January 16, 2012

The Slow Cooker Challenge & Low-Fat Lemon Thyme Chicken {Naptime Simple Tips}

Breville Slow-Cooker

Welcome to The Naptime Chef & Small Kitchen College Slow Cooker Challenge! This week Phoebe, Cara, Lily and I are joining forces to talk all things slow-cooker. You might ask: what do college cooks and moms have in common? Answer: they’re BUSY.

Do you use your slow cooker a lot in the winter? What do you make? I hope are excited because we are going to chat slow cooking with you all week long! I know I, for one, am a big fan of slow cooking during naptime and this week I am going to explore all the interesting family foods can be slow-cooked. I’ll give you a hint: it is about much more than soups and stews. We’ll be partnering with Big Kitchen and offering up two great slow cookers, one on each of our sites! See below for how to take home the Breville model. If you visit Small Kitchen College you can also enter to win a great Delonghi version.

More importantly, we’ll be joined by an all-star list of bloggers and food sites whom will be sharing in the slow cookin’ fun and posting recipes, tips, and tricks throughout the week. To get in on the action, simply post about the challenge and feature a slow cooker recipe on your own site and shoot us the link. We’ll add you to the growing list below!

Don’t own a slow cooker? Not to worry! This week is really about celebrating one-pot, hands-off recipes, whether they’re safely cooking in your Crock Pot, or slowly braising in the oven.

If you are in need of new inspiration check out my collaborative Pinterest board and the Small Kitchen College Pinterest board where we can all pin recipes all winter long!

On Wednesday, January 18th from 12pm – 1pm, we’ll be hosting a live twitter chat along with Food52, The Daily Meal, Fine Cooking, Punchfork, Foodily, OXO Good Grips and more. We’ll be using hash tag #slowcooker. Tune in to talk all things slow cookin’! During the Twitter event and throughout the day we’ll be offering the first giveaway of amazing OXO Good Grip tools that are essential for slow-cookin’!

On Thursday, January 19th we’ll be slow-cookin’ all day on Facebook you can enter to win a second prize-pack of OXO Good Grips kitchen tools by uploading photographs of your slow-cooked meals to The Naptime Chef fanpage, Small Kitchen College fanpage or Big Girls, Small Kitchen fanpage

**Participating Sites**

FN Dish, Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy People

Food52

The Family Dinner, Slow Cooker Curry

Edible Europe, 7 Days of Slow Cooking

Martha Stewart Family Room, Slow Cooker Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Foodily, The Slow Cooker Challenge and 4 Essential Slow-Cooker Recipes

Fine Cooking, The Slow Cooker Challenge Heats Up!

Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese

Punchfork

The Daily Meal, The Slow Cooker Challenge

College Candy

Her Campus

College Lifestyles, The Slow Cooker Challenge

Life2PointOh, Slow Cooker Recipes for Winter

One Bite At A Time, Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche

Mrs. Wheelbarrow, Braised Lamb Neck

Thursday Night Dinner, Stewed Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

Savoring the Thyme, Slow Cooker Bison Bolognese

Babble, The Slow Cooker Challenge is Here!

Momtastic, 3 Essential Slow Cooker Recipes!

Families in the Loop

Debbie Koenig, Slow Cooker Chorizo Chili

NY Family Magazine, It is Slow Cooking Season!

One Hungry Mama, Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Dinner with Julie, Slow Cooker Guinness Baked Beans

CafeMom, Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

Simple Bites, Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables

Simple Bites, Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

Gluten is my Bitch, Gluten-Free 4-Alarm Chili for the Slow Cooker
Cookin’ Canuck, Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
Food for my Family,
Eclectic Recipes
Family Fresh Cooking, Blueberry Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oats

Talk Nerdy to Me

The Kids Cook Monday, Indian Spiced Tomato Potato Soup

Early Twenties, How a Slow Cooker Could Change My Life

Aggie’s Kitchen

Laura’s Best Recipes

Veggie Vangelist, Slow Cooker Posole

Cooking with my Kid, Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Banh Mi)

Sugar Free Mom, Overnight Oatmeal

Not Derby Pie, Slow Cooker Adobo Black Bean Soup

Entry Requirements to Win a Breville Slow-Cooker:

