Crock-Pot Chicken Kids Will Like

by Shara JJ Cooper

A Crock-Pot is a time-saver for busy moms. Especially when you can make classic, kid-friendly meals with little hassle. There are no burned pots, because you can walk away and let your Crock-Pot do the job. Slow cookers are perfect for cooking chicken, particularly chicken breasts, because the moist cooking method keeps meat moist and tender. This is particularly appealing to picky kids. When using your Crock-Pot, always remember to fill it the recommended minimum of 1/2 full and no more than the maximum of 3/4 full, according to the Crock-Pot owner's guide. You don't want it to boil over or boil away in your absence.

1. Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is a creamy cheese dish that kids love as much as another favorite -- pasta. On the stove, this dish can take a lot of maintenance to make sure but doesn't burn, but in your Crock-Pot, you don't have to fuss. In a separate bowl, dredge the chicken breasts in a mixture of warmed olive oil, egg and bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp. Kosher or sea salt. Transfer the breaded breasts to the Crock-Pot. Lay a thick slice of mozzarella cheese on each slice of chicken and pour marinara sauce over the entire dish. Cook for 7 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high. Newer Crock-Pots and slow cookers cook faster than models made before 2006, so consult your slow cooker or Crock-Pot owner's guide before changing your heat setting.

2. Curry Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is a favorite curry dish among children. It's creamy and rich without the hot spice that many children dislike. You can whip up this dish in the slow cooker with very little stress. Throw into your Crock-Pot 2 lbs. of chopped, boneless chicken, 1 diced onion, 3 to 6 minced garlic cloves, 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine, 15 cardamom pods, 2 teaspoons of curry, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 can of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 jar of marinara sauce into the Crock-Pot. Turn it on and let simmer for 8 hours on low, or 4 to 6 hours on high. Serve over a bed of basmati rice and top with plain yogurt.

3. Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup from scratch is so much better than store-bought but you don't always have time to hover over the stove while it cooks. This easy dish lets you toss the noodles in for the last part of cooking, so they don't get soggy. Chop 3 boneless chicken breasts and add them to the slow cooker with 3 peeled, chopped carrots, one chopped onion, 3 chopped celery stalks, 16 ounces of boxed low-sodium chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of dill, 2 tablespoons of parsley and 1 minced garlic clove. Celery seed and freshly ground black pepper is also a tasty seasoning to add. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours, and add 1 package of egg noodles 20 minutes before serving.

4. Chicken Stew

This hearty meal sticks to your insides like beef strew but doesn't have as much cholesterol. You can make this, using your typical beef stew recipe, just swap the beef for chicken, or chop 2 pounds of chicken breasts, 1 large onion, 4 carrots, 2 celery stalks and 5 large russet potatoes. Toss this in the Crock-Pot and add 1 cup of chopped mushrooms, 1 cup of frozen corn, 5 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of of diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced, 1 teaspoon of celery seed, 1 teaspoon of dry thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 cup of frozen peas. Add the frozen peas during the last hour. Simmer for 8 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high, and serve with a nice crusty bread or baguette. The potatoes will let out their starch as they cook, making the stew nice and thick.