Slow Cooker: Chicken Stew (a twist of the Coq au Vin classic)

A Sunday quick meal. In the a.m., brown the chicken and add to a slow cooker. Simmer wine in the same skillet as the chicken and pour into slow cooker. Dump the rest of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Enjoy a warm Fall day of football, museums, visiting friends, coffee shop, working, talking, shopping, laughing and partying. Come back in the p.m. Quickly make a salad. Open a bottle of wine. Remove lid from slow cooker. Serve yourself a hearty stew. Be in bed in the early p.m. Wake up to a good work week tomorrow a.m.

Chicken Stew

Ingredients
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 chicken, 3 to 4 lb., cut into 8 serving pieces
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 bacon slices, chopped
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. white button mushrooms, quartered
1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch 
  pieces
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 cups white wine

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm half of the olive oil until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken. Add the bacon, onion, mushrooms, potatoes, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and stock to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

3. Remove the sauté pan from the heat, pour the wine into the pan and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the wine to the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 5 hours according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Spoon the stew into bowls and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

From Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.