Slow Cooker Supper: Chicken Provencal


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I needed an easy chicken dinner for one of those days where I knew that the only opportunity I was going to have to make dinner was at 10 a.m. I went to a reliable source: The Best Slow and Easy Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen. Chicken Provencal looked easy enough, didn’t require pre-cooking my meat, and I had most of the ingredients on hand. Guess what was for dinner that night?

Chicken Provencal
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions
12 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups dry white wine
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
2 bay leaves
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts or thighs), skin removed and trimmed
Ground Black Pepper
½ cup pitted nicoise olives, chopped coarse
¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons grated zest from 1 lemon
1 lemon, cut into wedges

What’s Next
1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, garlic, tomato paste, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture measures about 2 cups.
2. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano, and bay leaves until evenly combined. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and nestle it in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender, 4-5 hours.
3. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt the slow cooker and remove as much fat as possible from the surface using a large spoon. Remove the bay leaves, stir in the olives, parsley, olive oil, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce over the chicken and serve, passing the remaining sauce and lemon wedges separately.

Notes from my experience

  • Like I said, it was a busy day. I didn’t have any white wine and Home Liquors was not open yet. I improvised with the juice from two lemons and water (enough to equal 1 ½ cups liquid)
  • I only used 3 lbs. of chicken so I cut down the number of onions to 2 and garlic cloves to 7. All other amounts were what the recipe called for.
  • Typically I will cook 3 lbs. of chicken for 6 hours on high (see Simple Chicken) but in this case, I think that was too long. The meat seemed a little dry to me but luckily, my kids didn’t notice and my husband likes dry meat so I surely caught a break.
  • What I also liked was that I was able to serve the kids their chicken first, add the olives and “green stuff” later so only my husband and I would have the extra flavor. Everyone won!

This recipe was originally published eight years ago as part of Tracy Bermeo’s “Crock-It” series. Tracy’s goal was to create slow cooker recipes that would simplify dinner for Verona’s busy parents.

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