Last week was a busy week with too many unexpected twists and turns. I am bad at handling the unplanned monkey wrenches life throws at you. I like schedules and predictable outcomes. I get overwhelmed and over stressed and I am not a happy person. Fortunately, I have John who is great at handling the unexpected (but not the planning) and I have my Crock Pot.
Here’s the thing I love about using a slow cooker. You put all these ingredients in a big pot, go about conquering the world and come back to a house filled with the wonderful aroma of a home cooked meal. In this case, it’s Homey Chicken Stew. As soon as I walked through the door, the smell of chicken, thyme, and tomatoes hit me. The stress of the day started to instantly melt away. Even though I hadn’t accomplished greatness, at least dinner was made.
Well, dinner is almost made. This stew isn’t as ‘fix it and forget it’ as I would like it to be, but shredding chicken is oddly therapeutic. So is this stew when served with some crusty rolls and a glass of white wine, or two.
- 3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat, patted dry
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, minced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 t fresh thyme, minced
- 1/3 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 4 c chicken broth
- 12 oz red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 c frozen peas
- 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Lightly brown 1/2 of the chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Repeat with another tablespoon of chicken and the other half of the chicken.
- If needed, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add onions, garlic, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and thyme. Cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for one more minute. Whisk in wine, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Whisk in 1 cup broth, smoothing any lumps.
- Transfer onion mix to a slow cooker along with the potatoes, carrots and remaining chicken broth. Nestle browned chicken with any accumulated juices into the slow cooker. Add the bay leaves.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Transfer chicken to a large casserole dish and allow to cool slightly. Using 2 forks, shred into bite size pieces. Remove bay leaves from the slow cooker. Stir in chicken and frozen peas. Allow to heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with crusty bread.
Adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution