A couple of years ago, my husband gave me an All Clad slow cooker for Christmas. Now I’ll admit that at first, a few alarm bells went off in my head (“Slow cooker? It’s a crock pot!” We’ve come to this? A crock pot?! For Christmas?!”) Of course, I told myself, it really doesn’t look like the crock pot of my memory (which was Harvest Gold and brown with leaves on it)—it’s sleek looking and has a cool brushed steel front, and the liner is black ceramic and it has digital numbers! And, I continued to tell myself, it’s not like every present has to be jewelry or a spa visit or something personal—(rather than an appliance—for Pete’s sake!) and I vowed to keep an open mind and not be ungrateful.
I stand abashed. This is one of the best things I own. It would survive any declutter day I could every have. I love my slow cooker (it is definitely not a crock pot).
The days that I use my slow cooker are the days that I feel the most in control. My dinner is prepared, it rests on the counter cooking away—and I am free to pick up a kid from soccer or play practice—take a pre-dinner walk, have a drink, watch the news—whatever. I know that when I’m ready, I will just whip the top off that puppy and dinner will be served, and it will be falling off the bone and deliciously sauced.
Here is one of my most requested (by my kids) slow cooker recipes. This is good every time. Serve it with a loaf of crusty bread (to soak up the sauce) and a green salad, smile and accept the compliments.
Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken
Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Cook time: 3 ½ hours
1 3-4 pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 heads garlic, unpeeled, separated into cloves
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, until well browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Add the garlic cloves and sauté them over medium high heat until lightly browned (about 2 to 3 minutes). Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to stir and scrape all the brown bits from the bottom.
Pour the garlic mixture over the chicken and sprinkle the thyme over all. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender—for 3 hours on the low heat setting.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Set a fine mesh sieve over a saucepan, pour all the sauce from the cooker through, and press with the wooden spoon to push as much of the liquid and the pulp through as possible. Then bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken either topped with the sauce or with the sauce on the side.
Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook this in a Dutch oven or a casserole dish in the oven for 1 hour—all other directions remain the same.