For a blog that’s been around as long as this one (almost a decade!) written by a busy mom, you’d think there would be hundreds of crockpot recipes. That’s not the case because I tend to have a very difficult time finding good crockpot recipes. They either contain processed ingredients, turn to mush, or have unrealistic cooking times. In fact the book series this came from is totally guilty of that last thing. They often want you to cook things for 2-4 hours which, ugh, I do not work a 2-hour day, America’s Test Kitchen!
So anyway, I will admit that this recipe does have a shorter cook time than some slow cooker recipes, but I did prolong it a bit with no issues. I do think this recipe, though, works best on a non-work day (unless you have a fair amount of time in the mornings, or want to prep it the night before, which is certainly possible). It’s not difficult but there is definitely some prep involved (ah, the irony of not having time to assemble the very thing that is supposed to save you time later). For us, this meal was perfect on a recent weekend day where we traveled to the city for a birthday party. We knew we’d be getting home right around dinner time, but since it was an afternoon party, I had time in the morning to get this together.
This recipe totally deserves a spot in my small-but-worthy crockpot category. The highest compliment I can give a slow cooker recipe is that it doesn’t taste like a slow cooker recipe. And this one doesn’t. In fact, it reminds me a lot of this red beans and rice with andouille, with less kick. It went over really well with the whole family and it was so good as leftovers, too. All right, America’s Test Kitchen. You make me angry with your presumptions about slow cooking times, but you turn out a damn fine meal, yet again.
Slow Cooker Southern-Style Chicken and Dirty Rice
- 30 minutes
- 4-6 hours
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
- 8 oz. kielbasa sausage, cut in 1/2″ half moons (I used chicken/turkey kielbasa)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1.5 – 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- 2 cups instant rice (I used brown minute rice)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown sausage well, about 3 minutes. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme,chili powder, and cayenne and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any brown bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown sausage well, about 3 minutes. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme,chili powder, and cayenne and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any brown bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, nestle into the slow cooker, spooning some of the liquid over the top. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours (a little longer is fine).
- Break up chicken into bite-size pieces using a wooden spoon or a couple of forks. Stir in the rice and 1 teaspoon of salt, cover, and cook on high until rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.