20 November, 2009

Kitchen Confidential, Part 2

The other day, my brother came home with 2 cans of organic cream of chicken soup. He works for a company that acts as the middleman between farmers and places like Whole Foods, so he has access to a fairly amazing range of organic and healthful foods. Anyway, he bought these 2 cans of cream of chicken because Thanksgiving is coming up (he gets an organic free-range turkey as a T'giving present from work - score!) and he remembered that one of our old family recipes requires a can of cream of mushroom soup. But Tika, you say, cream of chicken and cream of mushroom are not the same! Well, YOU know that, and I know that, and actually THB knows that too, but he saw "cream of something" and bought it. It wasn't until he got back to his desk all proud of himself that he realized the "something" he'd bought was the wrong food. Best intentions and all that.

He suggested that I try to use these cans - which were otherwise destined to languish in our cupboards for who knows HOW long - in one of his favorite dishes: Crock Pot Sumac Chicken. Next time I make it the regular way, I'll give you the recipe. For now, here's what I did:

2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 to 1 c. white wine
1/2 white onion
4-5 cloves garlic
a little bit (1/2 t?) of fresh thyme (not really necessary - did I mention it's been in the fridge for a long... thyme?)

Turn Crock Pot to low if you've got more than 4 hours and high if you've got less. I'd never cooked with or even tried cream of chicken soup before, so I decided to stay simple this time around. I mixed the soup and the white wine together and started sautéing the onions/garlic/thyme. Then I realized I only had 1 chicken breast, had used all the garlic and we had no more white onions. The lack of chicken was the deal-breaker; I turned off the burner and headed to the store, where all the usual frozen chicken real estate was taken over by turkeys. Bought chicken tenderloins instead. Came home, finished sauteing the now-glassy onions (yay new trick!), put the chicken in the crock pot, covered with soup/wine mixture, topped with onions, and let cook for 4-ish hours. When ready to serve, reduce some of the cooking liquid in a pot with a bit of butter and a splash more wine to make a sauce.

The beautiful thing about a crock pot is that starting with frozen food is perfectly acceptable because it cooks at such a low temperature the outside doesn't burn before the inside thaws. I don't know if I'd try this with big stuff, but chicken breasts and stew meat seem to turn out just fine.

Next time I try this, I think I'll jazz it up a bit. More onion (it was a scanty 1/2, after all), more garlic, definitely pepper. Maybe some jalapenos? (By the way, Blogger's spell-check thinks that jalapenos is supposed to be Galapagos. ::eyeroll::) Cream of chicken soup hails from the halcyon days of cream-of soups back in the 1950's, and tastes like it. There's only one can of it left, however, so I won't have to deliberate over it more than once.

101 in 1001 Count:
#18 Try 100 fruits/vegetables (3/100) garlic
#21 Try 100 new recipes (5/100) Cream of Crock Pot Chicken
#24 Try 100 new foods (1/100) Cream of Chicken Soup


  1. I make something similar, but more more simple. One can each of cream of chicken and mushroom, add chicken breast, pour over rice:)

    My mom used to make it a LOT when we were little.

  2. Oh that sounds great I recently got a new crockpot & been looking for new recipes I will have to try this. Thanks for sharing.