After coming back from the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, and visiting with Pam Smith of Spice Blends, I knew I needed to implement her wonderful spice blends into my dishes. I thought what better way then with this awesome French style stew of chicken and mushrooms. Usually I do this dish in a dutch oven, but I thought with my new 7 quart slow cooker, I thought I would test out this dish by using it. Now to be honest if it didn’t work I wouldn’t be posting this recipe, but it turns out that it came out beautifully. Really the only major prep to this dish is just the browning of the chicken. I would suggest that having the chicken cut, refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap. The flour can be seasoned the day before if you know this is something your going to make this dish. As far as the veggies go I would say that with the exception of the 4 potatoes that your going to cut in half, all the other veggies can be done ahead, placed into a plastic bag, and kept in the frig. The mushrooms need only to be wiped off with a damp paper towel to get any grit off of them and that can be done ahead as well.
Here what I’ve done is to take 4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts and cut them in half. I wanted to make the pieces easier to eat, being that they were going into a #stew. As you see in my top left picture, now the large breast, have become 8 manageable pieces. Next I have 3 pints of Cremini mushrooms. 2 large onions, diced into large chucks,3 ribs of celery cut into 3 inch pieces, 6 whole cloves of peeled garlic, and finally 4 small to medium size Yukon gold potatoes cut in half. If they are large then cut into quarters. You just want to make sure they are relatively the same size. This is what I have here in the picture on the top right.
Now that all the prep work is done, next, the chicken. It’s time to get some nice color first on the outside before putting it into the slow cooker. , I have my trusty cast iron skillet getting hot on med heat, with enough canola oil to just cover the bottom of the skillet. When the oil starts to shimmer its ready. You want to pat all the chicken dry with paper towel first. This will ensure the oi won’t splatter and of course to get a nice brown crunchy texture on the outside of the chicken.I take a pinch of Pam’s Citrus spice blend and place some under the skin of each piece. then I do a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper on the top of each piece as well. Let me tell you about the seasoned flour that i used I put 3 cups of all purpose flour into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. To that I added 3 tablespoons of Pam Smith’s Citrus Spice blend. Pam”s secret ingredients in this recipe gives the chicken a kiss of that citrus flavor that we all love with chicken, as well as some added color to the skin. I then sear the outside of the chicken, skin side down first, in batches of 3 so as not to overcrowd the pan. When the chicken releases itself easily then you know it’s time to flip the chicken and do the other side. You want to see a nice golden color on the outside, the chicken will finish cooking in the slow cooker. As the pieces are finishing up browning, I set them on a baking sheet until all the chicken pieces are done.
Now for the slow cooker. First put all of the potatoes, onion, celery, and garlic into the pot. I then sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper over the veggies. Next pour in 1/2 a cup of wine and 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth. Next place all the chicken pieces on top, but make sure they are nestled in there really well. You want to set the temperature on high if cooking for 4 hours and low for 8 hours. Keep in mind that all the vegetables are going to release water as they cook, and this will cause the liquid to rise slowly as everything progresses. So I cooked this version of high for 4 hours because I just happen to be home and I needed to watch the progression of the dish so I could post everything correctly.
3 1/2 hours in I pulled the chicken out that was on top so I could now add the mushrooms in with 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, because, you know how mushrooms love thyme. If I would have added them at the beginning, they would have probably cooked down to nothing and, I wanted them to keep their integrity and shape. So now if you left this to cook on low after being gone all day, you would just pull the chicken out after 7-1 /2 -8 hours hours and do the same thing. Steve likes a slightly thicker gravy so what I did was to ladle out about a cup of the cooking liquid and whisked in 1 heaping tablespoon of flour.
After this was whisked together really well I poured this right back into the pot. Gave everything a big stir, then I added all the chicken pieces right back in, Place the lid back on to cook for the last 1/2 hour. The heat from the hot liquid and the chicken on the top will cook the mushrooms in no time at all and they will have a nice color on them as well. Oh, I made some cheddar biscuits for dipping too, but that’s a story for another time.
Don’t these look awesome! Ok, so now I just ladle some of the stew into a large bowl, making sure I get a little of everything. There it is, #takingitslow Citrus Chicken And Mushroom Stew.