New Recipes I Tried This Past Month: Whole Chicken & Salsa Chicken

One of my goals this year is to try new recipes and cook new things. I have a lot of tried and trued things that I cook and I love them, but sometimes it gets a little boring and I feel inspired to try new things. It doesn't have to be anything crazy like octopus, it can really just be cooking chicken or pork chops a different way. So I've decided I should share the new recipes I've tried at the end of each month. It's my hope to inspire other people to try new things (it's honestly not that hard to try a few new things here and there) and I'm also hoping it will hold me accountable to actually find new recipes and try them. So, I will stop all of my babbling and tell you about the new recipes I tried this month. I'm not sure why, but apparently I was all about new chicken recipes.

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Whole chicken in the crockpot

I made a whole chicken and no one died! Ok, technically that's dramatic since I have successfully made Thanksgiving three years in a row and no one has died. But, for some reason, a chicken made me really nervous. I had been wanting to try it for so long though. Partially because it's a great way to get a ton of tasty chicken and broth. I basically used this recipe over here. It was one of the better recipes I found because it was a no-fuss just basic chicken type deal. Here's what I did:

1. I followed the first two steps on the recipe. Cut up an onion and put it on the bottom of the crockpot. Remove all of the crap from the chicken (giblets, liver, etc.). It's usually just in a bag. Getting all of the giblets and such were a challenge because our chicken was still frozen. Seriously, that thing has been in the fridge for days. So with a bit of warm water we were able to break down the ice to get to what we needed too. Not as easy as a turkey at all my friends, but not hard at all and I think next time I will make sure it's thawed or use it immediately after buying.

2. Then it came time for the spice rub. I altered the spices a bit -- I didn't use cayenne pepper, sage, or rosemary and I opted to use seasoned salt and a little poultry seasoning (I think I did about 2 teaspoons of each). And then in true Jess fashion I added more of the seasonings when all was said and done. I rubbed the seasonings all over that chicken. Nice and good. It was actually kind of fun. I did it while the chicken was in the crockpot that way I wouldn't make a mess or lose any of the seasonings.

3. I set it in the crockpot and let it cook for 8 hours on low. Like the person who wrote the original recipe, I was really nervous about not putting it in there with any liquid. I didn't think it was possible to make that much liquid. But it really does and trust me when I say this, you do not need to add anything at all. When it was done cooking it was almost covered with liquid. I was amazed.

It turned out pretty well and the best part is the fact that we were able to get so much use out of the meat and the broth. We used the meat for quesadillas for lunches during the week. I also attempted to make chicken soup which really turned into chicken noodles. I wasn't a fan so I need to make some adjustments next time. But Mr. T loved it.

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Salsa Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest and it sounded so tasty that I really wanted to try it. I made a few alterations though.

I realized once I thoroughly read the recipe that this isn't really a true crockpot recipe, but it's not really baked. I was short on time the day that I made it and, honestly, I don't really get the point of cooking something "a little" in the crockpot. So here's what I did.

1. I put chicken two chicken breast in the crockpot and poked a few holes in it with a fork. I covered it with the same homemade salsa recipe that I've referred to before (I LOVE that stuff). Then I let it cook on low for about 3-4 hours.

2. I was going to just throw the cheese in the crockpot, but then I thought it would be good to make a taco salad. Mr. T and I eat tacos a ton and salad a ton, but rarely eat taco salad (weird, I know). All I did was make a basic salad. Then I mixed some salsa with some ranch for a tasty dressing. (I used same stuff that I added to the chicken, but I didn't use the actual leftover salsa from cooking the chicken in the crockpot). Then I piled that along with a few chips and cheese on a plate. The end result was amazing. Mr. T was a huge fan too!