I could not decide at first whether to share this dish with you guys. After all, it is one of Those Dishes. You know, incredibly tasty and flavorful but not the prettiest thing to come down the pike? Also, the pictures are a little misleading–the gravy looks more like a broth, but it is way too strong for a broth. The potatoes need to be smashed into that gravy and then eaten. But of course it did not occur to me to smash the potatoes before taking the pictures. Maybe next time.
Anyway, do you remember that Rosemary Mustard Pork Tenderloin I made? I came across a recipe for chicken braised in balsamic vinegar with rosemary in Diane Phillips’ Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever with More Than 400 Easy-to-Make Recipes, and it immediately got me thinking about that pork marinade, and what it might be like to braise in something with that flavor. So I set about making it happen, looking at both recipes.
It was fantastic. Savory, salty, a little smoky, bright from the rosemary, a little sweet from the balsamic. Definitely a repeater. It is also, I admit, rather defiantly not of the moment. But hey 2 weeks ago it was freezing here and this was the perfect spring meal!
- ½ lb bacon
- 2-3 lbs chicken pieces (I used 8 boneless, skinless thighs)
- ½ cup AP flour
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T fresh minced rosemary
- 1 lb sliced crimini mushrooms
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2+ lbs red-skinned potatoes, cut in half or quarters, depending on size, you want them to all be the same size, the bigger they are the longer they will take to cook (the "+" means get slightly over 2 lbs rather than under)
- Brown the bacon until crisp in your stovetop safe slow cooker insert or a sauté pan and set aside.
- Pour off (but reserve) all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
- Add salt and pepper to the flour. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour. Brown the chicken thighs on medium high in batches, about 6-8 minutes per batch. Add a little more bacon grease between batches if necessary.
- Remove and set aside the browned chicken in a bowl.
- Add a little more bacon grease if you feel it needs it and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Measure your balsamic vinegar, and if the pan needs to be de-glazed, splash a little of it into the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan clean.
- Brown the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and brown another 2 minutes.
- Mix in the mushrooms.
- When all mushrooms are mixed in, stir in the mustard, chicken broth, and the remaining balsamic vinegar. Scrape the bottom of the pan. If you are not using the slow cooker insert, place the potatoes in the slow cooker insert and then pour the balsamic onions mixture over them. If you are using the slow cooker insert, add the potatoes and place it on the slow cooker base.
- Add the chicken thighs with all accumulated juices. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- While it is cooking, crumble the bacon. Before serving, taste for salt and pepper--do remember that you will then garnish with the bacon when you are tasting for salt.
- Serve with bacon crumbled on top.
Affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I would be discussing and linking to in any case.