As mentioned in previous posts, the slow cooker is an indispensable tool for our busy family. We came across a simple chicken stew dish that we tried last week. As I was packing the left overs, I was feeling bad about throwing away all the luscious juice/sauce that the stew made-after all, we are in a recession! Then I had an idea. Once I took out the left over chicken, I saved all the rest of the "sauce" in a separate container. The next night, I strained it and kicked up the flavor a little more and added pasta and TA DA! Dinner number 2 in a half hour! We will definitely keep this recipe in our weekly repertoire.
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Legs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 chicken legs, separated into thigh and drumsticks, skin removed
2 red onions, sliced
6-8 cloves garlic, halved
1 can (19 oz) chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 can or jar (2 oz) anchovy fillets, drained and minced
3 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. each parsley, thyme, basil, oregano
1/3 cup drained capers
2/3 cup pitted Gaeta olives
First mix the flour with the salt and pepper. In batches, dredge the chicken in the flour to coat and put in the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients except capers and olives. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until chicken juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Towards the end of cooking time, add capers and olives and cook on high 10-15 minutes before serving.
Reserve all left over vegetables and juices from the slow cooker and refrigerate until ready to use (do not keep longer than 3 days)
Tuscan Mushroom Pasta
Reserved slow cooker juice from above recipe, strained aggressively through a fine sieve (remnants discarded)
8-10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. linguine
In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and cook garlic until softened and starting to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook until releasing their juices and beginning to brown. Add strained juice and stir. Heat to a simmer. Adjust seasoning. Cook at a medium simmer until contents are reduced by a third and has thickened into a sauce. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Serve sauce over pasta.
* Note-Though I did not try this, you probably could shred the left over chicken from the legs and thighs and add them into the sauce in the middle of cooking to add a protein to the meal and use up the left over chicken.