1. Leave a comment sharing what your favorite slow-cooker meal (sweet or savory!)

2. Subscribe to The Naptime Chef newsletter (upper right hand corner) – I’ll check!

3. Become a fan of The Naptime Chef on Facebook**

4. Become a fan of Big Kitchen on Facebook.**

5. 1 Extra Entry: Share the link to this post with your friends on Facebook and link to @TheNaptimeChef Facebook fanpage and Big Kitchen fanpage

6. 1 Extra Entry: Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and link to hashtag @TheNaptimeChef

7. 1 Extra Entry: Follow me on Stumbleupon and stumble this entry by clicking the green thumbs up.

8. 6 Extra Entries: Share the post about this article from my Facebook fanpage to at least 10 friends. (I can see who shares what, so I will note when you share!)

Note:  The contest runs from Monday January 16th at 7:00am through Saturday January 21st at 7:00pm. Winner will be announced Sunday January 22nd at 7:00am ET. All winners will be selected by Random.org. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize, or it will be awarded to someone else.

** If you don’t use Facebook simply notify me in the comments and that requirement will be waived.

Disclosure: This gift was generously donated by the kind people at BigKitchen.com.

Recipe

Slow-Cooker Low-Fat Lemon Thyme Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, (on the larger, denser side)
¼ cup olive oil
2 large lemons, zested and juiced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper
8 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions

1. Mix the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and minced garlic together in a small mixing bowl and pour it into the bottom of a large slow-cooker, about 5 or 6 quart.

2. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them in the slow-cooker turn them once through the olive oil mixture. Then sprinkle both sides of chicken with large pinches of kosher salt and cracked pepper. Nestle the salted and pepper breasts snuggly into the bottom of the slow cooker. Tuck the sprigs of thyme between and around the chicken breasts.

3. Cut one of the zested lemons into eighths and nestle them top and around the breasts with the thyme.

4. Place the lid on top of the slow-cooker and cook on high heat for 3 hours. Check the inside of one of the breasts to make sure they are cooked through. The cooking time might vary a bit based on the slow-cooker and density of the chicken breasts. If they need to cook longer do it in 15-minute increments.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Served with some rice and salad this makes an excellent, healthy dinner for winter – or summer! Play with the flavorings, nearly any herb would taste good in lieu of thyme. I think we might try rosemary next time!

 

Naptime Stopwatch

15 minutes prep time,  3 hours cooking time

 

Naptime Reviews

This is always a hit in our house!

 

More Naptime Recipes

  • Sarah H.P.

    I don’t have a slow-cooker, yet, but our favorite one-pot oven dish is a braised beef joint with veggies. We usually make up the recipe as we go, so it is different every time but the meat just falls apart and is utterly divine! My hubby is a hard-core meat and potatoes kind of guy so this is one of his favorites for sure!

  • Sarah H.P.

    I subscribe to the Naptime Chef newsletter!

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    I’m a fan of the Naptime Chef on Facebook!

  • Sarah H.P.

    I’m a fan of Big Kitchen on Facebook too!

  • Darla

    We love cheesy grits in the crock pot, but I would LOVE a new crock pot!

  • Emily

    I have an asparagus lentil soup with tons of cilantro which is our no-fail slow cooker meal.  I have had a lot of other FAIL meals with the slow cooker so looking forward to new ideas.

  • Liz J

    My two favorite items to cook in a crockpot are chicken cacciatore and baked beans. Thanks for having this great contest! This crockpot looks beautiful.

  • Kim Law

    my favorite crockpot recipe is corned beef, I like it with lots of garlic.  fan on FB of Big Girls and Small Kitchen, will add Naptime now.  Love the newsletters!  This recipe sounds wonderful, I think I will try it tonight

  • http://www.pronetowandercho.blogspot.com/ Kristy

    We just used our slow cooker on Friday to make Chicken Tikka Masala. THAT is comfort food! The give away slow cooker looks beautiful to this girl- the handle on my lid is broken and one of the heating levels doesn’t work… :-)
    Blessings!

  • Spdfish

    Became a fan of Big Kitchen, already a fan of yours!  Started chicken in rice cooker/slow cooker but I could use a “real” slow cooker.

