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Recipe  •  8 June 2022

 

Creamy Garlic Chicken (Slow Cooker)

This irresistible creamy garlic sauce will work well with chicken, pork or veal, or for a vegetarian option use root vegetables.

You can enjoy this recipe with pasta as we have suggested, or omit and serve with some steamed rice. This meal is also lovely in a thermos for keeping hungry tummies warm and full on those wintery school days.

Serves 4 (plus a dump bag for the freezer)

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 2 hours 45 minutes or 5 hours (depending on slow-cooker setting)

  • 500 g free-range chicken breast fillets, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ leek, white part only, finely sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup (35 g) drained sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (160 g) fusilli pasta
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) cooking cream
  • 2 cups (90 g) baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup (40 g) grated parmesan, to serve (optional)
  • crusty bread, to serve (optional)

 

+ dump bag ingredients

  • 500 g free-range chicken breast fillets, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup (35 g) drained sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to add when cooking
  • 2 cups (160 g) fusilli pasta
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) cooking cream
  • 2 cups (90 g) baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup (40 g) grated parmesan, to serve (optional)
  • crusty bread, to serve (optional)

Place the chicken, garlic, butter, leek, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken stock and apple cider vinegar in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2½ hours or LOW for 4½ hours, or until the chicken is very tender.

Uncover briefly to stir in the pasta and cream. Cook for a further 15 minutes on HIGH or 30 minutes on LOW, or until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid and is al dente. Stir through the spinach and turn off the slow cooker as the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid as it rests.

Serve with grated parmesan and crusty bread if desired.

baby serve: chop, mash or blend the chicken mixture, stir through a few pieces of chopped pasta and spoon feed to your baby. Mash through some additional vegetables if you wish such as pumpkin, sweet potato broccoli or carrot. Serve some pieces of soft chicken and pasta alongside as finger foods.

toddler serve: serve the chicken pasta in a small bowl alongside some steamed vegetables, bread and fruit. If you have a reluctant eater, cook some plain pasta and offer it deconstructed alongside the creamy sauce.

WASTE-REDUCING TIP: whenever you need to open a can or jar to use just a bit of the ingredient, try to work the leftovers into the meal plan that week. We love to use the leftover sun-dried tomatoes as toppings on a lunchbox pizza.

NOTE: when cooking fresh, if time allows, you can increase the flavour by sautéing the garlic and leek in the butter for 5 minutes over a low heat.

DUMP BAG PREPARATION: place the dump bag ingredients in an airtight container or freezer bag with air expelled. Freeze for up to 2 months.

TO THAW: place the dump bag in the fridge overnight, ensuring the contents have fully thawed before adding to the slow cooker.

TO COOK: add the entire dump bag contents into the bowl of the slow cooker and continue at step 2.

STOVETOP OPTION: place the chicken, garlic, butter, leek, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken stock and apple cider vinegar in a large heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Stir through the pasta and cream and additional ½ cup (125 ml) water, then cover and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid. Stir through the spinach and remove from the heat as the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid as it rests. Serve with grated parmesan and crusty bread if desired.

ALLERGIES/INTOLERANCES:Gluten/wheat: use a gluten-free pasta. Dairy: use extra virgin olive oil instead of the butter and omit the parmesan. Instead of the cooking cream, try coconut cream.Vegetarian: try root vegetables such as sweet potato, and chickpeas instead of the chicken.

What are Dump Bags?

Dump bags are a great way to ensure there are nutritious and delicious ready-to-cook meals in your freezer for those days you’re too busy to cook. Prep a freezer bag of uncooked ingredients at the same time as making your fresh meal (such as this Creamy Garlic Chicken), so the next week (or next month!) when you’re short on time you can simply defrost your dump bag the day before you need it and it will be ready to pop in the slow cooker for dinner with little to no extra prep on the day.

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