Slow-Cooker Chicken Provencal
So far my bum knee hasn’t actually limited my cooking all that much. Obviously, that will change when I have to have surgery, but cooking isn’t exactly a contact sport, so I’ve been able to still spend time in my kitchen.
The only change I’ve made so far is to haul a stool into our kitchen so I can take weight off of my leg if I’m waiting on something.
That said, I was very happy that a crock pot recipe won the poll last week. That means I could cook while laying down basically!
Also, while we can definitely see the edges of spring here in Colorado, it’s still winter so a warming dish is always good.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Provencal
Yield: Serves 4-6.
3-4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, thighs and breasts
2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 28-ounce jar strained tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup nicoise or kalamata olives
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1) Dice onions and crush or mince the garlic. Add to a saute pan over medium-high heat with tomato paste and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until onions are very soft and cooked through.
2) Add white wine to pan and use the liquid to scrape up any stuck bits. Cook the mixture for a few minutes until about 1/3 of the wine cooks off.
3) Add the onion mixture to a slow cooker with the stock, strained tomatoes, and spices.
4) Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and nestle them in the crockpot.
5) Cook on low for about 5 hours. Leave the lid slightly ajar so some of the liquid can cook off.
6) When you're ready to serve, serve the chicken over rice with olives, lemon zest, and parsley as a topping. Spoon lots of sauce over each plate!
Recipe adapted from The Best Slow & Easy Recipes.
The Simmer Sauce
There’s very little chopping involved in this recipe which some people see as a benefit. Unfortunately, the stuff that you do have to chop (lots of garlic and onions) is the stuff of tears.
When you get your veggies chopped, add them to a large pan with a drizzle of oil, a pinch of salt, and the tomato paste. Cook this over medium-high heat until the veggies get really soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Then pour in your white wine.
In my case, this necessitated an action shot!
Bring this to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes until the white wine reduces by about a third.
Then pour all of this mixture into your crock pot along with the chicken stock, strained tomatoes, and spices.
This is the delicious sauce that the chicken will cook in.
Speaking of Chicken
The recipe that I adapted this from recommended using chicken without skin but with bones. This makes complete sense to me.
It almost never makes sense to cook skin-on chicken in a crock pot because it won’t ever get crispy. You’ll just end up with these big strips of fat all over. Kind of gross.
Meanwhile, the bones actually will keep the meat moist and give it lots of flavor so that makes sense.
To prep your chicken pieces, just trim off any large pieces of fat and season them well with salt and pepper.
One Note: Betsy didn’t like the bones in the chicken breasts and I see her point. After cooking for 5-6 hours, the breasts are really tender an just kind of fall apart. This is good, but it means that it’s kind of hard to find the bones. If you’re worried about this, you can use boneless breasts.
Anyway, whatever pieces you decide to use, once they are trimmed and seasoned, just nestle them into the crock pot.
Cooking the Dish
It doesn’t get much easier to cook this dish. Just set your timer for five hours on low heat and walk away. If you’re going to be out for the whole day, most crock pots have a timer option where it will switch off and just keep the dish warm at a certain time.
Also though, I don’t see why you couldn’t just cook it for longer if you need to.
Because it’s cooked on low, the chicken will stay really tender and be infused with all that sauce flavor.
The chicken in this dish is great and the sauce is also very tasty.
What makes the dish, in my opinion, is the toppings though. They add some freshness, saltiness, and acidity to the dish that’s very needed.
Once you’re ready to eat, just make a big batch of your favorite rice and then serve some of the chicken over the rice along with lots of the sauce.
Top with some lemon zest, diced olives,and parsley and you’re in for a great meal.
This is a super-easy meal to prepare, but the flavors are pretty deep and interesting.
You’ll probably have leftovers which is just fine because they reheat perfectly.
Mark this down as a dish that even a one-legged cook can make!