Monday, October 24, 2011

Crockpot Beer BBQ Pulled Chicken and Broccoli Cheese Soup

Yesterday was a cookin' day.  Beloved was up, up and away at work, which left me to alternate between intense Kindle reading and cookin'.  Both of these recipes were taken from the Tasty Kitchen website.  If you aren't already getting recipes from there, I give you permission to go there now, but make sure you come right back!

Both recipes turned out great!  We had the Broccoli Cheese Soup for dinner last night, but neither of us could help but sample the chicken, which we'll be having tonight when Beloved's sister comes over for dinner.  Let's start with the chicken:

Mine looks way saucier than this...but would you expect anything less of me?

3 lbs chicken breasts
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz beer
32 oz barbeque sauce

Ok.  Right out the bat, I didn't have onion powder or smoked paprika.  I shook some garlic powder, regular old paprika, salt, pepper, and some red pepper flakes on my chicken.  So I say:  season how you please!  Put the seasoned chicken breasts into your slow cooker.  Crack open the beer (I used a brown ale Homebrew) and pour over the chicken.  I think the glass beer bottles hold 16 oz?  That's how much I used.  It was barely early enough to start drinking, so I figured I'd let the chicken have all the fun.  After that, squeeze the barbeque sauce into the chicken hottub.  I used Sweet Baby Ray's.  The original recipe advised against using a thicker barbeque sauce unless you up the liquid (beer, or ginger ale, or broth, even!) to prevent burning and whatnot.  I used 28 oz bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's and it was fine.  Set the cooker to low and cook for 8 hours (mine was ready in about 7) and then shred the chicken.  Done!  We'll be having ours tonight on Bangor Rye rolls along with Broccoli Slaw. 

On to the soup:

Mine wasn't this green, but I didn't do what they said.  And I'm ok with that...

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups beef broth or boullion
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded extra sharp white cheddar
1 1/2 cups shredded extra sharp yellow cheddar
4 cups steamed broccoli, pulsed into meal

In a heavy stockpot (I used my Dutch oven, made by Martha Stewart exclusively for me while she was serving time...) melt the butter.  Add the chopped onion (if you measure this, so help me...just cut off a bit of onion, chop it fine, and throw it in, ok??) and cook until it's soft.  Or until you're ready to move on.  Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.  It's gonna get brown.  It's ok.  Add the broth and milks alternately, making sure you stir, until it's all combined.  Bring to a boil.  Mine took a while.  Not a huge deal.  Just stir and, if you're like me, chop the broccoli.  I bought a bag of frozen broccoli and just let it thaw on the sideboard.  Then I used my food chopper and chopped it down.  Not into meal, but just into wee bits.  Once your base is boiling, add the broccoli and cheese and stir until the cheese melts.  Salt and pepper as you wish.  I turned it down to low once the cheese was melted and it thickens up.  We had this with cheese bread, and it was really nice. 
Both of these recipes got the Beloved seal of approval, which is what I most care about.  Try them.  They're easy!!!

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