Yesterday was a day that demanded comfort food (and naps! – but that’s beside the point). It was rainy & cold – in fact, we actually got some marble-sized hail for part of the day. I had kids at home sick, so I couldn’t go out to the grocery to get what I needed for chili, or chicken noodle soup, or any of my stand-by comfort food meals – so I started scouting for ideas in the fridge.
What I had was a couple chicken breasts, a bag of frozen hash-brown potatoes, some leftover Velveeta, and a couple odds and ends in the canned goods department. I decided to invent my own soup/stew/chowder (whatever you want to call it) with what was on hand – and it was a HUGE HIT! Here’s how to make an easy, tummy-warming, and God-help-us-all-fattening, slow cooker soup:
What you need:
2 Chicken Breasts (Frozen will work too – those are BOGO at Bi-Lo this week!)
1 30oz Bag Frozen Hasbrown Potatoes
1/3 – 1/2 of a 2lb Block of Velveeta *See note at bottom if you don’t have this
1 Can Cream of Mushroom
1 Can Cream of Chicken
3 Cubes Chicken Bouillion
3 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 Onion, diced small
Optional: a few shredded carrots (I wish I’d had some to shred in there, but didn’t )
Crank your crockpot up to Low, and put items in this order: 1) Chicken Bouillion cubes, onion, garlic on the bottom 2) hashbrowns 3) chicken breasts. Pour in water, milk and cream soups, making sure the cream soups cover up the chicken so they won’t dry out. Cube up your Velveeta and toss those in (You don’t want it resting on the bottom or the sides, or it might get burnt)
Let it cook on low for 4 hours. Then, take out the chicken and cut it up into chunks. Your potatoes will mostly be mush by the end – so it will be nicer to have chunks than shreds so there’s something to actually bite into. Return the chicken to the crockpot and cook for another hour on low. It’s ok if it needs to sit longer than an hour – mine sat there for 2 hours, waiting for bathtime to be finished.
*This is also the point where you’ll want to stir, taste, add more milk/water to thin it – or thicken it with some potato flakes to get it just how you like it. (I stirred in a 1/2 pouch of Betty Crocker Loaded Potato Flakes, to make it go a little further for my hoard of hungry boys)
To Serve: Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese & bacon bits. Voila!
This was absolutely scrumptious – and my husband and boys went back for seconds!!
TIP: If you’re don’t have Velveeta, pull out a box of mac & cheese and use the whole packet of powdered cheese. You’ll want to sub out some of the water with milk (and maybe even a little sour cream or cream cheese) to make it creamier, like a cheese sauce should be. I’ve done this – and it works out just fine!