Before and After

It’s probably an oxymoron to say “quickie slow cooker” anything, but when you look into the refrigerator for inspiration–rather than a recipe–it’s definitely quicker than going to the grocery mart, finding the right herbs, and culling together proper vegetables.

Alora… with a pound of chicken breast, I rummage through my refrigerator for an easy marinade. Ah, the champagne vinaigrette dressing from Trader Joe’s works nicely. Of course, onions go with everything in my dinners so I always have a handy bag of onions lying around. I cut up one onion into cubes and place them into the slow cooker, lining the bottom as a base. Then I put the marinated chicken breast right on top of the onions. Now, I needed something else. What other vegetables do I have? Well, I see two slightly disheveled sweet potatoes lying in my crisper. I say “disheveled” because they’ve been sitting in there for close to two weeks. Not a problem. I lop off the strange white parts that are teetering toward the moldy stage. Then I cut up the sweet potatoes into discs, 1/2- to 1-inch discs. Then I throw all of the sweet potato discs on top of the chicken.

However, something’s not right. I feel there is something still missing. I could pour a half-bottle of red wine on top so that the chicken can soak in wine while cooking, or I could use chicken broth. Unfortunately, I don’t have chicken broth in the pantry today. But wait a second! I have butternut squash soup from Trader Joe’s. I proceed to douse the sweet potatoes with TJ’s creamy butternut squash soup. Add some ground pepper from the pepper mill, add a few dashes of salt, and cover the slow cooker. Set it for a 6-hour cooking time, and voila! I walk away (or actually, go for a walk outside in the 68-degree winter wonderland of Southern California). I suggest checking on the slow cooker progress at the four-hour mark, as the chicken will likely be ready.

Incidentally, I’ve tried many times to use my slow cooker and was never really satisfied with the dinners that emerged from it. I thought that I simply wasn’t cut out to cook in this fashion, that I needed searing heat for something quick and delicious. I’m glad I gave the slow cooker one more chance.


  • 1 or more pounds of chicken breast
  • Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing (mine was from Trader Joe’s)
  • Organic Butternut Squash Soup (again, mine was from TJ’s)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch discs
  • 1 onion, cut into cubes (quarter it first, then halve the quarters)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Marinate the chicken by covering it on both sides with the champagne vinaigrette dressing.
  • Place the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Add the chicken so that it sits on top of the onions.
  • Add the sweet potato discs on top of and all around the chicken.
  • Douse the sweet potato discs with butternut squash soup. I used ~1/4 of the box.
  • Add generous dashes of pepper.
  • Add just a few dashes of salt.
  • Cover and set the cooking time for 6 hours.
  • Check the chicken at the 4-hour mark. It will likely be done.



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