It all started with fennel.
Now that we’re well into a sparkly new year and I’m no longer stricken with delightful nausea for most of my waking hours, Spence and I have been trying to get back into regular meal preparation. We both love to cook and enjoy coming up with creative dinners, but we don’t always have the energy to devote to that awesomeness during the week. It’s been a lot of pizza and skillet meals, friends — and I don’t feel great about it, but sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
Enter the slow cooker, which takes away that angst. If you’re not in love with your Crock Pot, especially in winter, I highly suggest giving it a try! We try to make at least one dinner in the slow cooker each week, usually on Monday or Tuesday, so we have homemade lunches for the rest of the week. It works out well . . . and hey, it’s always nice to have a husband who beats you home because he can’t wait for dinner.
Crock Pot nights are the best nights. Twenty minutes of prep in the morning and WHAM! — dinner is ready and fragrant as soon as you get home.
Turning to Pinterest for slow cooker meal ideas, I found this recipe for a stew that looked simple, delicious and healthy. And fennel! It has fennel! Seeing that, I was immediately in. We stocked up on the herb at an Amish grocery store months ago and love its distinctive flavor.
I made a few modifications from the original, outlined below. Because I’m always trying to clear out the pantry and use what we already have, I used canned tomatoes in place of fresh and chicken breasts instead of thighs for the meat, which we then shredded.
But you? You’re awesome. You can get creative and add whatever the heck you want. The thing I really love about soups is their versatility: if you don’t have fresh potatoes, add canned. If you have some kale or parsley to use up, throw it in! You can’t really hurt them. And who can’t use a few extra vegetables in their diet?
If you’re looking for a stew with excellent flavor that sticks to the ol’ ribs, look no further.
Can’t wait for lunch!
Slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew
4 chicken breasts, or 6-8 chicken tenderloins
2 carrots, peeled and sliced (or shredded carrots)
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 can whole tomatoes, drained
12 baby potatoes, cut in half
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp black pepper
Just before serving:
¼ cup water
2 ½ tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt (to taste)
• Toss chicken, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, fennel seeds, rosemary and black pepper into the slow cooker.
• Cook on the lowest setting for 6-8 hours.
• Remove chicken and shred with two forks, then return meat to stew.
• Just before serving, combine corn starch with water and mix until no lumps remain. Add the water/cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire and salt. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Serves 6-8.
Recipe adapted from Sweet Peas & Saffron
16 thoughts on “Tuscan chicken stew in the slow cooker”
looks delicious 🙂 I’ll try that!
Fennel is the bomb! This looks delish!
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Thanks for sharing. That looks delicious and I have a serious case of the January blues. It’s freezing and miserable here in the U.K. My other hobbie asides from writing is cooking so can’t wait to try this. Take care and hope you like the link to the book trailer I sent you. Rae.
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Looks very comforting. Yummy
Looks like one I’d like to try. I almost always use boneless skinless thighs, as they don’t dry out like chicken breasts do if cooked a little too long.
This sounds amazing. In truth, I haven’t done much fennel in my time, but I’d definitely like to try this. I’m always looking for ways to get veggies into my husband and son.
Thanks for sharing this soup. It looks delicious and the slow cooker is a major bonus in my opinion. I LOVE using ours. In fact, I made lasagna in it recently and it was amazing!
That’s my kind of meal right there. (Although I might have to wait a few months as we are in the midst of summer right now in NZ)
Sounds really good!! I’m on a trying new recipes kick! I’ll be posting later this week a new cookbook review. We love soups in winter here,and I like to try new things. I’ll probably be trying this one out in a few weeks. Thanks.
Reblogged this on Sophi's Garden and commented:
My tummy is really rumbling now.
I feel like if I had a slow cooker, some nights would be so much easier! Love that this stew is so good for you!
OMG! Looks absolutelly delicious! *o*
Just what the doctor ordered…
Isn’t the slow cooker the best? I use mine all the time, especially in the winter! This stew looks fantastic, Meg! I absolutely love the flavors. So perfect for this time of year!
Look amazing and I have almost all of the ingredients in the pantry (or fridge). Plus I bet that I could serve this over rice for the little ones to easily eat.
Love fennel seeds as well but I’ve never been able to find regular fennel bulbs at the grocery! Seems crazy.
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