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Slow cooker chicken that delivers ease and flavor


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Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2014, 11:45 am
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The trouble with slow cookers is that while they certainly deliver on ease, they sometimes disappoint on flavor. It's the risk you run when you dump a bunch of ingredients in a pot and walk away for much of the day.

So we decided to come up with a slow cooker chicken that packs plenty of sophisticated flavors, yet doesn't sacrifice the no-nonsense approach we love about slow cooking. We started with chicken thighs, which have richer, deeper flavor than chicken breasts. Then we added lemons, fennel, mushrooms and leek for a braise inspired by the cuisine of southern France.

We also wanted to resolve the other drawback of slow cookers — that the foods cooked in them often lack texture. So we finish the dish with seasoned, toasted breadcrumbs for a delicious crunch.

Slow Cooker Meyer Lemon Chicken
Start to finish: 20 minutes active, plus 4 to 5 hours on high heat or 7 to 8 hours on low heat
Servings: 6
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
2 Meyer lemons, quartered
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Egg noodles, cooked, to serve
In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the leeks, garlic, onion, mushrooms, fennel, chicken thighs, broth, white wine, rosemary, lemons, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for 7 to 8 hours on low heat or for 4 to 5 hours on high heat.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the coriander, garlic and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside.
When the chicken is done, remove and discard the lemons. Adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper, as needed. To serve, place egg noodles in the bottom of serving bowls. Spoon the chicken and vegetables over the noodles along with some of the liquid. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Nutrition information per serving (not counting noodles): 310 calories; 110 calories from fat (35 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 85 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 24 g protein; 310 mg sodium.



















 



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  Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.






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