Slowcooker Italian Chicken

This recipe combines some stovetop cooking with crockpot cooking. I developed the recipe this way because braising in an iron skillet adds so much flavor and then the slow cooking of the crockpot allows all of the flavors to blend very nicely. This recipe takes more time than simply dumping everything in a crockpot and turning it on, but I am sure once you taste the final meal you will be very happy.

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon
1 large white onion, diced
6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced
1 pound fresh carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup (packed) fresh chopped parsley
10 bone-in chicken thighs, fat and skin removed
1 tablespoon cooking oil
28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup water

Dice the bacon and then place in a skillet (I used an iron skillet to prepare this recipe.) Cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet but reserve the bacon grease in the skillet.

Add the onion, garlic, and carrots to the bacon grease and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove this mixture from the skillet and set set aside in a bowl. Stir into this mixture the red pepper flakes, dried thyme, and dried basil. Add the cooked bacon also and stir to combine.

Do not clean the skillet yet. Put the cooking oil in the skillet and increase heat to medium. Place the chicken thighs in groups of three or four at a time. Cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken thighs and place on a tray. They will not be cooked all the way through but they will be in the crockpot.

Once you are done with the chicken, drain off most of the oil. Place skillet back on stove over medium heat and slowly pour in the cup of water. Stir the water around in the skillet to deglaze the skillet and pick up all the cooked bits remaining in the skillet. Turn the stove off and leave the water in the skillet.

In the crockpot place a layer of chicken thighs. Top the thighs with part of the onion-carrot mixture. Then place part of the fresh parsley on top. Keep layering the chicken thighs/onion-carrot mixture/parsley until it is all in the crockpot.

Now pour the can of tomatoes (including the juice in the can) over the chicken thighs. Then add the water from the skillet.

Turn the crockpot onto high and put the lid on it. Cook for 4 to 5 hours. (If you want to cook it on low, it will take 6 to 7 hours.)

This chicken can be served with prepared couscous, rice, or noodles. Just spoon the chicken and sauce over the couscous, rice, or noodles and you are ready to eat!

Serves 4 to 6 people.

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