rustic Italian style chicken

Slow cookers are life savers. What’s better than throwing everything in one pot, walking away and blammo dinner is ready – am I right?
Well this is a hybrid of that style of cooking, you can do the one stop load up in the morning OR you can do a little bit of prep, only put it on for 3 hours instead of 8 and get a more defined dish.

Anything you put in a crockpot for the entire day as far as meat goes comes out in shredded form.
That’s fine and taste’s good too, but it is possible to achieve full form meat in the crockpot and this dish is the perfect example of that.

I’m so excited to share this simple and comforting recipe with you.
Great any time but easily dressed up for company.

stuff you need to do this

large frying pan
crock pot


start with the chicken:

6-8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed

– IMO boneless, skinless chicken thighs are creepy & nightmarish, just buy the real chicken thigh from your local butcher and remove the skin yourself, takes 5 seconds – saves you $$ and yay you’re not buying processed, weirdness.

1 cup flour, maybe more (gf will work here as well)
garlic powder
1/4 cup avocado oil

Once you have skinless chicken breasts all ready to go, remove excess moisture with a paper towel and SPRINKLE with s & p on both sides liberally.
On a separate dish COMBINE the flour and garlic powder (1 tbsp or more if you like).
Place prepared thighs into a med-heat oiled pan.
FRY up these darlings on both sides til golden but not cooked all the way through, like so:
Set aside.

now the flavour booster:

1 large onion, diced
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
FRY these up in the chicken pan, should still have some juices in it.
When the mushrooms look semi cooked and the onion is golden your done.

– You can skip this part and just throw everything in with the tomatoes and spices but this step really boosts the flavour of the dish and the house smells great so you look brilliant 🙂
POUR into greased slow cooker. (I use coconut oil for mine, use whatever makes you smile)

throw all these into the slow cooker:

4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can whole tomato’s, crushed with your hand they will break apart as they cook
2 fresh tomato’s, diced and seeded (you know the ones that you keep moving to get to something else in the fridge) if you don’t have this it’s fine to skip.
6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tbsp capers (optional)
1 tbsp dry basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dry rosemary and thyme
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Now that you have this beautiful vegetable tomato sauce in the crockpot all mixed together you can ADD the chicken in.
SINK the pieces in so they are below the sauce.

Cook this on high for 3 1/2 hrs.
Try not to open the lid there’s nothing going on in there you just lose cooking time when you do this.

at the 3 hr mark add these in:

black olives, seeded, 1/4 cup or none at all – completely optional
kale, de-stemmed, roughly chopped 1 cup when squished in your hand (spinach will do nicely here too)

the grand finale:

Garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes with green salad.
Put out fresh parm and basil on the table for your eaters to pick and choose.

Double this recipe, you won’t regret it.
Put it in the freezer or dole it out for lunches.
It just keeps giving.

This recipe is a sure fire winner.
It’s not a fix and forget but it’s also not a stand watch over it kind of meal and does not produce a watery sauce that needs thickening.
Do use the canned whole tomatoes not the diced ones if you can, it makes a difference.
I have no idea why.
Maybe it’s got something to do with the squishing of the tomatoes?
Let me know how it turned out and tag me on IG @flipthebeetle.

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