Slow Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potato Southwestern Stew

April 30, 2009
I was playing in the garden yesterday and realized a bit before 2pm that I had forgotten about dinner, and scrambled to throw something in the slow cooker. This is a completely made-up clean-out-the-pantry meal. Wednesday is usually our leftover night, but I kind of ate all the leftovers in the house for lunch. oops.

The Ingredients.


4 frozen chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 2 inch chunks
1 (15-ounce) can baked beans
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (4-ounce) can fire roasted diced chile (a last minute brainstorm!)
1/2 cup pineapple juice (leftover from the Easter Ham)

The Directions.

Use a 4 quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into your stoneware, and drop the sweet potato chunks on top. Add all the contents of the baked beans, tomato paste, and diced chile. Pour on the pineapple juice. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8. Your stew is done when the chicken is cooked through and the the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

The Vedict.

This is gross. Really gross. I think it's the tomato paste. I took a few bites to be a good sport, but could tell about 2 hours into it that this wasn't going to be a very good dinner. I thought maybe with some shredded cheese it could be palatable, but it just wasn't. The house smelled like burnt tomato stew, even though the tomato paste mixed with the pineapple juice and bean and chile liquid and there was plenty of moisture. It was just not good.

really bad.
really really really bad.

We ended up having McDonalds. I drove through in my slippers.

other memorable flops:

coconut chicken curry
fruit leather
bacon wrapped scallops
hard boiled eggs
roasted pumpkin seeds
Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at April 30, 2009
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Comments

  1. I read through this recipe and was all "huh, I would not think to try all that together" and then I got to the punchline and laughed out loud. Sorry about the McD's, but this was funny

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  2. Thanks for the laugh. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but I totally wasn't expecting the final verdict. =)

    Better luck next time!

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  3. ha! that is too funny. and thanks for sharing your failures. because we all have them occasionally.

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  4. That was hilarious, I wasn't expecting the bad review. I was a little ify about the ingredients but thought hey maybe they work together.

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  5. LOL. As I was thinking about the possiblity of my kids eating this when I got to the verdict. I didn't expect it and had a good chuckle. thanks for sharing. . .sorry about McD's

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  6. So glad that it tasted as bad as it sounds. Ok, that sounded mean. I'm not glad that you had to taste it, just glad that my nose wrinkling as I read the ingredients was on target. Ewwww!!

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  7. Oh my gosh, thanks for the laugh! I wasn't expecting the punchline and thought - well, that looks interesting.... :)

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  8. I hate sweet potatoes, so I was glad to hear that this wasn't good.... :)

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  9. Too funny, it's nice to hear that I'm not the only one who can completely mess up dinner! Thanks for the laugh!

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  10. i love how honest you are. It cracks me up, and it's great to see that everyone has a FLUB every once in a while. thanks for reminding us that you are human...

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  11. This was awesome. I mess up ALL the time cause I'm just starting out and am just not that good. Good to know it still happens every once in a while to everyone. :)

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  12. I so appreciate you sharing your less successful stories - - sorry about McDonald's but if it were my house, the kids would be in heaven.

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  13. Aw, sorry about the yuck factor! You lost me at tomato paste and beans in combination with sweet potatoes.
    I know there's some yucky stuff at McD's but there are times when I am very thankful for McD's!

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  14. I'm not going to lie ... I avoided reading this when it showed up on my list.

    Now I'm glad I did. :) Sorry about the 'oops'. <3

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  15. too funny. i've done this in the past. what was i thinking adding in mustard with curry and so many other random ingredients?! lol.

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  16. I love that you give the entire recipe, step by step, and then tell us that it totally sucked. Hilarious.

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  17. Bless your heart and those slippers!
    I am still laughing....thanks for sharing...its nice to know Im not alone!

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  18. I love the honesty! Yesterday my meal was a failure, too, so I can totally relate to the McDonald's thing! Thanks for the laugh.

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  19. Process improvement requires an understanding of the processes of failure. I salute your selfless commitment to process improvement.

    Plus I admire your insight of teaching your kids to associate fast food with failure and shame. Could be the best lesson of all!

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  20. Ha! I'm still pretty new to your blog, and I LOVE THIS. You had me cracking up, because I have so been there. :)

    How many other cooking blogs would own up to their failures? Honestly?

    (And is it really sad that I saw "chicken" and "sweet potatoes" and got all excited because I actually have those ingredients in my house? Usually I'm always missing something.)

