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Slow cooker chicken stew with onions, mushrooms, and at least 40 cloves of garlic

The more garlic, the merrier in this crockpot chicken stew.

Cross a traditional French coq au vin, chicken with forty cloves of garlic, and old-fashioned chicken stew, and only good things can happen. And then, add more garlic! This recipe sprung from my husband Ted's craving for chicken stew, a half bottle of unspectacular red wine that needed to be used, and my own wish to toss something into the slow cooker that would make the house smell wonderful all day. Please don't be afraid of the amount of garlic in this recipe; it mellows and sweetens with the long cooking, and is essential to the success of the dish. Serve the stew on its own, or over rice or egg noodles, with a bowl of sliced crusty bread for mopping up every last bit of the sauce. Like all stews, it's wonderful on the day you make it, and even more wonderful the following day.

Don't skimp on the garlic in this easy slow cooker chicken stew! #crockpot

Slow cooker chicken stew with onions, mushrooms, and at least 40 cloves of garlic

From the pantry, you'll need: garlic, onions, red wine, thyme, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, butter, all-purpose unbleached flour.

Serves 4-6.


10 pieces of chicken, legs and thighs, bone-in and skin on (I use 5 of each)
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp butter, divided
1 tsp each: kosher salt and fresh black pepper
40 (or more) whole cloves of garlic, peeled
12 oz small white onions (I love cippoline onions)
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
16 oz whole button mushrooms, cut in half
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


Note: I use my Ninja Cooking System, a slow cooker in which I can also brown the chicken and onions. If you have a stovetop-safe slow cooker insert, you can make this entire dish in the slow cooker.

Dry the chicken pieces with paper towels, and place on a tray. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Set aside in a mixing bowl.

In the same pan, sauté the garlic and onions for 5 minutes, until the garlic and onions are browned but not burned. (Add a teaspoon of olive oil, if needed.)

Transfer the chicken, any accumulated juices, the garlic and onions to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Add the thyme. Pour the wine into the frying pan, and cook over medium heat for a minute, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom of the pan. Then, pour the wine into the slow cooker.

Cook on LOW for 6 hours.

In a small pot, make a brown roux to thicken the sauce: Cook the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter with the flour over low heat, stirring constantly, until the two are well combined and form a paste. Let the paste cook, stirring occasionally, until it's the color of butterscotch, about 5-6 minutes. With a ladle, add 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker into the roux, and stir vigorously with a whisk to keep lumps from forming. The mixture in the pot will thicken rapidly. Pour this back into the slow cooker.

Add the mushrooms, and stir gently. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 1 hour.

If you're going to serve right away, use a large spoon to skim some of the fat off the top of the sauce.

Toss in the parsley, and serve hot. Or, allow the stew to cool completely, and refrigerate overnight. The fat in the sauce will congeal on the top, and you can remove it easily before reheating.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More favorite slow cooker chicken dishes:
Slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Slow cooker soy-braised chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew, from The Perfect Pantry
Crock Pot chicken and barley vegetable stew, from Iowa Girl Eats
Slow cooker chicken-andouille stew, from Kalyn's Kitchen

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I always wanted to make the famous dish of chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, but never did. This one sounds even better.

Kalyn, if 40 cloves are good, more is better!

We love garlic - the more the better. I've made this dish once on the stove but I love the idea of making it in the slow cooker even better.

What would you use instead of wine (yes I know this is a sad :( question...) Chicken broth with red wine vinegar? Something else?

Jeanette, I'm with you. the more, the merrier!

Laurie, you can use plain chicken broth, or chicken broth and add a splash of vinegar (red wine or balsamic) at the end. Remember that wine adds sweetness to a dish after the alcohol burns off, so taste, and you might want to add a teaspoon of sugar.

So the garlic is just tossed in whole? Not chopped or minced? Just want to be sure I prepare properly.

JSP, that's right. Whole garlic cloves!

Thanks for the quick reply.

I'm sorry, I should have asked earlier...are we leaving the onions whole as well. From what I understand they are small (I have never cooked with cippolini onions but have read good things). Hoping I will be able to find them...if not what do you think? A sweet onion quartered or a large dice?

Will be making this for tomorrows dinner.

Pic looks delicious but can't really make out the onions or garlic, hence my questions.


JSP, yes, the onions are whole too. If you can't find cippolines, use frozen whole pearl onions.

I tried this the other day with your suggestion to replace wine and it was great! I ended up using mosly chicken broth with about a tablespoon of honey and about a quarter cup of balsamic and red wine vinegar to make the 2c. liquid up. I think it was a good subsititue, thanks!

Made this tonight and LOVED it (even my finicky kids). Followed the recipe w the following minor changes. Used boneless, skinless thighs as I had bought them a couple days prior (on sale) and I used a fresh "Poultry herb blend" sold at my market (rosemary, sage, thyme)rather than just thyme. Most times I follow a recipe exactly initially then modify to suit my tastes...I won't be messing with this recipe at all. Oh, and I came to realize that the onion and garlic basically melt into the stew which is why I could not see them in the pic provided. Thanks so much for posting!

Laurie, JSP: I love that you both enjoyed this recipe and also made it your own! I hope it will become a favorite in the menu rotation, as it is in our house.

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