Monday, 23 September 2013

Slow cooker recipe corner: chicken cacciatore ("Hunter's stew")

I am moving back in with D this coming weekend and so looking forward to it. Glorious, glorious domesticity in all its lovely mundanity. In order to prepare, I’ve been spending the majority of the last few weekends there. D is still in charge of the kitchen at the moment which means I get cooked for which I enjoy very much – however, I suspect that will change and to be honest, I am looking forward to getting back into the routine of planning meals and cooking. I’ve been dreaming in recipes.

Anyway, Saturday night he dusted off the slow cooker and made a fabulous chicken stew that recently appeared on the Word of Mouth “Perfect” column (if you don’t read that, by the way, you really should – it’s very good). The list of ingredients is relatively short, but don’t be fooled – some sort of weird alchemy transforms these items into something much greater than the sum of their parts. We served with mashed potato and virtual box sets (we’re currently alternating between the final series of Dexter and season 3 of Game of Thrones – it’s a wonder that I have any fingernails left).

If you don't have a slow cooker I would suggest checking out the original recipe for appropriate oven temperatures and times. I would also suggest that you get one - they are extremely handy.

A word on portion size – I have reckoned on one thigh per person below, which I found more than sufficient. D went for two. Adjust points accordingly.


Tbsp olive oil
4 chicken thighs, skin on
Tbsp seasoned flour
2 heads of garlic, cut horizontally
Small bunch of rosemary
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stick of celery, diced
125ml white wine
250ml chicken stock
100g tinned plum tomatoes in juice, roughly chopped
15g butter

Serves 4, 9 pro points per portion

Heat the oil in a large pan. While it warms up, dust the chicken thighs in seasoned flour. Place skin side down in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.

Transfer to the slow cooker.
In the same pan, fry the garlic heads, rosemary, carrot and celery for a few minutes until slightly golden. Again, transfer to the slow cooker.

Pour the wine into the pan to deglaze, stirring briskly to ensure all the lovely, crusty, chickeny bits are swooped up and let it bubble off and reduce slightly before tipping over the chicken and the vegetables. Add the stock and the tomatoes to the slow cooker pot and then cook on low for six hours, at which point the chicken will be falling off the bone and the sauce will be a lovely dark brown.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and the vegetables from the pot and set aside. Pour the sauce into a pan (you could use the one from earlier if you haven’t yet washed it – I’m all for saving washing up) and heat it to a brisk boil. Allow to reduce by about a third. Adjust the seasoning and finish with the butter to give a nice gloss.

Return the chicken and veg to the sauce and warm through before serving.


  1. I love our slow cooker. We're thinking about a beef and wine stew for the weekend with P's amazing herby dumplings (emphatically not a euphemism). I will definitely try this.

    I've read all the Game of Thrones books (except the last one he doesn't seem to have written yet!) but would really like to see the TV adaptation.


  2. If you're looking for a good beef dish for the slow cooker try the Casa Moro Oxtail and Chorizo in Rioja, cooked twice it's utterly divine and as rich as Croesus

    Dee Treaux

  3. This sounds delicious, I've recently purchased a slow cooker so I've bookmarked this page to use next week.

    1. Hi Daniella! Really hope this works out well for you. One thing - because there are so few ingredients I think you really have to make sure you do the initial browning stage (most slow cooker recipes I must admit I just chuck everything in and hope) as you are relying on that for some of the wonderful flavour. We loved this recipe - hope you do too. xx