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  21. This is why I love you, you're not afraid to post your mistakes in between all your great recipes.

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  22. You are comic genius, Steph. If you had a cooking show, I would so watch it (and I really don't like to watch cooking shows - you're that funny!).

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  23. I absolutely love that you post about your failures and take such good looking pics of them to post as well! Thanks for the chuckle!! :-)

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  24. I was thinking that maybe the chicken, tomatoe paste, regular potatoes, carrots, and green chillie's would all be good together. the pinaple juice would have been good with the chicken and maybe some broccoli and rice ... but that's just me... thanks for posting your misstakes as well as your triumps :)

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  25. Thanks for your honesty...what a HOOT!!

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  26. The picture looked so yummy! And it is good to try recipes with ingredients seem...different....when put together. So, good for you for trying it out. And now I won't! But I am looking forward to trying the tandoori chicken :)
    Two Crock Pot Erin in CA

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  27. i was so excited when it contained sweet potatoes, my kids LOVE them. i was scribbling notes and then got to the end. what a bummer!

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  28. I've gone in the drive-thru many times in pj's and slippers. A few nights ago I made clean-out-the-refrigerator stir-fry. It was a disaster. At least that time I was dressed when I headed for the drive-through!

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  29. I'm curious- what GF options did you manage to find at McD's?

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  30. you absolutely made my day, so I had to link to your post. most excellent. and I was equally bummed that it was a flub because I completely suck at cooking but was excited because I have a honking sweet potato AND frozen chicken and I was thinking ... so now my husband and I are going to enjoy a dinner out. yes! victory!

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  31. Gluten free at McDonalds: we get a cheeseburger no bun, a fruit and yogurt parfait (NO granola), and apple dippers. For breakfast, scrambled eggs and cheese.
    McDs french fries contain wheat. In and Out Burgers Fries are the safest. We keep frozen french fries on hand in the house and pop them in to eat alongside our burgers.
    here's McDs nutrition info.xoxo steph

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  32. So I totally had to just laugh and your post promptly made my day. Because I then went home and managed to mess up two consecutive batches of bread dough and ruin the rice for dinner and then the cats tipped over the 25# bag of open sugar I just bought and scattered it all over the floor.
    So I grabbed the camera and took a few pics and thought "well at least I'm not the only one to flub dinner tonight"

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  33. I just love how you show us your bad tries as well and your wonderful tries. Thanks for the laugh, and the truth.

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  34. OMG you are SOOOOOOOOOOO funny. I LOVE that you posted this.

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  35. I love your honesty. That's why I read your blog -- because you are willing to tell us which recipes really DO work and and which ones really DON'T!

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  36. It starts out so promising. Chicken and sweet potatoes are great together, but not with baked beans. (I've got a bitchin' chicken and sweet potato curry recipe, but I've yet to try it in the crockpot.)

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  37. This recipe didn't appeal to me and after reading your post...I won't try it! Thanks goodness for McD's...we all have disasters at one time or other.

    I did see some recipes that I would like to try. I will be back to get them and see what else you have tried. I love using the crockpot but don't have many recipes. Glad you were honest about your results - LOL - enjoyed reading your post.

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  38. What a fun blog! I recently bought a really nice crock pot and I am always looking for new recipes!

    I see you shop at TJ too. Isn't that store just awesome!

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  39. I have not mastered the crockpot, even though it is on my list of things to do, however; I return here time and time again, because of your honest ways. I thank you!

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  40. I am a huge sweet potato fanatic and was really excited that you had posted a recipe with them...as I read and saw chilis and tomato with it I was a little weirded out but thought hey she recomends it right? NOT! LOL! I love the end result....I have been in the drive thru due to my own concoctions many times...lol!

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  41. LOL! I'm glad you're so honest.

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  42. Oh no! Too bad it didn't work out, but at least you tried. You never know when an experiment will really work.

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  43. Stephanie-

    I just discovered your site and LOVE it!! I absolutely love your hilarious profile pic too:-) I'm looking forward to making some of your awesome recipes soon. YUM!

    Thanks!

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  44. I needed the laugh - thanks! It's good to know that even the experts have their days too!

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  45. Hi Stephanie!

    I nominated you for "An Attitude of Gratitude" Award. Please see my post...

    http://lisasblogetyblog.blogspot.com/

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  46. I can relate. I had a crockpot failure this weekend too. Thought in the spirit of recession economics, I'd try a recipe with SPAM. Ick....bad idea.

