Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

On a recommendation from Nom Nom Paleo, I bought a copy of Slow Cooker Revolution. I bought it because:
  1. I end up eventually buying everything recommended on that blog (Sous Vide machine, kitchen torch, bunch of speciality spices...oh dear)
  2. I love America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated. I've had a membership to their site for years. If you're not familiar, they engineer recipes by obsessively testing and retesting each detail until they come out with something perfect. In the cookbook they explain the rationale behind each decision and why a given recipe works. I figure it will help me with developing slow cooker recipes in the future.
  3. I'm obsessed with using my crock pot.
  4. They had a Kindle edition!! I've been wanting to buy a Kindle cookbook for so long. Love that I can search it and add digital bookmarks. 
So there you have it. I ended up adapting their chicken cacciatore and was very pleased with the results. Usually I hate chicken from the crock pot but the texture and flavor were both great. They microwave the aromatics before dumping them in the crock pot. I did this, but I didn't feel it made a difference, so I probably won't bother in the future. I served it over spaghetti squash to soak up the yummy juices.

Serves about 4

  • 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs (I used boneless ones, bone-in would be fine. Do not use chicken breasts, the texture will be terrible in the crock pot.)
  • 1 bag frozen mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) or trinity (bell pepper, celery, and onion). Publix and Kroger both sell these under their store brand. If they don't have it, a finely chopped large onion should be fine.
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 oz dried mushrooms, minced (I just pulsed these in my spice grinder until finely chopped. The original recipe used porcinis, but all I had on hand were shittakes so I used those and also added some truffle salt)
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced (I bought pre-sliced because I am lazy)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, well-drained
  • 1/2 tsp (heaping) dried Italian herb mix (or just use a single dried herb, such as oregano, basil, or thyme)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil (probably optional), chopped or shredded
  1. Optional: combine the frozen mirepoix (thaw first) or onion, dried mushrooms, garlic, oil, tomato paste, and pepper flakes in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes or until onion is softened.
  2. Add the above ingredients along with the sliced mushrooms, wine, dried herbs, and diced tomatoes to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and nestle them into the sauce.
  4. Cook for 4-6 hours on low (guidelines). Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.


scarlette said...

Wonderful! I have been looking for some slow cooker recipes with chicken. I will try this one on the weekend!

GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

While I know you make this for your husband, I was hoping you could make it for me too! LOL.

Erica said...

@scarlette: Hope it works out for you, this one was really good, and I am VERY picky when it comes to slow-cooker chicken!

@GiGi: I promise it is super easy to make yourself :D

Dawn McIntyre said...

Is there a way to make this with stove top or oven. I would love to follow the crock pot instructions but we want to try this now : ) but we are waiting for the chicken to thaw.

Erica said...

Dawn: Sure, you can simmer the chicken thighs in the sauce on the stovetop

Lisa said...

If I'm doing Whole 30, what would you recommend to substitute for the dry red wine? Do you think I could use unsweetened grape juice? BTW, your blog/recipes is what is getting me through this Whole 30. I've already tried your week of freezer dinners, and a few of your breakfasts and love all of it! It is really cool that you are adapting ATK/CI recipes, as I love their methodology for developing flavor as well. Thanks!

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