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.
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.
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.
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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