While I will never ever be a fan of winter or cold weather, I am a fan of soup, stew, and chili. And I'm an even bigger fan of having dinner ready at 5pm on the dot and barely having lifted a finger. Therefore, crockpot recipes are like my BFF. And this crockpot recipe is REALLY my BFF, because it is one of the most low-maintenance and easy recipes I think I've ever made.
It is in the crockpot in less than 10 minutes, and then all you have to do before serving is shred the chicken and stir in a few garnishes. So so easy. And it was a big hit with my family. The stew is very simple and rustic, but it packs a big flavor punch. Chicken thighs are used instead of breasts, so they don't get dried out, and they have more flavor. The stew is seasoned with onions, garlic, paprika, and saffron, so you're definitely not lacking for flavor here. Chicken broth and tomatoes round out the stew, and it's garnished with chopped almonds and parsley. The almonds give a nice textural contrast, and the parsley provides some freshness and brightness to the finish. I really loved the addition of the almonds to the stew, and the saffron really shined through. A huge hit all-around. Just be forewarned, this makes a ton of stew, but I froze about half to pull out for a lazy dinner.
I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution, but one of the complaints I often hear is that the recipes are too involved to be legit crock pot recipes. I don't think there is such a thing as an illegitimate crock pot recipe, but I do see the argument there - if you spend 30 minutes prepping a crock pot recipe, what's the point of even using a crock pot, right? In ATK's defense, the recipes are always worth the extra few minutes, especially because they don't contain weird or processed ingredients. But their new cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2: The Easy Prep Edition, is the solution to the long-prep time problem. This cookbook's sole focus is crockpot recipes that are low-maintenance and well... easy to prep. The only issue I have with the book, which actually doesn't really affect me too much since I'm home in the afternoons, is that a good number of the recipes only cook for 4-6 hours. This doesn't really help those who work outside the home, unless your crockpot has a timer. But overall, I'm pretty impressed with the book. Definitely check it out if you love crock potting too!
Pssst: Come back tomorrow - there could maybe possibly be something in it for you ;)
Spanish Chicken & Saffron Stew
barely adapted from ATK's Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2
serves 6 to 8
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 Tbs minced fresh garlic
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs paprika (I used half smoked and half sweet, and it was a great combo)
- 1/4 tsp crumbled saffron
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with liquid)
- 3 Tbs instant tapioca
- 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Combine the onions, garlic, oil, paprika, saffron, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave about 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened, stirring halfway through. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Stir in 3 cups of the broth, tomatoes, and tapioca.
Generously sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and nestle them into the slow cooker as well. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender, about 4 to 5 hours.
Transfer the chicken to a large bowl, and turn off the slow cooker. Using tongs, gently break up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. The chicken was so tender that this is all I had to do to shred it.
Use a large spoon to skim any accumulated fat off the surface, and stir the shredded chicken, almonds, and parsley into the stew as well. Add additional broth to adjust the consistency if it's too thick. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve.