Chicken Stew in Slow Cooker: A Comforting Cold-Weather Meal
Posted October 3, 2023 by: Admin
If you want to make a hearty stew without turning on the oven, this easy slow cooker chicken stew is for you! Similar to a classic beef stew but made with chicken in a slow cooker, this stew is filled with tender and juicy chicken, a rich and creamy broth, and packed full of vegetables making it a filling and healthy meal that is perfect for a cold day.
Slow cookers are known for making delicious food without much effort, and that’s exactly what this recipe is. Aside from browning the chicken, you just need to add everything to a crockpot and then you can sit back and relax while it does the work. Not to mention, this chicken stew keeps well in the fridge and freezer, so it makes great leftovers or a simple meal prep idea.
What You’ll Need
- Chicken Thighs: I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs in my recipe as I think they provide the best flavor to the stew, but you could use chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Potatoes: I used russet potatoes but any white potato, such as Yukon gold potatoes, will work. They can be peeled or left unpeeled, that’s completely up to you.
- Carrots and Peas: Some classic stew veggies. Feel free to add some celery if you like.
- Onion and Garlic: Some aromatics to build the base of flavor.
- Chicken Broth: You can use homemade or store-bought broth.
- Flour: A little all-purpose flour to thicken the stew.
- Herbs: A mixture of thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf to deepen the flavor. To use fresh herbs simply double the amount.
- Milk: To thicken the stew a little further and give it a creamy texture. If you don’t have milk, you can use half the amount of heavy cream and add a bit more broth.
In addition to the above, you’ll also need some olive oil to cook the chicken, as well as some salt and black pepper to season.
How to Cook Chicken Stew in Crockpot
- Brown the chicken. Begin by searing the chicken until golden brown on all sides. This helps to tenderize the chicken and enhance its savory flavor.
- Add the flour and herbs. Toss the browned chicken in flour and then add the thyme and rosemary.
- Add the veggies and broth. Toss in the onion, potatoes, carrots, and salt, and cover with chicken broth.
- Cover and cook. Cover the crock pot with a lid and cook for 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
- Add the milk and peas. Once the stew is cooked, pour in the milk, add the green peas, and cook on high for a final 10-15 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper as needed.
The stew can be served immediately or saved for later. I honestly think this stew tastes better the longer it sits as the flavors deepen so it’s a great make-ahead meal and makes wonderful leftovers too.
Make it Gluten-Free: Swap the all-purpose flour for equal parts 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
Make it Dairy-Free: Swap the dairy milk for soy milk or almond milk.
Think stew is unhealthy? Think again! Made complete of whole foods, this hearty chicken stew is a balanced meal complete with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Is it OK to put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
While it is safe to put raw chicken in a slow cooker, for the best results I would recommend browning the chicken before adding it to the stew.
What happens if you don’t brown meat before slow cooking?
Technically speaking, the meat will cook just fine without browning in a slow cooker, however, it does add a depth and complexity of flavor so it’s well worth the extra step and effort.
Is it better to slow cook on low or high?
Put simply, the low setting takes longer to cook than the high setting. While both settings will work, the low setting allows more time to develop flavors.
Can I shorten the time on a slow cooker?
You can speed up the slow cooker time by cooking the stew on high, this will cut the cooking time in half.
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Allow to stew to cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled, leftover chicken stew can be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Reheat the stew in a pot on the stovetop on medium heat for 5 minutes or until warm, or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. If using frozen leftovers, allow the stew to thaw completely before reheating.
While you can enjoy this crock pot chicken stew on its own, I think it pairs perfectly with a warm slice of crusty bread or baguette. If you want to add a bit more fiber or veggies, you can serve it with a green salad with a light oil and vinegar dressing. Not to mention, this hearty chicken stew goes well with a glass of white wine if you’re looking to make this meal a little extra special.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
A creamy chicken stew without the cream, this hearty slow cooker chicken stew recipe is perfect for a cold day.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to season
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 large potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (1 pound)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup green peas, frozen
- Black pepper, to season
- Place chicken on a cutting board, dice into 1-inch pieces, and season generously with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, warm the olive oil, add the chicken, and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned on all sides. You don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through, simply sear it in the juices before adding it to the slow cooker. Note: If the slow cooker has a removable stovetop-safe pot, you can place it directly on the stovetop top and cook the chicken directly in the removable pot and then return it to the slow-cooker base.
- Once the chicken is seared, place it in the slow cooker, add flour, thyme, rosemary, and salt, and stir until the chicken is well coated in the flour and herbs.
- Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and potatoes to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Then pour in the broth and add the bay leaf.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Once cooked, add the frozen peas and milk, stir to combine, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes on high until the peas are warmed through. At this point, you can also adjust the thickness of the stew by adding a bit more flour if it’s too thin or a splash of chicken broth if it’s too thick.
- Once complete, taste the stew and adjust the salt and pepper as needed before serving.
- The stew can be served immediately, and leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 516 calories
- Sugar: 11 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 54 grams
- Protein: 42 grams