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story.lead_photo.caption Illustration by Kelly Brant

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Slow cookers and pressure cookers are godsends on hot summer days. These convenience appliances let cooks prepare hot meals without having to labor for hours in a hot kitchen.

This recipe from Joe Riddle still requires the oven for finishing, but lets the pressure cooker do most of the heavy lifting.

Impossible Chicken and Broccoli Pie

2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) broccoli florets

1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided use

1 ½ cups cooked pulled chicken (recipe follows)

½ cup fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) onion, chopped

1 cup Bisquick or similar baking mix

1 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle broccoli, 1 cup of the cheddar, the chicken and onion in pie plate.

In a medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, salt, pepper, eggs and parmesan until blended. Pour over chicken mixture in pie plate.

Bake 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts.

Makes 8 servings.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

4 pounds fresh or frozen chicken breasts

½ teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 cup chicken stock

Place chicken breasts in pressure cooker. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Pour chicken stock into bottom of cooker. Cover, latch and turn heat up to high. When the cooker reaches high pressure, set timer for 8 minutes for fresh chicken or 13 minutes for frozen chicken. When the time is up, turn off heat and let the pressure release naturally. Each pressure cooker is different so this could take several minutes. Do not open pressure cooker while it is still pressurized. Be patient.

When pressure is gone, open lid and let chicken cool. When cool, pull chicken apart with fork or your bare hands. Use for any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

Makes about 6 cups pulled chicken.

If you prefer low and slow, this dish from Sheila Strack can be cooked in the slow cooker, frozen and then reheated in the oven. It gets a head start on the stove, but the bulk of the cooking happens in the slow cooker.

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken

6 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 ½ pounds)

2 teaspoons seasoned salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 (10 ¾-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel (⅓ less fat fat cream cheese), cut into cubes

½ cup dry white wine or apple juice

1 (0.7-ounce) envelope Italian dressing mix (Strack uses Good Seasons brand)

1 (16-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained

Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt. Brown chicken, in batches, in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes on each side or just until browned. Transfer chicken to a 5-quart slow cooker, reserving drippings in skillet.

Add soup, cream cheese, white wine, and Italian dressing mix to hot drippings in skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

Arrange mushrooms over chicken in slow cooker. Spoon soup mixture over mushrooms. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours and then low for 1 hour 15 minutes. Stir well before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

Make ahead: Prepare recipe as directed. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and let cool completely. Cover and freeze up to one month. Thaw in refrigerator 8 to 24 hours. To reheat, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

REQUESTS

• Honey mustard dressing and chicken tenders like Dixie Cafe; Cuz Roy's salad dressing for Claudia Seay.

Send recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to Kelly Brant, Idea Alley, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, AR 72203; email:

kbrant@arkansasonline.com

Please include a daytime phone number.

Food on 07/24/2019

Print Headline: Slow, fast: Chicken for summer meals

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