Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chicken and Tortellini


The picture doesn't look the best, but then again, it didn't look that great in real life, either. It was kind of all mixed together and a little smooshy.  I put this in the crock when I got back from shopping, and assembled  meals while it was cooking. I used a rotisserie chicken, and it basically shredded itself and fell into tiny bits. There were no large chunks of chicken. That said, both Darrin and I said this is something to make again (the kids ate all their tortellini and most of the chicken), with a few changes, of course.  My thoughts on those I'll note after the recipe.

Chicken and Tortellini 

 adapted from Six Sisters

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed OR 1 cooked rotisserie chicken
1 frozen package cheese tortellini
26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
15 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
15 oz low-fat or part-skim Ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 onion, diced


Saute the spinach and onions in the butter until the onions are soft. Add chicken to warm through.

In a separate bowl, mix together Ricotta, spaghetti sauce, and diced tomatoes.

In greased crock pot, combine tortellini with the two mixtures above. Cook on low 4 -6 hours (I would do four hours, ours was pretty soft at 4, and the tortellini touching the pot got a little dark).

Alterations for next time

The wilted spinach did nothing for me in the mixture. I found it annoying, and the kids picked it out.  I think next time I make it with this method, I'll saute some peppers, zucchini, and carrots with the onions to pump up the veggie content and eliminate the spinach (the original recipe called for mushrooms and olives- yuck!). I might add a can of tomato sauce, too. I wanted it to be a bit saucier than it was.

I'm not really sure about prepping this and keeping it in the freezer.  As I was eating it, I thought about the possibility of layering the raw veggies and raw chicken breasts in the crock and topping them with the spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes and letting it cook all day on low. Then I'd shred the chicken when I got home, stir in the ricotta, then the tortellini, and turn it up to high to cook the tortellini.  Pretty sure this is the route I'll try the next time I make it. If I did it this way, everything but the ricotta and tortellini could be combined and frozen ahead of time.
 
I also think that if you made it as is, you could place it in a casserole dish in the oven for 30ish minutes, until it's warmed through, and you'd have the same results I had after 4 hours in the crock pot.
 

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