Stews and soups seem odd for spring and summer cooking. If I can throw everything into a slow cooker at the start of a beautiful day, head outside, enjoy the weather and get home and have a meal waiting for me, I say "Huzzah, bring on the slow cooker!"
These nice long days are getting me outdoors more, leaving me a little less time to cook. The slow cooker sitting in my pantry has been calling my name. It's the perfect solution for a beautiful day. Just a half hour of prep, including a little bit of browning, and I was out the door with a promise of a great tasting coq au vin waiting for me at the end of the day.
I'm still figuring out proportions on my slow cooker recipes. Coq au vin is one of my favorite stews, so I thought I'd give it a go in the slow cooker. If you want to add or subtract some of the tomatoes or red wine based on successful slow cooker recipes you've used before, feel free to do so. And, get in touch with any slow cooker tips, especially about adapting standard recipes to slow cooker style recipes.
I have a friend (who blogs at Weekends So Sweet) that does quite a bit more slow cooking than I do. She has experimented with not browning ingredients before slow cooking and has had good results. Just wanted to mention this because a lot of these recipes end up looking like they have a lot of steps, but they can be simplified. I look at slow cooking as a good place to experiment. I've only had one real disaster (involving several acorn squash that just looked and tasted horrible after 8 hours on low in the slow cooker). For once, my attitude of throw it in the pot and see what you get can work here as real advice.
So get outside, enjoy yourselves and come home to a warm nourishing meal!
Slow Cooker Coq au Vin
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1/2 pound cooked bacon, chopped into pieces (cooking method here)
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 cans canned tomatoes
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large skillet over high heat, adding olive oil (or bacon grease if you have it) just before the pan is smoking hot.
- Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place them in the pan, skin side down and cook for 5 minutes on high.
- Turn over the thighs and cook another 5 minutes.
- Place the thighs in the slow cooker along with the cooked bacon.
- Return the pan to high heat and sauté the garlic and onions until softening, and just turning brown.
- Add the onions, garlic, wine, tomatoes and spices to the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker on low for 8 to 9 hours.
- Serve with boiled potatoes, salad or over egg noodles.