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  47. This was funny. I was scratching my head at your ingredient list, but now it all makes sense.

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  48. This post was too funny! I thought the ingredients looked a bit strange to work together as I was reading it and then I got to the end :) I love how you go through the trouble of writing out the entire recipe and directions and then tell us is sucked.

    I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago LOVE IT. I love cooking in my crockpot and you have such great ideas! So far I've tried Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup and Cream Cheese Chicken, and both were a big hit.

    Thank you for your honesty in posting your great recipes AND your flubs :)

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  49. I love how honest you are. I'd probably make it without the tomato paste and beans and cook the sweet potatoes on the side.

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  50. Thanks for being honest. sorry about your dinner...but we all love your stories!

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  51. I wonder if it would work without the tomato paste or just a spoon of it and some broth? It sounds like an interesting enough recipe to try to tweak to me ;)

    Sorry your dinner was ruined, but it was a funny post! Thanks for being so bold!

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  52. Ewww! It wasn't the tomato paste it was the baked beans and sweet potatoes! I don't know if I'll be able to get that image out of my head for the rest of the evening. Thanks for the honest review!

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  53. I'm so glad you share your failures, too. Very funny!

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  54. I think it's a lovely photo!!
    Perhaps dumping the tomato paste and baked beans would make it better. Let us know if you try a variation on the chicken/sweet potato combo!

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  55. I had my own crockpot disaster yesterday, it really was not nice at all. Thanks for sharing, it was a hilarious read!

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  56. I am sorry this recipe did not work out for you because, you see, I really want to like sweet potatoes. I want to like them so badly because they are nutritious and beautiful. I try a new recipe for them every year, and I think this year, this recipe will be the one that makes me like them! I am old, and I have tried a lot of recipes, and I still can't make myself like them. My husband doesn't like them either--guess that makes us a good match. So now you confirm and enable my prejudices to go on. I will visit your blog again and I will give your web address to my college kids so they can eat well from their crock pots. And I will eat lots of carrots and pumpkin to get my vitamin A.

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  57. I am a teacher and when my kids make mistakes, we cheer, because we know we learn from mistakes.

    So, three cheers to you and thanks for helping us learn.

    I have one question. Do we have to share our mistakes too? Groan.

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  58. Traditionally my crockpot creations are very boring, they have all featured potatoes, carots, celery, and onion, and broth that compliments the meat. Just this year I have been adding sweet potatoes, I have replaced white potatoes in all my dishes, but they do cook down and get very soft. My family hates tomatoes in the crock pot, but the kids usually add ketchup to the finished product. I have weird kids that don't like regular potatoes but they do like sweet potatoes.

    My semi flop tonight was edible, I made chicken and rice soup, I meant to make chicken in rice, no extra broth.... oops.

    Yesterday I was baking my first every brisket in the oven, so i put some clearance chicken breasts in the slow cooker as a backup, they where bone in an about 3 lbs, broth, carrots, potatoe, onion, basic seasonings, the briskit was good, so I fished out all the bones and seperated half the meat for later in the week. Refrigerated all. On my stove top today I put broth, chicken and vegeies and added rice, cooked according to rice directions, got chicken and rice soup, oh well, I have more chicken to make something later in the week:D Loving my slow cooker.

    So glad I found this blog, have plans to try several dishes.

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  59. I was looking at the picture and though, oh that doesn't look too bad..then I read your comments! HILARIOUS!! Thank goodness I read thru!

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  60. I'm Puerto Rican and we make stewed red kidney beans with white potatoes. This recipe also calls for tomato sauce. I used sweet potatoes and added a little cinnamon to bring out the sweet potatoes. It is really good. I usually make this with baked chicken. Your recipe made me just throw the chicken in the crock pot with the beans and sweet potatoes and it was delicious. I'd suggest getting a stewed kidney bean recipe, replace the white potato with sweet, add some cinnamon and throw it in the crock pot with the chicken. It's heavenly.

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  61. maybe take out chili beans and tomato paste and use soy sauce and white beans? maybe carrots as a thickener?

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  62. I love the failures as much as I love the winners! The 1st one I stumbled across I almost cooked because every other recipe on here I had found turned out good when I made it. I'm glad I realized that they aren't all winners before it was too late.

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