – anything! There is more than enough to eat well, make extra and freeze tons!
So tell me… what are your SAUCE secrets??