If dog is man's best friend and diamonds are a girl's best friend, then the slow cooker (a.k.a The Crock Pot®) has to be a working mother's best friend. I admit it, I wasn't always enthralled with my slow cooker. It reminded me of fondue parties from my childhood and evoked the smell of corned beef and cabbage left to simmer for hours while my parents were at work. But then I smartened up.
I mean, the gleaming appliance that has taken up permanent residence on my kitchen counter just ain't my mother's slow cooker. It's sophisticated. It's multi-temperatured and, if I were willing to shell out a little more money, it could even be programmable.
I am rarely one to wax rhapsodic about kitchen appliances (or at least to admit to it), but with a teenager, a seven-year-old ball of boy energy, an infant and two working adults in my house, I'm getting a fair amount of use out of my Crock Pot and I'm not afraid to tell the world about it.
Recently, my husband and I have realized we have neither the expendable income nor the patience to frequent restaurants as, well, frequently as we used to. I don't miss the loud music and the walls that look as though a garage sale vomited on them, but I definitely miss the appetizers.
That is, until I figured out we could reverse engineer them and make larger portions as a meal. Case in point: BBQ Chicken Nachos, an appetizer we had at not-to-be-named restaurant featuring talking stuffed moose heads and the like. And I made them in my Crock Pot!
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Nachos
1 bag nacho chips, preferably tri-colored
3 large chicken breasts
1 16-oz package of shredded fiesta or taco mix cheese
2 bottles BBQ sauce
diced tomatoes (optional)
sliced jalapenos (optional)
1. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cover with one bottle of BBQ sauce. Cook on "Low" for 6 hours or "Hi" for 3 hours. The goal is for the chicken to be tender enough to shred with a fork.
2. Shred the chicken and stir it in with the BBQ sauce, let simmer on "Low" for 1 hour.
3. Place a layer of nacho chips on a large pizza pan or cookie sheet. Cover with shredded chicken and generously sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle some of the BBQ sauce from the pot or from a new bottle over this layer.
4. Repeat the layers at least one more time, depending on how many people you intend to feed, and top with diced tomatoes and jalapenos.
5. Place the pan in a 375 degree oven until the cheese is bubbling. Remove, top with more BBQ sauce and/or sour cream and serve it up for dinner.