Slow Down Chicken - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Slow Down Chicken

If I didn't find it slightly embar­rass­ing I'd be gush­ing about how much I love my slow cooker right now. Even given the mas­sive lifestyle change I've made this year — from work­ing at a fash­ion mag­a­zine to test­ing recipes for SPC — there are lines I pledged not to cross when I became a par­ent. Yoga pants worn while not in an actual yoga class being the most impor­tant, obvi­ously, but also purely social cof­fee dates dur­ing the work day and address­ing my hus­band as Daddy in front of the kids. I'm not say­ing there's any­thing wrong with any of these things (except I do feel a bit squea­mish when spouses call each other Mom and Dad). Every­one has to fig­ure out their own way to enter Par­ent World, these are just the roads I avoid.
Enthu­si­asm for time-saving appli­ances just never made it on my list. So un-sexy, it just went with­out say­ing. But what can I say?

We've had the gleam­ing Krups slow cooker in a hard to reach cup­board for, oh, five years now. A wed­ding gift — thanks Eric and Sue! — that I've been mean­ing to pull down and fig­ure out, it finally made its way out this week­end. What a fool I've been! Once I got over the ini­tial weird­ness of chop­ping car­rots and pota­toes at 8 a.m. I was hooked. About twenty min­utes of prep, six hours doing its thing, qui­etly on the counter, and din­ner is ready. What's not to love?

Sim­ple Chicken Stew

6 chicken thighs, skin­less, bone in
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks cel­ery, chopped
2 car­rots, peeled and chopped
splash veg­etable oil
1 table­spoon fresh thyme (1 tea­spoon if you're using dried)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup light cream


Par­boil the pota­toes for about two minutes.

In a dutch oven or high-sided skil­let, sautee onions, cel­ery and car­rots in a splash of veg­etable oil for about five min­utes. Add the flour, thyme and bay leaves and stir for a minute. Add the stock and stir until smooth. Sim­mer for 3 or 4 min­utes until sauce thick­ens. Add par­boiled pota­toes and add salt and pep­per to taste.

Place chicken thighs in the bot­tom of your trusty slow cooker and spoon the veg­etable mix­ture over. Seal and set for 6 hours.

Check chicken to see that it's cooked through. Add peas and cream and seal and cook for 10 more min­utes. Serve!

Esme loved this din­ner. I knew she was but­ter­ing me up in order to get dessert but I didn't mind. Julian's a bit small to han­dle broth on his own but he let me give him a bit and loved all the ele­ments of this stew. And I'll def­i­nitely be on the look­out for more ways to use my slow cooker. Got any ideas?



  1. Terra says:

    Another win­ner! Hands down the best use of our slow cooker yet. Dar­ren and I couldn't get enough. And I'm sure Rosie would have loved it if it wasn't for that pesky time change…

  2. Ceri says:

    So glad to hear it!! Oh, no, is Rosie not switch­ing over? Maybe she and Julian can meet for a 5 am breakfast!

  3. Terra says:

    Ha! Not that early, thank God (poor you) but she's a bit of a wreck by the end of the day. Add a new baby brother and it makes for a dis­tracted din­ner time.

  4. Andrea says:

    Hi… I'm mak­ing this right now… what temp do we set at? High or low?

  5. Ceri Marsh says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I believe that it depends on how long you want it to take. So, High would take 4 hours and Low would take 6 — which is what I wanted the day I made this. Let me know how it goes for you!

  6. Andrea says:

    Thanks! It turned out great and I love that it made enough to have for lunches the next day. Yum!

  7. Ceri Marsh says:

    Don't you love it when one cook­ing effort nets mul­ti­ple meals? It's the best! So glad you liked it!

  8. Norine says:

    Per­fect for a 'picky-eater' tod­dler! Use a Thermo-pot and you don't even have to waste elec­tric­ity while it's cooking.

  9. Denise says:

    Aren't slow cook­ers great? I love to make baked pota­toes in mine. Wash and dry pota­toes, give them an olive oil mas­sage, sprin­kle with gar­lic pep­per sea­son­ing, wrap in foil and put into the crock. Depend­ing on how many pota­toes you have, it will take 6 — 8 hours. I start on high, then switch to low after an hour or 2.

  10. […] creamy chicken recipe, Slow Down Chicken, is per­fect for a cozy win­ter meal. If you use the chicken butcher­ing tech­niques to pre­pare one of […]

  11. Caitlin says:

    Any idea whether it is pos­si­ble to make it take longer, like 10 hours? I know that sounds odd, but my prob­lem with crock­pot recipes is that they are always for 4 or 6 hours, which means they can only be used on week­ends, since I'm away at work for at least 10 on weekdays.

  12. Eric says:

    Wor­ried that your slow cooker recipe will be ready to serve TOO EARLY in the day? Here are two solu­tions: 1) pre­pare the recipe the night before, but keep it in the fridge overnight. The next morn, set up your cooker to run, and allow an extra hour since every­thing started cold. AND/OR: 2) Plug the whole cooker into a vacation-light timer so it won't turn on until you've been at work a cou­ple of hours.

  13. Ceri says:

    Eric — thanks for those great ideas in solv­ing Caitlin's dilemma! I also think that most slow cook­ers turn them­selves off but do keep things quite warm. And this kind of dish won't be worse for sit­ting in the slow cooker until you get home. And most slow cooker recipes tend to be like that — stews that can wait for you. But I love that vaca­tion timer idea — let us know if you give it a try!

  14. sunny says:

    Why do you par­boil the pota­toes? In my expe­ri­ence when they cook for 6 hours they become mushy? Are you using them to thicken the sauce? Maybe my slow cooker cooks to fast, I think it does.

  15. Wayne KNIGHT says:

    Hi — would love to have printed-off this recipe, but 5 pages is just too much for a sin­gle recipe. Is there any other method of print­ing such recipes on 1 or 2 pages rather than 5? Tks…WK

  16. Gwen says:

    I always face the same problem–copying pages and pic­tures, etc. to get the recipe. I'm just too fru­gal to print out all the extra stuff. I sim­ply high­light the recipe and copy it and paste to a Word page. Works great.

  17. Lori says:

    You know over a 4–6 hour period the cut pota­toes will turn to mush. Also, I don't know about any­one else in the work­ing world, but I work 8 hours over a 9 hour period (accounts for lunch and get­ting to/from work). This might do very well with Turkey thighs and par boil the pota­toes in the am. Microwave for a minute or 2 and then throw them in with every­thing else.

    The prob­lem with a reg­u­lar crock pot — you know the ones that come with off, warm, low , high is that they still cook too fast.

    I might make this on the week­end when I am home, but the chicken will be dry and the pota­toes mush if I do it on a workin' day.

  18. […] Slow Down Chicken is good­ness in a bowl. All the ele­ments of a clas­sic Sun­day chicken din­ner come together while you’re get­ting on with your day. […]

  19. Rose says:

    Can I adapt this recipe to cook in a saucepan on the stove?

  20. Janinne says:

    If cook­ing time is an issue, try start­ing with frozen chicken. That will make it take longer. I also won­dered about the par­boil­ing of the pota­toes. I don't plan on doing it when I try this recipe.

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