I love my crock pot, especially this time of year. Since it is such a time saver, I try to use it at least once a week.
Today I have a twofer for ya!
I love homemade tortilla soup but rarely have the time to do all the chopping, slicing and dicing. Instead, I pull out my crock pot and make it do all the work while I'm at work too. This has a little kick to it so if you have little kiddos, check the seasonings.
Cheater tortilla soup:
1 large can diced tomatoes (don't drain)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can roteil (I use original, don't drain)
1 can fiesta corn (or those whole baby corns in a can.)
4 cups homemade chicken stock***see below
1 tsp cumin (or thereabouts...I don't actually measure it!)
2-3 tbls. chili powder (okay, so I use a palmful...not actually measuring it....just so you know.)
2-3 frozen chicken breasts (2 is plenty if they are large) I trim the fat off the edges before placing into the pot.
Put the chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot. Mix all the other ingredients together and pour on top. Turn the crock pot on low and let cook for 6-8 hours.
Pull the chicken out, shred and return to crock pot. Turn crock pot OFF but put the lid back on so it will reheat through.
Serve with saffron rice, shredded cheese and diced avocados when in season.
***Since I make my own stock (see below) I do the taste test, it sometimes needs chicken bouillon or a bit of salt.
When I want to make chicken stock, I let the crock pot do that for me too:
Put 1 cup of water in the crock pot
Add 1 large quartered onion, a couple rough chopped stalks of celery and 3 large rough chopped carrots in the bottom. (You want at least 3!)
Place cleaned and seasoned chicken on top of the veggies so it won't "sit" in the water.
Cover and turn the crock pot on low 6-8 hours
Remove the chicken from the crock pot, strain the stock to use later (I freeze it if not using it right then.)
Eat the carrots...they are yummy, but ditch the celery and onion...
Once the chicken is cooled, you can pull it off the bone and use it in other recipes or add it to the tortilla soup!