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Friday, March 11, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Pasta

Wow.  Now that I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy, I'm really relying on the crock pot.  But don't get it twisted; I'm not singing its praises.  I'm still not sure how much I love his device.  Still, it makes an easy, hot meal that I don't have to mess around too much with. 

So that's why I decided to give this chicken pasta recipe a try.  It's again from Fix-It and Forget-It, Our Best Slow Cooker Recipes 2010 which claimed that this was a "kid-friendly" meal.  That didn't hurt when choosing it, though of course my son's current pickiness isn't easily quelled by a label. 

Chicken Pasta

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large zucchini, diced
1-oz envelope chicken gravy mix
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp evaporated milk or whipping cream
1 large tomato, chopped
4 cups cooked macaroni
8 oz smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

1.  Place chicken in slow cooker.

2.  Add zucchini, gravy mix, and water.  Stir.

3.  Cover and cook on high 1 hour and then on low 4 hours.

4.  Add milk and tomato.  Cover and cook on low 20 minutes more.

5.  Stir in pasta.  Top with cheese.  Serve immediately.

The Verdict:  Reminds me of tuna noodle casserole.  And before you clap your hands in glee that I'm telling you it's a comfort food, let me tell you about tuna noodle casserole.

My mom used to make it about twice a year.  And quite a few times I talked them into letting me watch The Brady Bunch reruns on tuna noodle night.  While the Brady's doled out advice like, "Mom always said, don't play ball in the house!" I would surreptitiously scrape my plate behind the couch because my dog wouldn't eat the stuff.

So when I took my first bite or two and thought of tuna noodle casserole, I knew I'd hate it.  And a few bites more confirmed it.  My son hated it, too.  My husband thought it was fine, but this is the guy who, when we first started dating, told me over the phone he was eating his dinner of cereal and milk powder.  He's come a long way, baby.

I'm not saying you wouldn't like it.  I'll bet it really does have a homey, comfort food appeal to some people.  For me, something about the grittiness of the chicken and the gravy, the creaminess of the the cream and the hot macaroni just doesn't do it for me.  All together, it makes me...want to scrape it behind my couch.  But since I'm the one who'd have to clean it up, I probably won't.  I just won't make it again.

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