I have been making my Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa recipe every single Sunday for weeks now (it has to be a record, I just don’t do that). I think it’s both the simplicity of the recipe, the use of the crockpot, and, of course, the taste that draws me back to it every week.
For the original recipe, I tried to encouraged you to play around with the recipe to use what you had on hand and to meet your taste buds approval. While I have been doing it pretty much the same way this whole time, I thought I was take my own advice and mix things up a little.
I have been wanting to try out red quinoa, which has a beautiful red color, so I figured this was my chance. I took out the celery and added in more carrots and the result was so pretty! The red quinoa and the carrots complemented each other wonderfully. We found that it took a little longer to cook, for some reason. I also had a little trouble getting my onion to cook all the way. This was puzzling because I had made it just the same all the other times, and it had been just fine. Then I realized that this onion was on the bottom of a five pound bag, and was a lot older than the other ones I used. So, if you are afraid of this happening to you, I would recommend cooking your onion a little in some butter or oil on the stove top first and then adding it to the crockpot.
The other difference we noted with the red quinoa is that it had a little more texture to it. It didn’t get quite so mushy as the regular quinoa and the grains remained more separate. This made this dish much more like a soup or stew, as you can probably see in the picture. Compare it to the picture for regular Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa and you will see what I mean.
It’s also important to note that since this is a simple recipe, you should use high quality ingredients because they will have nothing to hide behind. Fresh produce (not old onions like mine!), homemade chicken broth, a wine that you would be willing to drink on it’s own, and good quality chicken, will make all the difference in the world.
If you are wondering why I use some broth and some water, it’s because the chicken makes it’s own broth as it cooks. But if you are worried about not getting enough flavor because you are using a store bought broth, or a weak homemade broth, by all means, use all broth instead.
My husband thought that mushrooms would be delicious in this, and I thought that it could easily become more substantial by adding in peas, corn, mushrooms and even cabbage! Once again, play around with it. It’s a very forgiving recipe. If you add in more veggies, you may want to increase your broth as well.
Crockpot Red Quinoa and Chicken (soup)
1 cup RED quinoa (soaked overnight in water, than drained and rinsed in a strainer. If you don’t soak your grains, still rinse to remove a bitter substance from the grain)
2 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup of white wine (don’t use cooking wine, use REAL drinking wine)
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon of salt
6 large carrots, peeled and cubed
1 onion, minced
2 chicken breasts or thighs
3 Tablespoons of butter (opt, for added richness and taste)
Throw all the ingredients in your crockpot, cook on high for about 4 hours or on low, 8. Shred the chicken when done, and stir into the stew and you are done!