Crock Pot Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

If you have a smaller crock pot like I do, be sure to halve the recipe. This is a gourmet meal with simple boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Barb L.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 bottle good full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet or Burgundy

½ pound thickly sliced bacon, diced

3 stalks celery, chopped into ½” slices

1 large sweet onion peeled and cut into ¼” slices

10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs with any visible fat removed

½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper

3 shallots, peeled and quartered

20 small baby carrots

12 ounce package of frozen pearl onions, if desired

1 pound fresh white mushrooms, if desired

1 minced garlic cloves

2 cups chicken broth

3 Tbsp tomato paste

5 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp powdered thyme

5 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped or ½ tsp powdered rosemary

3 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried basil leaves

2 packages chicken gravy mix (the kind that makes 1 cup of gravy per package)

2 Tbsp of Flying Olive Butter or Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a little more for greasing the crock pot

Directions:

Measure the contents of your bottle of wine (it will be right around 3 cups). Pour the wine into a saucepan and place it on the stove. Heat the wine on medium-high, making sure that the wine maintains a gentle roll.

Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the wine back into the measuring cup. It should have reduced by half, about 1 ½ cups. If not, return it to the saucepan and continue simmering it until it is reduced by half. When it is done reducing, turn off the burner and set aside.

Place the uncooked bacon on a cutting board and dice it with a knife. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the bacon on high for 2 minutes. Leave it in the microwave and let it sit for 2 minutes more. Cheek the bacon to see if it’s cooked through. It should look like bacon bits. If your bacon needs more cooking, continue heating it in the microwave on high for increments of 1 minute, followed by another minute of standing time. Do this until the bacon is crisp and the fat has liquefied. Use a slotted spoon to take the bacon out of the bowl. Line a small bowl with paper towels in it and set aside.

Grease the crock pot thoroughly with a little Flying Olive EVOO. Place the celery slices in the bottom of your crock pot. Lay the onion slices over the celery. Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the onion and sprinkle the chicken with ¼ tsp pepper.

Next, add the shallots on top of the chicken, the carrots, and the pearl onions. If the white mushrooms are large, cut them in half and arrange them on top of the onions. Sprinkle with the garlic. Top with the bacon bits and the rest of the black pepper.

Add the chicken broth to the reduced wine in your saucepan. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the herbs (tie the fresh herbs with a little butcher’s twine to make them easier to remove) and the torn basil leaves.   If you are using the dried herbs, sprinkle them all into the saucepan and stir them in. Sprinkle in 1 packet of the gravy mix. Stir everything well. When done, pour the contents of the wine/sauce mixture over the ingredients in your crock pot.

Add the Flying Olive EVOO of Choice over the top. Put the lid on and turn it on low heat for 7 hours.

About 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, check to see the sauce is too thin for you. If it is, add the second packet of gravy mix and stir it in. Put the lid on again and turn the crock pot to high for 20 minutes. Be sure to let the crock pot cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with a green salad and a loaf of crusty bread. This is delicious the next day—if you have any leftovers!

Submitted by Barb L.