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I am officially an idiot.

Posted Jan 05 2010 6:27am

I seriously should not be allowed to operate a stove. Or a microwave. And especially not a crock pot.

It’s the new year you know, so I have been trying to get better about cooking dinner, bringing my lunch to work (although I started the new year off right by going to BW3 today), saving money, all that. So last night I did a google search to see what I could throw into the crock pot this morning, using ingredients I had on hand.

Eventually, I came across this, a recipe for slow cooker spaghetti chicken. The reviews were pretty good, and one of the only negative ones said it was “great for teenagers but not empty nesters who want something better.” I figured it would be perfect for us, since my pallet reflects the sophistication of a 15-year-old.

Let me show you the recipe so you can identify all the things I did wrong.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Chicken (from allrecipes.com)
Ingredients
* 1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti, cooked and drained
* 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
* 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
* 8 ounces processed cheese food
* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – boiled and cut into bite-size pieces
Directions
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
2. Put chicken soup, mushroom soup, tomatoes with green chile peppers and cheese in slow cooker over medium heat. Stir together and cook until cheese has melted.
3. Stir cooked chicken and spaghetti into cheese mixture and heat through. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes.

After looking at this again, it’s worse than I thought. See those directions up there? I basically skipped 1-3. Oops. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Before omitting all of the steps required to make the dish, I also screwed with the ingredients. The recipe says “1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti, cooked and drained.” Boiling the noodles seemed like an awfully lot of trouble to go through, so I did a little google search and found something that said it was ok to put uncooked pasta into a crock pot. Score! So, instead of using “1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti, cooked and drained,” I used 1 (13.25 ounce) package (whole wheat) spaghetti, uncooked and therefore undrained. I didn’t have “8 ounces processed cheese food” but I did have 4 slices of American cheese. Hey, the less processed cheese food the better, right? And finally, the “4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – boiled and cut into bite-size pieces.” Yeah. Boiling noodles was too much trouble, I certainly wasn’t about to boil the chicken. Cooking food is what the crock pot is for! So instead, I used 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, straight from the freezer and frozen solid.

So back to the directions. Let me refresh your memory.
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
2. Put chicken soup, mushroom soup, tomatoes with green chile peppers and cheese in slow cooker over medium heat. Stir together and cook until cheese has melted.
3. Stir cooked chicken and spaghetti into cheese mixture and heat through. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes.

Yeah. I did none of those things. I broke my dry, uncooked and undrained spaghetti noodles in half and threw them in the pot. I then threw in the frozen chicken breasts and added the can of diced tomatoes. I shook the various congealed soups out of their can and right into the pot, and covered the creation with some Kraft singles. Then I put the lid on, set it too cook on low for six hours (what?? that’s only 5 hours and 20 minutes more than the recipe said!) and waltzed out the door to work feeling pretty domestic.

You’ll never believe this, but it didn’t work.

When I got home, this is what I found.
crock pot mess 1

Doesn’t that look good??

It was awful. The chicken-soup-cheese part didn’t look so bad, but the noodles were a disaster. They were hard and stuck together and completely charred. Here’s a closer look.
crock pot mess 2

Needless to say, we didn’t eat it for dinner. Instead, I went to Subway and let the sandwich artists create our meal. I should really leave these things to the professionals.

Cooking FAIL.

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