  • Stephanie Clark

    My current fave is slow-cooked stuffed peppers.  I am making your recipe tonight!  Thank you, I had no idea what to make and no free tim this evening.

  • Stephanie Clark

    I am a fan of The Naptime Chef on FB

  • Stephanie Clark

    I am a fan of Big Kitchen on FB, too!

  • Thisisnotapril

    I don’t yet have a slow-cooker, but am hoping to have one in a few months! This lemon thyme recipe looks amazing, and the Simple Bites Coconut Ginger Chicken and Vegetables does too – both make me want to run out and get a cooker today! I’d also love to try chicken dumplings in the crockpot too. 

  • Chefcatou

    I don’t have a slow cooker but it would certainly help me since we just had a third boy!
    I do not have a facebook account

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  • SugarFreeMom

    I love my slow cooker! I have a small one and a large one! In my smaller, I make Overnight oatmeal with apples and raisins. In my larger I have made crockpot meatballs,  Chicken &bean stew, pork stew oh so many options!

  • SugarFreeMom

    I “liked” naptime on FB

  • SugarFreeMom

    I became a fan of BigKitchen on FB

  • Jshoward06

    We like making Mexican chicken, just salsa and chicken, then shred. Great for tacos, burritos, nachos, whatever and easy!

  • Jshoward06

    I liked Naptime chef on fb.

  • Jshoward06

    I’m a fan of Big Kitchen on fb.

  • Melizajane20

    I love cooking whole chickens in my crockpot and then afterwards I keep the juice from the chicken, throw the bones in there, and then add water to make yummy both.

  • alex

    My aboslute favorite thing to make in a slow cooker is beef stew with red potatoes and all the vegetables i can find to add in

  • Jane Highstreet

    It’s not really a meal…but my favorite thing to make in a crock pot is apple butter :)

    Also, I am now a facebook fan :)

  • Smitha Arons

    I have yet to find a recipe I like in the Slow Cooker so I am excited to try your chicken!

  • Nancy Larma

    I like mac and cheese cooked in a crock pot!

  • Nancy Larma

    I already subscribe to the naptime newsletter!

  • Nancy Larma

    Already a fan of Naptime Chef on Facebook!

  • djs

    I love apple sauce made in a crockpot.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NQIAXA4FXTB3PIWA7PERW5UARY Dawn

    We love to make soups and bone broths and have them available all day long in the winter. It really warms you up and is so handy for our busy schedules.

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  • Nicolette

    I’m a busy, poor grad student so I like to make my favorite restaurant dishes at home in my crockpot.  My current favorite dish is cashew chicken. 

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  • Stef

    My favorite slow cooker meal is my Grandpa’s beef stew!

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  • Winterwrens

    My favorite thing is soup… so easy and delicious and good to come home to.  I’d also like to give applesauce a try and maybe try jam too.  (Thanks for allowing non-facebook entries, by the way!  I don’t use that site.)
    winterwrens at gmail dot com

  • Stef

    Tweeted! https://twitter.com/#!/kaori_ikeda01/status/159013501623480323

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    Stumbled the entry! 

  • http://twitter.com/ilonat ilona t

    asian pork!

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  • Anne G

    Crockpot Mac and chz

  • http://twitter.com/justaskPatti Patti W

    I love pulled pork in the crockpot.

  • http://twitter.com/justaskPatti Patti W

    I already am a fan on FB

  • http://twitter.com/justaskPatti Patti W

    Tweeted

  • http://www.veggievangelist.blogspot.com/ Tina

    I like red beans with chicken andouille sausage in the slow cooker. Posole is another favorite.  I’m a Naptime Chef fan on FB and receive the email newsletters as well. 

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    I shared on FB with 10 friends

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  • Hyman

    So happy I found this blog! I’m a new, first time mom to a 5 month old baby boy … wow is it hard to get dinners cooked now. My husband is daydreaming of dinners and we’re both wishing for healthier meals … as opposed to pizza/chinese/hamburger delivery. I have had no inspiration and little motivation, but this has inspired me! THank you :)

  • Stephanie

    chili followed by coconut rice pudding :)

  • Stephanie

    followed on fb

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    tweeted :)

  • Codysmomuk

    stumbled the entry.

