disclosure: I was given a sample of Shirley J slow cooker helpers, and used one of those to create this recipe. No other compensation was provided.
We have been using our crock pot a ton these past few weeks. While I admit we’ve probably taken longer to unpack and get settled than most normal people, we finally finished this past week. But until we reached that point, having our crock pot to help make our dinners has been so nice. I dreaded the thought of cluttering up our apartment even more, by using lots of pans, pots, and dishes to create something. Just being able to throw something in the crock pot in the morning and have it ready to eat at dinner made life so much easier. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of food cooking all day long?
And while most crock pot meals are relatively easy to begin with, I love the line of slow cooker seasonings that Shirley J produces. I was sent a sample of these awhile back, but just got the chance to try it out. It seriously makes using a slow cooker that much easier. The have three varieties — chicken, beef, and pork. You can add the seasoning mixture to anything by itself (maybe with a few veggies thrown in) or add it to your favorite slow cooker dish. It’s supposed to make the meat even more flavorable and moist, and I was not disappointed.
For our dinner tonight, I decided to use the chicken variety. Forrest had requested we make Hawaiian Haystacks (one of his very favorite meals) and I thought it would be fun to try and make the chicken in the slow cooker. After looking around at different recipes, I found that most of them involved three key ingredients — cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, and evaporated milk.
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In an effort to be healthier (and to use less dairy, so Jack could enjoy it, too,) I used my recipe for “cream of whatever” soup. It was simple, and tasted perfectly. I hadn’t thought ahead, or else I would have gotten some coconut milk to replace the evaporated milk. And instead of using chicken broth, I decided to use the chicken crock pot seasoning from Shirley J. If you don’t have it, you can, of course, use chicken broth, but I highly recommend ordering a container or two of this seasoning.
To make it, you just mix together about 1/3 cup of the seasoning with 2 cups of warm water. For this recipe, I only needed 1 cup of chicken broth, so I just whisked together 2.75 tablespoons with 1 cup of water, and it made the perfect amount.
It smelled delicious as it was cooking, and when I finally deemed it cooked, I could hardly stand not doing a taste test. So…I didn’t! And it tasted better than I imagined it would.
We didn’t have all the toppings we would have liked (like cheese, or coconut) but the things we did add were rather tasty. We found out the unfortunate way that our chow mein noodles had gone bad (seriously…they tasted disgusting — kind of like what I would imagine batteries tasting like) so we used wonton strips instead, and they were perfect. Everyone ate at least one serving, and it was one of the simplest meals ever! I think the Shirley J seasoning really enhanced the flavor.
This is perfect for Sunday dinner, or for a big party. It made a lot, and we could have used another chicken breast for the amount of sauce that was created. I didn’t complain about the excess sauce, though — we love gravy around here!
This Hawaiian Haystack recipe can be made dairy free — for a replacement for the evaporated milk, just let a can of coconut milk settle in the fridge, skim of the cream, and use the clear liquid on the bottom. Also use my cream of whatever recipe, and use dairy free butter substitute and almond milk. Yum!
Be sure to check out these other tasty crock pot recipes (click photo to go to link):
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