For this recipe, you'll need a Crock-Pot. If you don't have one, I highly recommend that you get one. I used to be vehemently opposed to Crock-Pot cooking. Crock-Pots bring to mind my parents' retro mustard yellow and dark brown Crock-Pot that used to cook for hours, only to reveal something that no 7 year old wants to eat.
But I am a grown up now. With grown up tastebuds. And an appreciation for easy, healthy meals that don't require a lot of work.
This one might go into the record books for the simplest recipe around.
Aside from a Crock-Pot, you only need two things:
First up, let's talk chicken. We all know how I feel about meat. I don't like to touch it. I especially don't like to cut it. If you are like me, you are in serious luck with this recipe. I usually buy (boneless skinless) chicken breasts (approx 1.25 lbs, more or less). Sometimes the breast tenders are cheaper, so I'll buy those instead. It doesn't really matter, as long as they don't include bones (yuck).
Now, let's talk salsa. Did you know salsa means sauce in Spanish? Hence the Saucy Single Lady! This is the fun part. You can pick any salsa you want! Yes, you read that right - FREE CHOICE!
I almost always go with Trader Joes Pineapple Salsa (the kind in a jar) - it is SO good. It is my favorite salsa of life (thanks to Jessica for introducing me to it). It is almost more of a fruit salad with tomatoes than a salsa, but it works. Occasionally, I'll switch things up and get Trader Joe's Smoked Peach Salsa (also in a jar). I like fruity foods. A lot.
If you like more spice, pick something with a little bit more kick. Do you have a favorite salsa for chips? Be sure to use that one! You can experiment with different salsas you come across. Corn Salsa? I bet that would work as well.
Now, here are the instructions:
- Put the chicken in your Crock-Pot.
- Pour the entire jar of salsa in.
- Plug in Crock-Pot.
- Set an alarm for 6 hours later, and move on with your life.
After the 6 hours is up, your chicken should be done! At this point, I'll take a fork to the chicken and shred it a bit - I find that its easier to do this right when I unplug the Crock-Pot. If you like your chicken chunkier, don't shred as much.
I get four Single Lady sized servings out of this recipe. And did you know that salsa is practically calorie free? I think the whole jar is 100 calories. So add that to the chicken calories and you have a seriously healthy dish.
As for serving - a lot of times I'll eat this plain, with a side of salsa and chips (Trader Joe's makes really great Guilt Free Tortilla Chips). You can also get some tortillas, and all the fixings to go fajita style. Think avocados, sour cream, cheese, beans, CILANTRO (yum!), etc.
This batch made it to the Hope Communion Sunday Potluck:
There isn't really more to it than that - after all - this is a two ingredient recipe, but just in case you were wondering here are a few more notes on what I do:
- Sometimes, I'll throw some sliced bell peppers in the Crock-Pot, after the salsa. I know, watch out.
- I use a 1.5 quart Crock-Pot. It's tiny. This recipe fits PERFECTLY in it. If you were to use a bigger version, I'm not exactly sure how that would work - but I'm sure it will. Just double your chicken, double your salsa.
- Okay, here is the part that might make you think I'm crazy - I'll usually make this on a Sunday night, and set my alarm clock for 6 hours later. Meaning if I start this at 7pm, I'm waking up at 1am to turn it off, put it in a container and then put in the fridge. It takes about 3 minutes tops, and I fall right back to sleep. I don't really feel comfortable leaving the Crock-Pot on while I'm not home, so I prefer doing it this way.
- As with my other recipes, I love that I can have these ingredients on hand at any time. I can keep a jar of salsa in the cupboard, and the chicken in the freezer. And yes, sometimes I go from freezer to Crock-Pot - the 6 hours seems to be a perfect amount of time to cook both thawed or frozen.