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  • Aliofish

    Stew in the slow cooker is my favourite!

  • Carrie Ann Woodard

    I have a favorite recipe that I cook in my crockpot/slow-cooker.  Check it out:
    http://stayathomegingersrecipes.blogspot.com/2012/01/slow-cooker-challenge.html 

    YUMMY!

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  • Ellen Firestone

    I am a follower!  I would love to win the crock pot.  It looks wonderful! 

  • Ellen Firestone

    I am a fan of BGSK, bought their book for my daughter living in NYC.

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  • http://twitter.com/JeanettesHealth Jeanette Chen

    I love making chili in my slow cooker – turkey black bean chili going in right now!

  • Jefortier

    My favourite recipe is in Canadian Living Slow Cooker Cookbook, the “soupe aux pois” is wonderful, especially on those really cold winter days.

  • http://www.heymarlo.blogspot.com/ Marlo

    My favorite thing I’ve made in my slow cooker was a thai coconut beef recipe that I’ve since lost! It had red curry paste and coconut milk and ginger. Simple recipe served over rice that was a huge hit. Going to attempt it again soon & write it down in my trusty recipe binder when I get it right.

  • Ruth

    I love making sweet and sour meatballs in the slowcooker!

  • Carla Reed

    Beans! Nothing but beans! I haven’t had a slow cooker in years!

  • http://twitter.com/3grls2boys1dog Tara

    My favorite slow cooker recipe is Taco Junk!

  • Heather

    I don’t have a favorite yet… I just received a SunOven and have been trying to find vegetarian slow cook recipes to cook while I’m at work : ) However I need an electric cooker for overnight so that I can cook the yummy french toast recipe you posted earlier

  • Heather

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  • Cajungourmet

    following on FB (RWithers) & tweet on twitter (cajungourmet)
    My favorite things to cook in the crockpot are chili & roasts

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  • Kva

    My most frequent slowcooker meals are pulled pork and pot roast, although I’m trying today’s risotto and that could be a new fave!

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  • Stephanie

    It’s a tie between America’s Test Kitchen slow cooker chili and a recipe they have for pork with prunes and apple cider. 

  • Natalie V.

    We have two favorites (that I make regularly): beef stew and pulled pork! After the chat this morning, I’m really wanting to try making some desserts in the #slowcooker. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Anonymous

    Usually we use the slowcooker for carnitas. But my favorite is probably the 15 bean and veggie stew we make. Just throw whatever you have on hand in the pot and away it goes. Easy and cheap and was a life saver when writing my MA thesis

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  • Mary Beth Hunt

    I recently bought some dried soup mixes at the Farmer’s Market and made those in my old crock pot. They cooked all day long, no muss or fuss. So easy!

  • Mary Beth Hunt

    I subscribe to the Naptime Chef Newsletter…and love it

  • Mary Beth Hunt

    I am a Facebook Friend.

  • Mary Beth Hunt

    I’m now a fan of Big Kitchen on Facebook.

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  • Jecca1120

    My favorite slow cooker meal is pot roast!

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  • Leslie Olson

    Just found you – this is one exciting site!   Up to today my favorite recipe would have been “Bachelor’s Barbeque Beef”

  • Briana

    My favorite slow cooker recipe is easy Italian pot roast with mushrooms and onions.

  • Briana

    I like the naptime chef on FB!

  • Briana

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  • Briana

    I just subscribed to your newsletter.

  • heidi

    I like making chicken tagine in the slow cooker

  • heidi

    I subscribed to your site

  • Dee Greenwood

    Lamb shanks with prunes!

  • Catherine Faulkenburg

    My favorite slow cooker meal is barbecue!  So easy and tasty!

  • Ladyloo

    Favourite slow cooker recipe is white beans and ham. Yum yum.

  • Mbb

    venison bbq!

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  • Padilla330

    I actually have never cooked with a slow cooker and have been wanted one for xmas, but didn’t know what to look for… and now I want one even more seeing all these great recipes naptime chef has been posting to FB!  So, I don’t have any fav slow cooker recipes, but hopefully I can still qualify!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Valerie-Vagnini/10502228 Valerie Vagnini

    My Grandmom prepares her stuffed cabbage (we call them “guampkies”) in her slow cooker.  The celery, onion, and tomato sauce combo penetrates the cabbage and soaks into the rice perfectly!  Just thinking about it makes me hungry!

