By my best estimate, it would appear that a solid 80% of the women I hold dear either currently or will very soon find their lives taken over by teeny tiny humans. Babies, I think they call them. It is my understanding that newborns fill your life with joy and wonder, while simultaneously sapping all your energy and free time. I do not have children, but I have heard many stories of how hard it can be to find time to shower during those first few months, much less find time to make dinner each night. So in honor of all my sweet friends who find themselves sleep deprived and strapped for time, I will be taking the next few weeks to share some of my favorite fast, no fuss meal ideas.
I’ll start by sharing my favorite crockpot secret, which is that you can cook an entire chicken in one of these things. It is so simple! D and I have done this a few times and it gives you a lot of food for two adults. All you need is a crockpot and a whole, thawed chicken. We gotten ours at Trader Joe’s in the past and they are affordable and perfectly sized for a medium to large crockpot.
All you have to do is wash and dry the chicken. Remove giblets, etc if they are still included and cut off any lumps of fat. Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and then place it in the slow cooker, breast side up. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 180. That’s it! The chicken will make it’s own liquid so you don’t need to add anything to the crockpot except the chicken.
When it is done cooking, the meat is so tender that it just falls away from the bone, making it easier to transfer from the crockpot to a plate. Pull all the meat off and store it in your fridge. Add strips to salad, dress some with a little plain greek yogurt and curry powder for an easy chicken salad sandwich, heat some up in the oven with a little rice and some steamed broccoli for an easy, healthy dinner. Like I said, it makes a ton of food for two people and is a great way to make sure you’ll have a lot of protein on hand that is easy to add to other things to complete a quick meal.
My recommendation is to get it all set up before you go to bed, leave the chicken uncooked in the crockpot in the fridge overnight, and then all you have to do the next day is plug it in and set it to low with enough time for it to be done in time for dinner.