Ready for a slow cooker Italian Chicken and Rice recipe that’s not only easy to make but uses very few ingredients? I was too–so I was happy to find this one but also a bit skeptical:
Could four ingredients create a tasty slow cooker dinner?
The short answer is…
…a resounding “Yes!” Stepping into the front door and remembering dinner is already done, thanks to delicious aromas filling the air, is a good feeling.
Italian Chicken and Rice Slow Cooker Recipe
This is an amazing recipe for many reasons. Shall we count the ways?
- It’s simple, as in, four-ingredient kind of simple.
- This is a recipe that even a beginning cook could handle.
- The end result smells (and tastes) wonderful. It’s hearty, filling, satisfying, and comforting.
There are times when I just cannot (or do not) want to be in the kitchen for a chunk of my day. There are also times when I don’t want to have to run errands to buy the ingredients I need. There’s nothing fancy in here. For me, that’s a part of the appeal.
I like to think of this recipe as a good base too. I always recommend that beginners make a recipe as it is written, but for a seasoned cook, slow cooker recipes aren’t difficult to tweak. In fact, you could incorporate additional ingredients that suit your family’s tastes.
What would you like to add? Do you love mushrooms? Add some freshly chopped mushrooms. How about sauteed carrots, celery, and onion for a traditional soffritto base (it’s Italian, like me)?
It’s okay to play around with slow cooker recipes. That’s part of the fun. I typically try the recipe the way it was originally posted the first round…
…and then I dig in and experiment. Try not to add in so much that the liquid amounts are thrown off. Just remember to add a little more in, if needed. Just wipe the lip off around the slow cooker so you don’t have to hear the sounds of water splashing around if you spill a little liquid. Not that I have ever forgotten to do that and regretted it later.
Short History of the Slow Cooker
You might call it a slow cooker Italian Chicken and rice recipe or you may call it a Crock Pot Italian chicken and rice recipe, but did you know that those aren’t exactly the same things? Well, they are sort of the same things, but one refers to a brand and the other refers to a specific way of cooking:
slowly cooking ingredients inside a ceramic or porcelain pot surrounded by metal and heated electrically.
Irving Naxon invented the slow cooker after hearing his mother’s stories of growing up in Lithuania and the “cholent” or bean soup. Tamara Kaslovski Nachumsohn had to lug the uncooked ingredients to the bakery.
There, the ingredients would sit in the oven. Over the course of the night, the oven would slowly cool. During that long process, the dish would cook over Shabbat.
She would then pick up the cooked dish for the family to eat that night.
It was quite a process. But the idea planted a seed…
…this inventor’s mind made a plan.
The First Slow Cooker
On May 21, 1936, Irving Naxon applied for the patent for what would become known as a slow cooker. It would be a few years before his request would receive approval, but it finally happened in January of 1940.
The Naxon Beanery was available in the 1950s. He sold it to luncheonettes and coffee shops where it was used for soups and chili. But not in their home. In the Naxon household, it was used for a variety of dishes.
If only Irving Naxon had realized its potential. After retiring, CNet shares that Naxon sold the company in the 1970s to Rival Manufacturing where, in 1972, they trademarked the name and released the new and improved Crock-Pot. He opted for a lump sum rather than royalties.
Interestingly, he was not a person short of ideas. Irving Naxon had 200 patents behind his name.
Isn’t that amazing?
Now, few homes are without a slow cooker:
NPD’s National Eating Trends® found slow cooker usage on the rise.
“Households using a slow cooker at least once in a two-week period jumped 67 percent from the 1980s to 2010.”
With the economic climate and a new push for folks to find new ways to save money, I have a feeling that that number has grown.
I have used a slow cooker since I was a young, single gal. After working all day, I loved coming back to something already finished. Now, I use it for my family.
What’s more–I own more than one slow cooker. I have slow cookers similar to the following models below (affiliate link, clicking the link results in a small commission that helps keep this massive site running).
Slow cookers are so popular, a month has been dedicated to them. Did you know that January is National Slow Cooker Month?
Do you love slow cooker recipes like I love slow cooker recipes? You won’t want to miss the appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and even desserts (like chocolate molten lava cake and s’mores dessert dip) that I share right here on Little Indiana.
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We love this Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Rice recipe.
From Stick a Fork in it Blog.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Recipe
I don’t like to include cream cheese at the beginning of the cook cycle. I wait until the last thirty minutes, add it in, stir, let it cook for the full thirty minutes, then I stir it again to fully combine the ingredients, and serve it.
Want to save a couple of bucks? I use a homemade Italian dressing seasoning mix. I like being able to control what goes into this chicken recipe. The fact that it this seasoning mix is fast and cheap to make doesn’t hurt either.
Serve your slow cooker Italian chicken with rice, a vegetable or other side, and dinner is done.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus. I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.