Is anyone else out there having a rough time getting into fall this year? Fall is my favorite season, and I’m just not feeling it yet. I’m usually one of those stereotypical Pumpkin Spice loving, boot wearing, sweater snugly people, and I’m just having the toughest time getting in the fall mood. It could be that it’s still pretty warm and the trees haven’t really started changing yet. I don’t know. I just know I’m not feeling it, and my not feeling it is annoying me.
*Insert Grumpy Cat picture here.*
Anyway, even though I’m not feeling the fall, I know it’s fall because our schedule has suddenly bolted into hyper speed. Leisurely nights have been replaced by carpools and activities, and I’ve even started back to work a couple of days a week, so my slow cooker has definitely been put to good use lately. This latest dish is perfect for my “meh” fall mood right now. It’s simple and homey, for fall, but light and won’t weigh you down like a lot of fall stews. It’s perfect for a bad case of fall denial.
I started by prepping all of my veggies.
This dish does take a little extra prep time, compared to a lot of slow cooker meals. So, make sure you plan accordingly!
After the veg was prepped, I started my onions on the stove top, and then added in my garlic, fresh thyme, and a hefty dose of tomato paste.
I cooked that until it was nice and fragrant, and then stirred in some flour, and let that cook for about a minute.
I deglazed the pan with some white wine, scraping to get up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and then whisked in two cups of chicken stock, until the flour had dissolved and the sauce was smooth.
I stirred in my potatoes and carrots, and brought the pan to a simmer. Then, I let the mixture simmer for about ten minutes, to help soften up the vegetables a bit before adding them to the slow cooker.
Once the potatoes and carrots had softened a bit, I scooped the veggies and sauce into the slow cooker and added in two more cups of chicken stock, some quartered white mushrooms, bay leaves, and salt. Then, I nestled three large, bone-in chicken breasts down into the stew.
(The chicken’s in there. I swear.)
At this point, I covered the slow cooker and let the stew stew (see what I did there?) for about four hours.
When my timer went off, I removed the chicken from the pot and cut it easily into large chunks.
Then, I added it back into the slow cooker and poured in a cup of frozen peas. Adding the peas at the last-minute like this keeps them perky. Nobody likes mushy peas.
After about five minutes more, the peas were cooked through and after seasoning with a little salt and pepper, we were ready to eat.
The stew was warm and cozy, but fresh, light and delicious. It’s sophisticated comfort food that won’t weigh you down, and is full of fresh, good-for-you ingredients. It is the perfect in-between-summer-and-fall kind of dish.
OLD FASHIONED SLOW COOKER CHICKEN STEW
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 2 small onions, chopped fine
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
- ½ lb. red potatoes, chunked (about 2 cups total)
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
- 8 oz. white mushrooms, stemmed and halved (quartered, if large)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 3 (12 oz.) bone-in split chicken breasts, skin removed, trimmed of all visible fat
- 1 cup frozen peas
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and just starting to brown, about five minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute more.
- Stir in the flour to coat, and cook for 1 minute.
- Carefully whisk in the wine, scraping up the browned bits. Whisk in two cups of the chicken stock, smoothing out any lumps.
- Stir in the potatoes and carrots, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes, and then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Stir in the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock, the mushrooms, bay leaves, and ¾ teaspoon of salt.
- Nestle the chicken breasts down into the stew, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender, 3-5 hours on LOW.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool for a minute before cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces. Return the chicken to the slow cooker, and stir in the cup of frozen peas.
- Allow the stew to cook for about 5 minutes more, until peas are cooked and the stew is warmed through. Remove the bay leaves.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve.