Slow-Cooked Ranch Chicken From Scratch
The savory, herby flavors of ranch seasoning are a pleasing complement to mild-tasting chicken, ensuring that the comforting dish is a hit with kids and adults alike. This from-scratch recipe avoids the sodium-heavy seasoning packages and canned soup called for by most Crock-Pot ranch chicken recipes. It gets its ranch flavor, instead, from a blend of herbs and its rich creaminess from a sauce that blends cream cheese with chicken broth. You can use any cuts of skinless chicken, bone-in or boneless, white or dark meat or both, with equally delicious and tender results – a major bonus of low and slow Crock-Pot cooking. Add more vegetables to this basic recipe to make it a full one-pot meal, or serve it alongside rice, potatoes or pasta and some simply prepared greens.
Total Time: 3 to 8 hours | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds bone-in or boneless chicken pieces
- Add the cubed cream cheese and chicken broth to the Crock-Pot and stir together with a wooden spoon or whisk. They don't need to be fully blended.
- In a small bowl, mix parsley, dill, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Stir the seasonings with a fork until evenly blended.
- Add the herb mixture to the Crock-Pot and stir to blend evenly into the cream cheese and stock.
- Place the chicken pieces in the pot in a single layer.
- Put the lid on the Crock-Pot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours – or until the chicken is very tender. Stir the sauce and turn the chicken pieces over once or twice during cooking time, if convenient. Otherwise, just stir the sauce thoroughly before serving.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Mushrooms, onions, diced carrots and celery are all nice additions to this ranch chicken recipe that you can simply add to the pot along with all the other ingredients. Green vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans and spinach, should be added closer to the end of the cooking time.
If you prefer to use ranch seasoning mix from a package, simply substitute one envelope of seasoning mix for the herbs, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper.
A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.