Chicken and rice are great comfort foods, especially when cooked slowly with rich, saucy tomatoes. This is a meal that my husband and son enjoy very much on a cold, snowy evening. And we are definitely having some cold, snowy evenings these days. Right now we have enough snow to cross country ski, so I was very grateful and excited to get the chance to get out on my skis yesterday afternoon. The snow was piled up on every little branch, and I was the first person on the trail since the previous night’s snowfall, so the only tracks in sight were from rabbits. Fresh snow is so pristine and cleansing. Breathing in all that cold air and looking at the clean, white snow and the white-blue sky soothed my overactive mind. There is something so silent about snow. The woods were hushed, as the snow absorbed all sounds, including the internal sounds from my mind. It is easy to get overstimulated and stressed out in the this world we live in, but I left the woods a more peaceful person than I was when I entered them. Simple, nourishing food is also good for the mind, body, and soul. With the help of a crock pot, this meal cooks and builds flavors for a few hours on its own, once the prep work is done. One of the many things I like about this recipe is that it is intentionally simple. I made it as basic as I could, because sometimes that I what I have time for, or what my kids like best. You can cook the rice while you are preparing the chicken and sauce, or cook it a few minutes before mealtime, whichever works best. Add a green salad or a green vegetable, and you’ve got a healthy, complete meal that tastes good and warms up those you love. And that too is good for the soul.
Slow-Cooked Chicken and Tomato Sauce with Rice
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast halves
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes (I really like organic San Marzano tomatoes because they have a great flavor)
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- about 2 cups cooked rice (I start out with 1 cup of uncooked rice, but it expands to about 2 cups when cooked)
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the oil to coat the pan, and add the chicken. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly browned. Place chicken in your crock pot. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, scraping the brown bits from the pan, and stirring. Add the tomatoes, breaking the tomatoes into small pieces with your spoon. Turn off the heat and pour the tomato mixture over the chicken in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours. When you are about to serve the meal, test and season to taste with salt. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey to taste, and stir to combine. Serve the chicken and tomato sauce over cooked rice. You may add the cooked rice to the crock pot before serving if you wish. Enjoy!