Slow-Cooked Ranch Chicken and Vegetables
Place onion wedges in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl combine dried onion, parsley flakes, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, thyme, and dill. Place one-third of the chicken thighs in an even layer in the slow cooker atop onions. Sprinkle chicken with about one-third of the spice mixture. Repeat layers twice, using the remaining chicken thighs and spice mixture.Advertisement
In a medium bowl stir together condensed soup, sour cream, and chile peppers. Pour over chicken in cooker.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn cooker to high-heat setting. Add sweet pepper strips and squash slices to cooker. Cover and cook 45 minutes more.
Meanwhile, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds and strings. Place one half, cut side down, in a microwave-safe baking dish. Using a fork, prick the skin all over. Microwave on 100% power (high) 10 to 12 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork; carefully remove from baking dish. Repeat with the other squash half. Cool squash slightly. Using a fork, shred and separate the squash pulp into strands.
Remove all of the chicken thighs from the slow cooker (see Tips). Place 6 of the thighs on a plate; cover with foil to keep warm. Allow vegetables and sauce in cooker to cool slightly (sauce will thicken slightly as it cools). While the sauce cools, remove the meat from the remaining chicken thighs. Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds. Discard bones. Place shredded chicken in a very large bowl; set aside.
To serve, divide spaghetti squash among six serving plates. Place one of the whole chicken thighs atop squash on each serving plate. Stir the vegetable-sauce mixture in the slow cooker. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the vegetable-sauce mixture over each serving. If desired, sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Stir the remaining vegetable-sauce mixture from the cooker into the shredded chicken in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; use to make Chipotle Ranch Chicken Pasta (see associated recipe), if desired.
Tips: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.
Be sure to thoroughly look through the vegetable-sauce mixture for any chicken bones that may have separated from the meat during cooking or removal of the chicken.
To make ahead: This recipe makes extra shredded chicken for another meal. Cover and refrigerate the extra chicken (Step 7) for up to 2 days.
1 vegetable, 1 starch, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat