Slow Cooked Reuben Chicken
Sometimes you just need something easy, warm, cheap, and comforting. Reuben chicken should fit the bill. I often find giant packages of giant chicken breasts on sale and split up the packages for multiple meals; this is one of them. Surrounded by sauerkraut, the chicken braises to fork tenderness. Caraway seeds provide an interesting, traditional flavor to the unusual (and far less fatty) Reuben meat. I like to cook the chicken with little red potatoes so that the potatoes absorb flavor as the chicken cooks. Cooking the potatoes with the chicken also means less cleanup, and the potatoes provide an ideal accompaniment at serving time. If you don't want to use the potatoes, rice or bread would make nice additions to the meal to help soak up the tasty chicken juices. Thousand island dressing really is essential for a Reuben. Commercial dressing is fine, but, if you'd prefer to make your own, all the better. The cheese and bread crumbs form a slight crust on top of the chicken, enticing people to discover what's underneath that smells so good. Would you prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of the breasts? They'll be great and even moister than the chicken breasts.
Slow Cooked Reuben Chicken -- Serves 6 +
1 can, jar, or package of sauerkraut (24 ounces), rinsed
8-12 small red potatoes, scrubbed well and halved or quartered to yield 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-2 1/2 pounds) 1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
1 cup of low-fat thousand island salad dressing (commercial or homemade) 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese 1/2 - 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs, preferably whole grain Coat a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and place half of the sauerkraut in the bottom. Arrange the potatoes on top of the sauerkraut. Slice the chicken breasts in half, crosswise, so they're thinner. Put the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes and dust the chicken with the poultry seasoning. Sprinkle on the caraway seeds. Spread the remaining sauerkraut on top of the chicken. Pour the thousand island dressing evenly on top of the sauerkraut. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dressing and then sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the cheese. Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on high for an hour. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook the chicken for 4-5 hours more, or until very tender. Let the chicken sit, uncovered, for a few minutes before serving it with the potatoes and sauerkraut.