Chicken and Mac & Cheese
Want to cook chicken in the crockpot but forgot to defrost the chicken? I wanted to make chicken with macaroni and cheese in the crockpot. But I forgot to thaw the chicken ahead of time. Some recipes say to put frozen chicken in the slow cooker. There are differing opinions on this. I read an article about the danger of not thawing chicken before cooking it in a slow cooker. To be sure, I defrosted mine in the microwave. The easiest way is to take it out the day before and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Next time, I’ll do it that way and save cooking preparation time.
Seasoning with Herbs
When I made the recipe, I was at my daughter’s house. Her family loves macaroni and cheese. She and I agreed that the chicken and mac & cheese sounded good. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, a package of “Fine Herbs” (includes chervil, chives, marjoram, parsley, tarragon), and garlic granules.
The Fine Herbs mixture, defined below, adds a good flavor to the chicken.
Chervil – a French parsley
Chives – a perennial plant from the lily family
Marjoram – an aromatic herb in the mint family
Parsley – two kinds: crinkly, curly and the other is flat; has amazing nutritious benefits
Tarragon – a perennial herb from the sunflower family
Finally, the thawed chicken was cooking. My original idea of cooking the large package of chicken in the slow cooker was to make two recipes with it (one was barbecue chicken). That was before the idea of mixing the macaroni and cheese in.
After making rice in the slow cooker a couple of times and having it turn to mush, I hesitated to cook the pasta with the chicken. Recipes for macaroni and cheese in a slow cooker vary quite a bit. Some recipe directions say to boil the macaroni first, al dente style. Others say to cook it in the slow cooker for two or three hours. I cooked mine for less than two hours and the pasta shells were too soft.
The intended Chicken Mac & Cheese tasted like a creamy cheesy chicken casserole. I liked it. But I wasn’t trying to bake a casserole. I wanted chicken. Got that. It tasted great. But the pasta wasn’t like good ol’ mac & cheese.
Easy Way to Cook Chicken and Mac & Cheese in the Slow Cooker
I came to the conclusion that the easiest way to cook macaroni and cheese from the box is just as the directions say on the box. On the stove. When it’s done, drain and add to the chicken. Mix in the cheese just before serving.
This is the easy way to make a chicken and macaroni and cheese casserole.
Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Chicken Casserole
- 1 package of 8 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, thawed
- salt & pepper
- Fine Herbs (chervil, chives, marjoram, parsley, tarragon)
- garlic granules
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 2 boxes Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese
- Season chicken when thawed.
- Place chicken in slow cooker, and add water.
- Cook for 3-4 hours.
- Cook macaroni according to box.
- When macaroni is done, drain liquid from chicken.
- Mix the Velveeta Shells & Cheese with the chicken.
- Ready to eat!
When your schedule becomes too busy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, experiment with slow cooker meals. They save time, and it’s nice to come home to a ready-to-eat meal.