A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I've been using my crock pot a lot since I retired.  I've learned some shortcuts that work for me.   

Today I made this Chicken Soup/Stew mix.  

One of the things that makes my soup so easy is that I pre-cook my meat.  The way I pre-cook my meats is easy. The chicken I used today came from a large package of chicken tender strips. When I got home from the store, or the next afternoon, I cooked the entire package in the crock pot by simply covering the strips with Chicken Broth and letting them cook until they are fork tender. When the strips are cooked, I removed the chicken strips and froze them 3-4 pieces to a small freezer bag.

 I usually just make enough soup for one to two servings but the more vegetables I add, the larger the quantity turns out to be.  The bag above usually gives me two days worth of meals.

1.  I opened a can of Kroger's Cream of Chicken soup and spooned it into the crock pot.  I added 3/4 cup of water, just short of a full can, for a thicker, stew-type dish.  Then stirred the soup and water together.

2  Next I added one of my small freezer bag of the frozen cooked chicken tenders.    Dumped them in still frozen.

3.  I then added a bag (12 oz) of Kroger brand Stir-Fry Vegetables with Rice on top of the soup and frozen cooked chicken.

4.  I let this cook for an hour or so on High and then mixed it all up.  The chicken is defrosted by then, the soup cooked down and the frozen vegetables with rice (which come meal-ready) are nicely blended with the other ingredients.

5.  Before serving, I use two forks to shred the chicken.  You could also cube it if you preferred.

The utter genius to my method is that everything is cooked when added to the crock pot.  Depending on the strength of your crock pot, this dish could be ready in an hour or simmer away all afternoon while you are busy elsewhere.

Back to the ingredients.  Kroger makes about 6 different frozen meal-ready vegetables.  I usually pick up 3 or 4 packages of different veggie mixes to keep in the freezer,  I will warn you that there are a lot of big pieces of broccoli in some of these mixes,  If you don't like broccoli you can buy a different brand of frozen veggies but at $1.00 a bag, I eat around the broccoli when I get tired of it.

I also keep several of the Kroger cans of soup  - Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, Tomato, and Chicken Broth  - on hand to mix and match with the veggies.  I use Kroger because it is cheaper and I have had good results.  You can use whatever brand you like.

I also buy big packages of hamburger meat and cook the whole package on the stove in my soup pot before freezing it in single-size freezer bags.  What I like about freezing in single-serving size is I can always add an extra bag or two of meat if I have company.  If it's just me, one single size freezer bag will do.

This meal is closer to chicken pot pie than chicken and rice soup.  If you want it soupier, add more water.  Can't advise on that since I like mine thick.

You can add any spices you like when you put all the ingredients in the crock pot.  I tend to use onion bits and McCormick's Grill Master Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I don't add salt to my meals.  Again, go with your own preference.

Just an easy and inexpensive meal.

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