Just kidding. Kind of. While I don’t love the cold and flu part of this time of year, it’s still my favorite season. My family and I just got through a very difficult battle with colds and flus. One or two members may still be battling it out, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be smoother sailing, at least for the next few weeks.
Enter my second favorite part of the season, slow cooker meals! Whether I’m sick, busy, running around going to parent/teacher conferences, shopping for Halloween supplies or preparing for the upcoming holidays, I can always count on my slow cooker to do my cooking for me while I’m busy during this time of year. I have quite a few favorite recipes that I make each year around this time, but chili is a tradition once the weather even barely begins to get a slight chill factor going.
In preparation for Slowcooker Meals season, Hamilton Beach sent me this Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid to review (and giveaway, be sure to scroll down to get in on THAT!). The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, my old slow cooker I’ve had for years needs to be set manually. The light no longer works when it’s on low and during the holiday season I honestly need more than one slow cooker going. Needless to say, I’m more than grateful.
I love that this slow cooker has a locking feature to keep the lid in place. This ensures that it’s sealed and locked on tight. It also adds a little extra protection for nosy family members that want to see how dinner is looking. Did you know that every time your slow cooker lid is lifted, you should add another hour to the cooking time?! I’m constantly swatting those prying hands!!
I also like that it has a digital setting. You can program the cooking time and it will beep once it’s done. You can also set it with the manual setting if you want to go the more traditional route. I know sometimes I forget to set a timer on my old slow cooker and I’ve overcooked a few things. Or if I leave and tell my family members to turn it off at a certain time they’re sure to forget. Now there’s no excuse!
A great new feature is the digital probe. I make roasts and cook meats quite often in my slow cooker and when your meat need to reach a minimum temperature the probe is an awesome feature. You just plug it into the jack, stick it through the top of the slow cooker and into the meat and adjust the setting. Perfectly cooked meat every time.
Not only does this slow cooker come with some really awesome features, it even has it’s own spoon that rests securely in the handle of the lid. Perfect when you need a quick stir and can’t grasp around for a spoon. I think it’s pretty safe to say that this will be my new favorite small appliance in the kitchen this season, and one lucky reader can win one too! Scroll down to the end of this post for more details.
I wanted to create something delicious for my first slow cooker meal in this new favorite appliance. So I went with something that is tradition for us, but I added a few twists. As I mentioned before we typically enjoy chili this time of year. The chili we are accustomed to is of the spicier variety. It includes ground turkey or beef and kidney beans with a lot of great spices and seasonings. I wanted to try something a bit different. With chicken instead, and a creamier base. So I settled on this Slowcooker White Bean Chili. It’s exceptional, if I do say so myself. It’s a little bit of traditional chili combined with a little bit of chicken tortilla soup. It’s a lot milder too, so my kids enjoyed it a lot and I thicken it up with a little bit of a roux and the addition of both sour cream and heavy cream. I also added a little color to it by including pimientos and green chili. Topped with cilantro, avocado, crumbled up tortilla chips and a bit of shredded cheese, it hit just the right spots on a dreary day.
Ingredients for Slowcooker White Bean Chicken Chili:
- 1 pound dry white beans, presoaked
- 2.5 pounds uncooked chicken breast, diced
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chili’s
- 1 jar (2 ounces) pimientos (drained)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/cup milk
- avocado, diced *optional
- cilantro, chopped *optional
- tortilla chips, crumbled *optional
- shredded cheddar cheese *optional
About an hour before you’re ready to serve the soup, add in the heavy cream and sour cream and stir well. In a pan, over medium heat, melt the butter, and add the flour while whisking quickly. Continue to whisk until flour turns golden and remains smooth. Slowly stir in the milk. Continue whisking and keeping it smooth. Once done, let simmer until the milk is thick. Pour into the slow cooker and stir well, replacing the top and allowing everything else to warm all the way through.
Change the setting either to warm, or turn it off completely. Serve individually in bowls and garnish with avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips and cheese. Season as desired (add hot sauce if you like it a little spicier).
Giveaway runs through the evening of November 2nd.
Eligibility: Winners are limited to the continental United States and must be 18 years of age or older. See full contest rules in the rafflecopter form. You will be notified via the email you used in the rafflecopter form if you win, and you will have 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.
Enter using the rafflecopter form below. You can sign into the form with Facebook, or you can use your name and email address. Good luck!