  • Miranda

    I love making a Rachel Ray “no chop chili” recipe in the slow cooker. Can’t wait to try this chicken!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/samzinth Samantha Snider Zinth

    My favorite slow-cooker recipe is for BBQ ribs! They cook all day in a decadent dry rub and BBQ sauce, then you (carefully) take them out of the slow cooker, baste them with the sauce, and throw them under the broiler for 10 minutes. Devine!

  • Cindi

    Great giveaway!  My son is in his second year of college and would
    love to have this slow cooker…One of my favorite slow cooker meals
    is White Bean Chicken Chili!
    Many thanks,  Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

  • Cindi

    I am a subscriber to The Naptime Chef Newsletter!
    Again, many thanks to you…Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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    Cindi Hoppes
    Thanks so much…Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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    I also “Like” Big Kitchen on Facebook.
    Cindi Hoppes
    Thanks bunches!
    Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

  • Cindi

    “Facebook Post!”
    http://www.facebook.com/cindi512/posts/133178373467928.
    Merci, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

  • Cindi

    “Tweet!”
    https://twitter.com/#!/cmh512/status/160432937412722688.
    Thank you…Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

  • Cindi
  • Anita Chapa-Doyle

    My current slow cooker favorites are whole chicken and lasagna. 

  • Cindi

    I shared this post with the Public on my Facebook Page!
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    Cindi
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  • Amanda Jasinski

    I love overnight breakfast risotto.

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  • Miranda Couse

    pulled pork is my favorite!

  • cindyskitchen

    My favorite slow-cooker meal is Beef & Veggie Soup

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  • Jgerien

    I am a subscriber of the nap time chef and my favorite slow cooker recipe is Mexican chicken with 3 kinds of beans!

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  • Kathleen Conner

    My favorite slow-cooker meal is a delicious bean soup (kind of sweet?)–more spicy, I think

  • John Billiris

    My favorite is slow-cooked chili! (sweetish, I guess)

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  • Tracy Bermeo

    Facebooked as much as I know how to do, tweeted, and recipe is below. I can’t say it’s my favorite, but it’s an original and I figure that’s gotta count for something. Love that this contest is happening, and more so the recipes. There is a need for really good slow cooker recipes, because so many out there are so bad…..
    http://a2zmommy.blogspot.com/2012/01/osso-buco-and-my-crock-pot.html 

  • Amicriox

    My favorite slow cooker meal is an alfredo sauce chicken recipe. It is perfect. I don’t use facebook. I am probably too old to enjoy that kind of thing. My kids love it.

  • Cat

    Love to cook pork adobo or chili!

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  • Karen Lynch

    I love Red Beans and Rice in the Slow Cooker

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  • RaisingZ

    chilli :)

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  • Lisa C

    I love making whole chickens in the crockpot! So easy and they come out very tender. Can do many different spices! I am a fan of you and big kitchen on fb and am subscribed to your newsletter! I really need a new crock pot mine is very old!

  • RoChele A

    This lemon thyme chicken sounds divine! My favorite slow-cooker is a recipe I found in Bon Appetit. It’s Portugese Chicken, and it is SO good. 

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  • RoChele A

    Oops, looks like I just missed the deadline. This recipe still sounds divine though, and will get made! :P

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  • Tiffany Harvey

    I think the only thing we make in the crock pot so far is a Brunswick Stew but we’re trying some new ones. Our crock pot likes to burn things, so we definitely need a new one!

  • Stacey

    Hi. I have a question about the slow cooker brownies.  I have one of those ginormous Breville slow cookers (7 qt).  Your brownie recipe says to use a 5-qt. slow cooker.  Is it still possible to make brownies in my slow cooker?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Stacy,
      I think that the brownies might be very thin if the slow cooker is that large. Perhaps you could increase the recipe by half to bulk it up a bit? Best, Kelsey

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  • Sarah

    Turkey Chili with Kidney Beans and served with Fresh Cornbread!