There are so many different variations of this recipe you could easily cook a different version every night of the week. Some of the meals have dumplings, while others have rice, noodles, potatoes, or beans. This is just a basic recipe to get you started, but feel free to add or delete whatever you like or dislike. No matter what you do, you are almost guaranteed a delicious meal after it cooks in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. After all the flavors meld together it will be a favorite of just about everyone. Cuisinart has a wonderful 3 in 1 multi cooker that would be perfect to use to cook this stew.
This recipe, as with most slow cooker recipes can be cooked on the stove top in a large heavy pan. The only difference would be that you would add the vegetables to the meat instead of putting the vegetables in first and placing the meat on top. Just cook everything in the pan and then simmer for the rest of the day. When stove top cooking you would also need to check the meal periodically and add some liquid if it seems to be getting too dry.
In the slow cooker, mix together:
- 3 medium potatoes, cubed
- 2 cups of baby carrots
- 1 pkg. fresh mushrooms, halved
- Sear in a sauté pan 2 packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This is not a necessary step but I think the browning adds an extra flavor that you would otherwise not get.
- Place thighs over vegetables.
- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon instant chopped onions, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder over the thighs.
- Mix together in a small bowl :
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 jar roasted chicken gravy
- ½ cup white wine or water
- Pour this mixture over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Turn the cooker on low and the timer on 8 hours.
You can substitute white chicken breast for the thighs, but usually the thighs will turn out moister.
Broccoli, peppers, corn or other vegetables can be substituted or added to the mix. If adding frozen vegetables, wait until about an hour before cooking time will be finished as these seem to cook much faster and will get mushy if added at the beginning.
Beans can be substituted for the potatoes.
Chicken broth and canned tomatoes can be substituted for the gravy mixture.
The chicken thighs will fall apart into serving sizes. But if you add chicken pieces with the bones and skin on them, about an hour before serving, remove the chicken pieces and remove the bones and skin. Either shred or cut up the chicken and then return to the slow cooker for another hour.
You could use a combination of chicken thighs and chicken breast.
For added flavor, sausage could be added.
A southern style chicken stew could include okra and dumplings. I think if you plan on adding dumplings that would best be handled using the stove top method. The dumplings would be added about 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
A tasty finishing touch would be a warm piece of crusty bread.
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