365 Days of Slow Cooking: Day 209: Slow Cooker (crock-pot) Cafe Rio Chicken
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 209: Slow Cooker (crock-pot) Cafe Rio Chicken

5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 (8 oz) bottle zesty Italian dressing
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced

Mix Italian dressing, chili powder, cumin, and garlic in a bowl. Place chicken on bottom of a greased slow cooker. Pour mixture in bowl over the top of chicken. Cook on HIGH 5-6 hours. Shred chicken with a fork and reserve juice to pour over chicken when serving. Makes 15 servings.

For those of you not familiar with Cafe Rio, I'm sorry for you. You truly are missing out! We had this dinner at our family reunion and it was awesome! We made tortillas from scratch, the tomatillo dressing, lime rice, and pico de gallo. It was all sooo good! We also had shredded pork (I'll post that recipe tomorrow). The chicken was tender and tasty. I give the chicken 4 stars and the whole meal 5 stars. The other recipes are listed below.

Café Rio Lime Rice

2 Tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
6 2/3 cup water
8 tsp chicken bullion (7 cubes)
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp lime juice
½ tsp salt
3 cups long grain rice

Sauté butter, onion, and garlic.
Boil everything else except rice in a large pot.
Add onion and garlic—then add rice. Cover and simmer.
Tomatillo Creamy Café Rio Dressing
1 package Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayo
2 tomatillos (peel outer skin layer)
1 clove minced garlic (1 tsp of pre-packaged stuff)
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
½ tsp lime juice
1 sm jalapeno (seeds removed)

Put all ingredients into a blender. Add extra mayo if dressing is too thin. Refrigerate.
Café Rio Pico de Gallo
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
½ tsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Mix all ingredients.


  1. Is the chicken to be served in tortillas as a taco?

  2. I'm curious too. It looks like you have a tortilla shell, lettuce, beans, and cheese. Anything else? Is the lime rice something they serve on the side or in the tortilla with the chicken. Thanks!

  3. Made this tonight. Actually made the pork, but did the rice and tomatillo sauce to go with it. Served it as pork nachos. It was DELICIOUS!

    I think the pork had too much sauce (maybe my roast was too small), and I thought the tomatillo sauce was too spicy when I tasted it with my finger, but all together it was heavenly. I can't get Cafe Rio here in Texas, but now I can get pretty close - plus I have a freezer full of leftovers!

  4. Anonymous3/9/11 10:29

    Great chicken. None of the leftovers went to waste. Also make the sauce, pico and rice. All was very good. I added jalapeño and an extra tomatillo to the sauce. I made it with reduced fat buttermilk and light mayonnaise. I have been using the extra sauce as a dip for raw vegetables for snacks. Next time I plan to add light sour cream or cream cheese and half and avocado for added flavor and for thickness.

  5. We really, really love this recipe! If any of the leftover chicken is still around a few days later (almost never happens!) I use it in enchiladas or something, and it's wonderful! Definitely one of my favorite things to eat AND make!

  6. This recipe was on our meal plan this week.

    The chicken was super easy, but the rice and dressing were more work than I like on a week night.

    Nonetheless, this was delicious! Yum!

    And the dressing drizzled on the rice is awesome.

  7. Ahhhh, I thought the photo was a creamy soup broth, not a tortilla on the bottom.

    Now it makes sense, a rolled up buritto!

    Sounds good, easy and will make it this week :)