I was searching for a new crockpot meal the other day on Pinterest. I love the idea of dinner cooking while I am doing something else, but most of the crockpot meals I find don’t look appetizing. The food is usually way over cooked and casserole-like, of which I am not a big fan. My crockpot meals are limited to soups, goulash, chili and I have even adapted my pasta sauce to cook in the crockpot. Then I came across Stephanie O’Dea’s website* and saw that she layered her crockpot. This recipe is adapted from one of hers.

Pesto Chicken and Baked Potatoes
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 jar of pesto sauce
Sliced mozzarella cheese
Garlic to taste

I used a 6 qt. crockpot and sprayed Pam on the bottom and sides. I placed four chicken breasts on the bottom and then covered them with jarred pesto sauce. (When my garden matures, I can make my own pesto!) Next, I placed slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the pesto. I sprinkled a little chopped (jarred) garlic on top of the cheese because we love garlic. I think it would have been better with whole garlic cloves, but I didn’t have any. To separate the potatoes from the chicken, I placed a Pam-sprayed piece of foil over the chicken. I washed potatoes and pierced them with a fork. I was worried about lack of liquid so I poured a ¼ cup of chicken broth down the sides to get to the bottom. I covered it with the lid and went to do something else.

I cooked the meal on high for 4 hours. I probably could have gone about 3 ½ hours for the chicken as it was falling apart. The potatoes needed a little while longer, so I finished them off in the microwave on 80 power for 2 minutes. Next time, I think I will throw in the potatoes for the first hour by themselves before adding the chicken. We had a salad on the side, but since I had some room on top of the potatoes, next time I will probably add a foil packet of cut veggies.

My husband, who is brutally honest about my new recipes, said he really liked it and I should make it again. My oldest daughter ate hers smothered in ketchup. My son complained so much about the “green meat” that after trying it, we let him eat leftover pizza. My middle child and best eater wasn’t home for dinner so we didn’t get her vote.

Now that I discovered layering and foiling in the crockpot, I plan to make a lot more meals that way! Stay tuned!

*Technical difficulties this morning – Here is Stephanie’s Website : http://stephanieodea.com/