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A Chicken In Every Pot


What's better on a crisp fall day than the smell of a chicken cooking?

Okay, yeah, maybe pumpkin or pecan pie, but we'll get there eventually. For now, let's focus on something comforting and yummy.


Slow Cooker Chicken


4-8 pieces of chicken OR 1 whole chicken

Enough water to cover chicken by an inch

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


Line your slow cooker with Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners, then dump everything in it and cook for 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low.

Easy Peasy!

Now, what are you going to do with this chicken? You can eat it as is with your choice of sides. OR, you can use it in a myriad of ways. Some suggestions:

Chicken Chipotle


Crock pot chicken, cooked but still in crock pot

1 can Garbanzos (chickpeas)

2 cups cooked rice

1 pepper + 1 teaspoon sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauc


1) After the chicken in the crock pot is tender, add a can of garbanzos (aka chickpeas) and 2 cups of cooked rice (I use the Uncle Ben's Roasted Chicken Ready Rice.)

2) Then, and here's the tricky part: Open a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. DO NOT dump the entire can in unless you just love, love, love fire. I usually add about a teaspoon of the sauce and 1 pepper to the pot. Stir. Wait about 10 minutes until the pepper has time to blend into the mixture. Taste. If you want more spice, start by adding more adobo sauce and maybe another pepper. This is also a good time to add more salt and pepper, if desired. Once you think you've got the spices to your taste, allow another 20-30 minutes of cooking time.


Simple Barbecue Chicken

Depending on how you like your barbecue, you can. . .

1) Pour some bottled barbecue sauce into a dish, heat it up for about a minute in the microwave and either pour over your chicken or dip it.

2) If you prefer a thicker sauce slathered all over your chicken, take your sauce, brush it over your chicken and put it in the oven on broil for just a couple of minutes. Do not take your eyes off it! It only

takes a minute or two, and once it starts to burn, it burns quickly! (Been there, done that.) But it does crisp up the chicken a little and is delicious this way.


Caren's Barbecue Chicken Spaghetti

Barbecue chicken and spaghetti??? Can that possibly be good?

I know it may not sound very apetizing, but you gotta try it to believe it!

This is a recipe I adapted for the slow cooker from my mother's baked barbecue chicken and spaghetti. Her original recipe, and how she came to invent it, follows this one.


1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup chicken broth from slow cooker

1/2 cup lemon juice (real lemons from a tree)

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Slow Cooker Chicken, skin and bones removed

4 cups cooked spaghetti


1) Blend salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar, onion, ketchup, oil and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil.

2) Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir until blended.

3) Toss in cooked chicken, return to low heat and allow to simmer while you cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.

4) Once pasta is cooked, take a ladle full of the pasta water and add to the sauce. Then, drain your pasta and combine with the barbecue sauce.

*This is a sweet barbecue sauce. If you prefer a tangier sauce, by all means feel free to cut the sugar in half and add some pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce.

Do any of you have recipes that look like this? Notice all the food stains :-)

This is a copy of my mom's recipe that my grandmother wrote down on the back of an envelope. I don't know what happened to my mom's but I'm glad this copy survived.

Betty's Barbecue Chicken and Spaghetti

(*Original Recipe-See Story Below)


1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 cup catsup

1/3 cup cooking oil

½ cup hot water

½ cup lemon juice or vinegar

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 chicken cut into quarters

4 cups cooked spaghetti


1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) Blend salt, pepper, paprika and sugar in saucepan.

3) Add onion, catsup, oil and water. Heat to boiling.

4) Remove from heat and add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

5) Arrange chicken in shallow roasting pan. Brush with barbecue sauce.

6) Cover and bake until about half done (about 45 minutes, depending on size of chicken.)

7) Uncover, continue cooking and baste frequently with hot barbecue sauce until chicken is tender and brown.

8) Serve over spaghetti.

The Story Behind the Recipe

(taken from my as-yet-unpublished book, based on my parents' lives, The Benefits of A Green Watermelon and a Two-Dollar Bill)

It was 1950 in Starkville, Mississippi. Pig Broom, a student at Mississippi State University, and his wife, Betty Jean, were living in a small apartment near the campus. Pig worked in the college cafeteria, a grandiose structure. With its gabled roof and Gothic arches, Betty Jean felt like she was entering a European Cathedral rather than a dining hall. Pig was given a free meal every shift he worked, so he would load up his plate, sharing with Betty Jean. She only had to cook on weekends.

Betty Jean's greatest desire was to be a good wife. She kept their apartment tidy, but her cooking skills were lacking. She'd never tried to cook an entire meal without relying on Mama. Now, Betty Jean was learning by trial and error. Fortunately, Pig said the army cured him of being finicky. He was willing to try anything—even when she burned it. Her cheeks flamed, remembering the morning she'd burnt the toast. With smoke pouring out of the oven, she'd tried too late to rescue it. Just as she was about to trash it, Pig cheerfully grabbed a knife and began scraping off the burnt tops, proclaiming, “Ah, good ole scraped toast!”

“See?” he'd shown her, “Good as new.”

By now she had a slew of budget-friendly meals. Red beans and rice with corn bread was a favorite. One Sunday, she'd accidentally created her own recipe. She'd popped a chicken in the oven to roast while they were at church. When she'd gotten home, she poured a barbecue sauce over the chicken. While that was bubbling in the oven, she discovered they were out of potatoes. What was she going to serve? It was Sunday. All the stores were closed. Scanning the pantry’s meager contents, her eyes landed on a box of spaghetti. The chicken was swimming in barbecue sauce. What if she served it over the spaghetti?

She did, and Pig loved it, saying he could eat it every day.

So, this recipe became a staple in our house and growing up, it was one of my favorites as well. Hope y'all enjoy it!

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