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Slow-Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Braised Chicken With Olives can be made with chicken breasts or thighs, though the thighs will take three hours on high, instead of 2 1/2 ; or 6 hours on low, rather than 5.

Because chicken skin cooked in a slow cooker is not very appealing, I took the skin off the chicken before cooking. I browned the pieces, though Finlayson says browning isn't necessary for skinned chicken.

The chicken should be served over polenta (which could be cooked in your other slow cooker) or couscous. Not having two slow cookers, I made my polenta on the stove.

The recipe says to add the olives and capers right before serving. I used Kalamata olives and added them and the capers with the tomatoes and stock. Don't leave out the capers. They add a nice, slightly sour touch.

Balsamic Braised Chicken With Olives

This recipe works best in a large (minimum 5-quart) slow cooker.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts

2 onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 cups chopped peeled tomatoes, including juice, if canned
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives
3 tablespoons drained capers

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add chicken, in batches, and brown on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Reduce heat in skillet to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns and thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock and vinegar and bring to a boil.

Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or on high for 2 1/2 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Add olives and capers, if using, and stir well. Serve immediately.

Road Trip Blog: www.roadbrewer.com
Women in Beer & Brewing: www.pinkbootssociety.org