After coming back from the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, and visiting with Pam Smith of Spice Blends, I knew I needed to incorporate her wonderful new spice blend, Citrus Spice, into this dish. I thought what better way than with a delicious French-style stew with chicken and mushrooms. Usually, I do this dish in a Dutch oven, I thought I could test this dish with my new 7-quart Crock-pot.
The only major prep for this dish is the browning of the chicken. This is my Slow Cooker Citrus-Spiced Chicken And Mushroom Stew.
Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes 30 minutes for browning chicken)
Cook Time: 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes (4 hours 20 minutes)
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, 1 (7-quart) Crock-Pot, chef’s knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 2 large mixing bowls, 3 medium-size bowls, chef’s knife
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, cut in half
1 1/2 cups of Canola oil (amount of oil may vary)
4 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, dried, and halved
3 pints of whole cremini mushrooms, cleaned
2 large onions, quartered
3 ribs of celery, cut into 3-inch pieces, include leafy tops
6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon of Citrus Spice Blend
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of good white wine
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup of cooking liquid
1 heaping tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish
3 cups of all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of Citrus Spice Blend
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
Start by cutting all four chicken breasts in half as seen in the pictures. Using paper towels, pat each piece of chicken dry really well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Next, prep all the vegetables and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt and/or grit. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Last, in a medium-size bowl, prepare the seasoned flour. To a bowl add the flour, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, 3 tablespoons of Citrus Spice Blend, whisk to combine. Set aside.
To start, using 1 tablespoon of the Citrus Spice Blend, add a pinch of the spice blend underneath of the skin of each of the chicken pieces. Using 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, distribute evenly, season the tops of all the chicken pieces. Transfer the pieces to a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside. Dredge each piece of chicken into the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, and set onto a separate rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are coated in the seasoned flour.
In a cast-iron skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about 1/2-inch deep. Heat the oil until it starts to shimmer. Place the chicken into the skillet, skin side down, in batches of three. Cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging the chicken pieces until the fat renders and the skin is golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a pair of tongs flip each piece and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the finished golden brown chicken pieces back onto the rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat the process until all the pieces are golden brown. The chicken will finish cooking in the slow cooker.
Into the Crock-pot place all of the potatoes, onion, celery, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to the vegetables. Next, add the chicken broth and wine. Arrange all the chicken pieces on top, but make sure they are nestled in there really well.
Note: 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. 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.
Once everything has been cooking for 3 1/2 hours remove the chicken and transfer to a plate. Add the mushrooms and fresh thyme. If you left this to cook for 8 hours, on low, you’d pull the chicken out at 7 1/2 hours and do the same thing.
For a slightly thicker gravy, remove a ladle full of the cooking liquid and whisk in 1 heaping tablespoon of flour. Whisk until it becomes paste-like, with a somewhat smooth consistency. Add it right back into the Crock-pot, stir to combine.
Carefully add all the chicken pieces back into the Crock-pot. Cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The heat from the hot liquid and the chicken on the top will cook the mushrooms.
To go along with this dish I made my Semi-homemade Cheddar And Chive Drop Biscuits for dipping. The link for this recipe is at the bottom of this post.
To serve, ladle a good helping of the stew into a large porcelain bowl, making sure to get a little of everything. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. There you have it, my Slow Cooker Citrus-Spiced Chicken And Mushroom Stew.