Apr 21, 2016

My Cooking Style and Crockpot Chicken Chili Recipe

"I made something that didn't taste horrible!"

This is my typical refrain when I successfully prepare a meal.  Because unless I'm baking, I tend to be a bit loose with my measurements.  As in, I eyeball it or I ignore the proportions altogether.  I also substitute wildly and frankly, I appreciate all the reviews on AllRecipes.com that mention their substitutions with their recipe ratings, because the chances that I have everything I need are LOW.

I don't usually cook with Ryan, but when I do this is not a methodology he's very fond of.  Ryan wants instructions, exact measurements, and to minimize our chances of messing up.  I don't mind messing up and I don't mind consuming my mistakes for the next 2 or 3 days.  It sucks, sure, but I almost always learn something and you have to screw up pretty badly to remove the nutritional value, amiright???

However, this tolerance for risk and indifference to precision does mean that even when I successfully create something, chances are not high that I'll be able to recreate it exactly and thus I must celebrate when it comes out right!

I recently made this baller chili and just to further illustrate my "style," I've got my recipe here.

Crockpot Chicken Chili (by Jenn, the Kitchen Magician)


  • 4 Frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Can O' Beans (Black beans to be specific, but you know me - I'm not picky.)
  • Tomato Something (What's that, unwanted can of V8 Original, and the last remains of some very old salsa?)
  • Spices (Surely chili has spices?)


  1. Google ingredients (I think I used this recipe as a basis)
  2. Ignore the stuff about bell peppers, onions, canned tomatoes, and fresh herbs
  3. Assemble chicken and tomato substances in the crockpot
  4. Realize you don't know what to do about beans in a crockpot and google crockpot recipe to check
  5. Verify that beans can go in the whole time and ignore new list of ingredients
  6. Add beans
  7. Sprinkle chili powder, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, onion powder (to make up for no onions), and pepper over mixture with reckless abandon
  8. Carefully sprinkle a tiny amount of garlic over mixture ('cause garlic is nasty)
  9. Skip the salt because V8 original and canned beans are plenty salty enough
  10. Set crockpot to 8 hours on low and forget about for 6 hours.
  11. Check on it (because you're going to bed and don't want to have to get up in 2 hours) and realize the liquid is way too thin
  12. Pour a little bit of cold water into a cup, and stir in as much corn starch and flour as it will take before it stops dissolving
  13. Add to crockpot and hope
  14. Have someone else turn it off at 1am and put it away for you
  15. Reheat and eat for lunch the next day
  16. Revel in your culinary prowess
  17. Brag

And that's it!  Hopefully this simple, 17-step recipe has given you a starting place to being able to master the occasional recipe and totally ruin the rest of them.

What's your cooking process?  Do you tend to follow recipes or experiment?

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design


  1. LOL, love it. I very used to be like Ryan. Follow the measurements precisely. Now I'm a lot looser. I'll make adjustments based on my preferences and/or what I have on hand. Although I'm still not great at just taking items Chopped style and creating something edible, I need a recipe to at least guide me.

    1. One of my favorite things to do is use AllRecipes "search by ingredients" to use stuff up. I think it's actually had a higher success rate than the meals I choose on my own. :P My goal is to get good enough at cooking that I can experiment and still make decent stuff. Because cooking really isn't fun for me when I have to adhere to strict rules, buuuut... I also get tired of eating stuff that doesn't taste good.

  2. "Add to crockpot and hope" LOL!! That's how it usually goes with me and any crockpot recipes as well! Though I'm much more like Ryan in terms of precision- might have something to do with my fear of failure though! For the record, I won't be pinning this recipe, but it definitely gave me a chuckle!!

  3. bahahaha yes. this is amazing. i am the same, and kc is the same as ryan. we can't cook together because he gets irritated when i'm like a little of this or 'i don't know just throw it in'. i normally put things in the crockpot at like 6pm for lunch the next day and think oops, probably shouldn't have put it in that early. oh well. i see your comment above to tanya and i didn't know you could search by ingredients on allrecipes.. interesting..

  4. This looks good. I am generally a terrible cook unless its something in the crockpot.


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