First thing’s first. How do you like the new layout? I think it’s much cleaner, & easier to find what you’re looking for.
Second: have you filled out your bracket yet? The tournament starts tomorrow! Go Cougs!
Now for the juicy stuff. And I do mean that literally. I have a confession to make: bone-in chicken intimidates me. I’ve roasted 3 Thanksgiving turkeys, but never in my life had I roasted a chicken or made anything that didn’t use my old standby: boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Those other recipes just seemed to take so much more effort & worrying! Not to mention my beef (ha!) with paying per pound for bone when I buy meat & poultry.
Well, all that changed last Thursday, thanks to Williams-Sonoma’s The New Slow Cooker cookbook. Seriously, every single recipe in here looks amazing, & everything I’ve made so far tastes amazing. One of the great things about this cookbook is that each recipe gives you a way to “Add Freshness With…” so you don’t get that heavy, Crock-Pot taste. I could definitely see myself using this cookbook into the summer (especially since we can’t grill in our apartment complex!) to keep the oven off & the apartment cool.
Herbed Chicken with Zesty Potato Salad
This recipe looks involved, so I’m going to give you the bottom line first so you know it’s totally worth the effort & extra ingredients.
The verdict: Husband loved it. I loved it. The Munchkin didn’t like the dressing on the potatoes, so I had to rinse them off for her. She did eat the chicken with some bribing & bargaining – considering the fact that she’s apparently a teenager now & has all but declared vegetarianism, I consider that a win. While it did take more planning & a little more prep time than most of the other dishes I make, the prep work was spread throughout the day, so the before-dinner rush never happened! It was fabulous! This is definitely the perfect stay-at-home-mom recipe. I think I’ll even make the potato salad by itself because the dressing was so delicious!
I made only a half recipe, which made 4 chicken thighs & more than enough potato salad, but I’m posting the full recipe from the cookbook. I also subbed some of the ingredients (dried herbs for fresh, broth for white wine, etc.) to include more of what I had on hand, so I’m posting how I made it, with the cookbook’s recommendations in parentheses.
- 3 lbs. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- Salt & pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 heaping tsp. dried thyme (2 sprigs fresh)
- 1 heaping tsp. dried oregano (2 sprigs fresh)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth (1/3 cup dry white wine, 1/3 cup broth)
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar)
- Pat thighs dry & season generously on both sides with salt & pepper.
- Warm the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes. (You may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding, but with the size of my pan & only making 4 thighs, I didn’t need to.) Don’t turn them over.
- Remove to a plate covered in paper towels to drain excess oil, then transfer to the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Add onion, garlic, & herbs to the same pan & saute on medium-high a few minutes, until onions just start to color. Pour in the broth (& wine if you’re using it) & vinegar, & deglaze the pan by using your wooden spoon to scrape any of the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add in 1/2 tsp. salt & a generous amount of pepper, & stir. Then pour over the chicken.
- Cover & cook on low for 4 hours. The chicken will be tender & falling off the bone.
For the potato salad:
- 20 small red potatoes, quartered
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano (1 Tbsp. fresh — this is the one time I really wish I did have fresh; it would have made it!)
- 3-4 fl. oz. Shallot Vinaigrette, below
For the Shallot Vinaigrette:
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 Tbsp. red wine viegar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- a few generous shakes (or grinds, if you’re lucky enough) pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- About 10-15 minutes before serving the chicken, place the potatoes in a large saucepan in enough salted water to cover, & bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until just tender, 8 minutes (or less – mine were a little too tender).
- While they’re boiling, whisk together all of the Shallot Vinaigrette ingredients except the oil. Whisk in the oil until emulsified. It smells as amazing as it looks!
- Drain potatoes & transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with some of the Shallot Vinaigrette while still hot, until lightly coated. (Taste to check; you can always add more if it’s not enough, but, as tasty as it is, too much might overwhelm the herbs on the chicken.) Let cool slightly (you could choose now to halve your cherry tomatoes), then add your cherry tomatoes & fresh oregano, & toss to coat.
- Plate your chicken thighs. Remove & discard the bay leaves & fresh herb sprigs, if you used them. (The cookbook says to let the braising liquid stand with the slow cooker on “off,” & skim the fat. I didn’t do this & we lived through it.) Drizzle thighs with some of the braising liquid, & mound the salad on top of or next to the chicken.
- Enjoy right away!
So there you go! I have triumphed over the bone-in chicken thigh with the help of my slow cooker.
Is there anything you love but have been too intimidated to make? What is it?