Classic comfort is a meal in a slow cooker. The moment cool weather begins to set in, I am immediately in what I call “crockpot mode.”
A countless number of meals have been prepared via slow cooker and served up deliciously warm and cozy around my kitchen table. Cooking with a slow cooker has become a staple for active families because of the set-and-forget ease in which a delicious home cooked meal comes together.
Crockpot meals are especially handy for busy families and makes it easy to prepare a healthy nutritious meal. While you head off to work, the gym, and run your errands, your meal cooks without needing attention. Upon arriving home, you’ll walk in the door with a meal ready to serve and eat before you begin your evening activities or shuttle the kids off to various events and sporting practices.
This chicken and wild rice crockpot meal pays homage to my Minnesota roots. I grew up eating all varieties of soups, crockpot meals, and hotdish (a.k.a. casserole) with wild rice tossed into them. Wild rice is found in abundance in the coldwater lakes and streams of Minnesota and has been harvested by the Native American tribes for centuries. A perfect pairing for lean meats, wild rice enhances the protein power per serving making this an awesome food for athletes. Dried northwoods mushrooms are combined with the wild rice for a rich earthy flavor.
Balancing the richness of wild rice is a traditional mirepoix, the vegetable trifecta of onion, carrots, and celery. The creaminess in this dish comes from a light gravy made with almond milk. The blend of flavors in this classic Minnesota dish are a nutritious dose of cozy comfort for the family that’ll have you saying “you betcha!” in no time.
Chicken and Wild Rice Crockpot Meal
[Photo credit: Kari Lund]
Prep time: 20 min, Cook time: 4-8 hours
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted) or olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 4-5 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4-5 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup dried wild mushrooms, chopped (I used a northwoods blend, but any kinds will work)
- 1 ¼ cups wild rice
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free or rice flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups milk of any kind (I used almond milk)
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- Pour butter or olive oil in the bottom of a crockpot to lightly grease.
- Add the veggies, mushrooms, wild rice, seasonings, and flour and stir to combine.
- Pour in broth and milk and stir.
- Add chicken and stir until all is mixed in well. It will be a bit soupy but this liquid will be absorbed by the rice and turn into creamy goodness.
- Let cook in crockpot for about 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low until rice and veggies are soft and the chicken is cooked through.
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