Connotations associated with slow-cookers rarely include summertime. Our slow-cooker is generally reserved for warm soups, meaty chili, and hearty roasted veggies –not food I want to eat when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.
But one of the last things I’ve felt like doing with these extra hours of sunshine lately has been working up a sweat over a hot stove after work. It seems like I can’t win.
But that’s where I’ve been wrong. There are limitless ways to dress up the slow-cooked, juicy cut of a carnivore’s dream that taste perfectly like summer, which I’ve been super into discovering lately.
You know the sort of way-too-simple recipe you brace yourself for either incredibly boring or complete disaster? That’s where I was at while this cooked. I think I told Austin no less than 20 times as I prepared the salsa for the first time, “I’m totally ready for a McDonald’s run if this sucks. Be honest. If it sucks, we can run to McDonald’s across the street.”
Let me assure you, it did not suck -it is now a Karber Kitchen Summer Staple.
This is literally the easiest, cheapest sort of 60-second crock-pot recipe for incredibly flavorful chicken to use for two-minute sliders.
Masterpiece Caribbean Jerk Marinade. That’s all, folks. That is literally the one thing you throw in the pot (besides, you know, the chicken).
I mean absolutely, if you’re on the thinnest of shoe string budgets, no judgement if you go for the 79 cent stuff. It would work. My personal rule of thumb when using sauces and marinades not made by my own hand (and the grocery money’s there), don’t cheap out. I’ve learned (the hard way) dishes are kicked up several significant notches when I opt for the $2.99 over the $.99, in most cases.
And when I’m not being particularly choosy about my caloric intake for the day, we are totally Hawaiian bread people. Slicing the rolls in half and popping in the oven for about five minutes at around 400 to get them good and toasty. Mmmm.
I’ve also learned I really love this recipe particularly as a slider. While you can use a larger bun, it becomes a little more difficult to control and a lot more messy, with all the tiny moving juicy pieces. Or maybe I just can’t control a sandwich.
Secret #2: a drizzle of local honey.
I give Austin 100% credit for dreaming this one up. So good. The sweetness is a heavenly match for the small bite of the jerk flavor.
I also give Austin 100% credit for being the automatic chopper I usually run all my fruits and veggies through. Thanks, dear.
Note on how much it makes: We generally have enough chicken to easily serve 4-5 people, and we live on leftovers for a bit since it’s just the two of us. However, if I were to make this for more people than just me and Austin, I would double the amount of mango salsa so there would be enough to go around. The amount of salsa it makes of course also depends on the size of fruit you choose.
- 1 16oz bottle Masterpiece Caribbean Jerk Marinade
- 3 large frozen chicken breasts
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Mango
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground pepper to taste
- Hawaiian Rolls or bun of choice
- Honey (optional)
- Throw 3 large frozen chicken breasts in the slow-cooker, pour entire bottle of marinade over the top. Set on high for 4 hours OR low for 8, depending on how long you need to leave it.
- When chicken is thoroughly cooked, shred. Put back in slow-cooker with all the juicy marinaded goodness and set to warm while preparing salsa.
- Chop cucumber and mango into small cubes. Toss in small bowl with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Give it a few good stirs.
- Toast bun of choice, add meat, spoonful of salsa, and then a tiny drizzle of honey if you choose.
- Enjoy the heck out of a delicious summer sandwich!
Shredded Chicken Trick:
Shredded meat in our house is generally the product of two forks and a few minutes worth of work. No biggie. However, this process -introduced to me by a dear friend a few weeks ago- makes two forks feel like the process of cavemen.
Using a super basic hand mixer, I tossed the cooked chicken in a bowl, went at it with my mixer set on the lowest speed for about 15 seconds, and voila.
Served up with a big ole glass of southern sweet tea, these Caribbean sliders feel about as summer as it gets with minimal work.
Any tips, tricks, questions, or recipes you want to share? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!