Slow Down Chicken

Slow Down Chicken

If I didn’t find it slightly embarrassing I’d be gushing about how much I love my slow cooker right now. Even given the massive lifestyle change I’ve made this year – from working at a fashion magazine to testing recipes for SPC – there are lines I pledged not to cross when I became a parent. Yoga pants worn while not in an actual yoga class being the most important, obviously, but also purely social coffee dates during the work day and addressing my husband as Daddy in front of the kids. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with any of these things (except I do feel a bit squeamish when spouses call each other Mom and Dad). Everyone has to figure out their own way to enter Parent World, these are just the roads I avoid.
Enthusiasm for time-saving appliances just never made it on my list. So un-sexy, it just went without saying. But what can I say?

We’ve had the gleaming Krups slow cooker in a hard to reach cupboard for, oh, five years now. A wedding gift – thanks Eric and Sue! – that I’ve been meaning to pull down and figure out, it finally made its way out this weekend. What a fool I’ve been! Once I got over the initial weirdness of chopping carrots and potatoes at 8 a.m. I was hooked. About twenty minutes of prep, six hours doing its thing, quietly on the counter, and dinner is ready. What’s not to love?

Simple Chicken Stew

6 chicken thighs, skinless, bone in
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
splash vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1 teaspoon if you’re using dried)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup light cream


Parboil the potatoes for about two minutes.

In a dutch oven or high-sided skillet, sautee onions, celery and carrots in a splash of vegetable oil for about five minutes. Add the flour, thyme and bay leaves and stir for a minute. Add the stock and stir until smooth. Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes until sauce thickens. Add parboiled potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place chicken thighs in the bottom of your trusty slow cooker and spoon the vegetable mixture over. Seal and set for 6 hours.

Check chicken to see that it’s cooked through. Add peas and cream and seal and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve!

Esme loved this dinner. I knew she was buttering me up in order to get dessert but I didn’t mind. Julian’s a bit small to handle broth on his own but he let me give him a bit and loved all the elements of this stew. And I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more ways to use my slow cooker. Got any ideas?

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  1. Terra
    November 09, 18:40 Reply
    Another winner! Hands down the best use of our slow cooker yet. Darren and I couldn't get enough. And I'm sure Rosie would have loved it if it wasn't for that pesky time change...
  2. Ceri
    November 09, 20:26 Reply
    So glad to hear it!! Oh, no, is Rosie not switching over? Maybe she and Julian can meet for a 5 am breakfast!
  3. Terra
    November 09, 21:00 Reply
    Ha! Not that early, thank God (poor you) but she's a bit of a wreck by the end of the day. Add a new baby brother and it makes for a distracted dinner time.
  4. Andrea
    May 17, 11:46 Reply
    Hi... I'm making this right now... what temp do we set at? High or low?
  5. Ceri Marsh
    May 17, 11:49 Reply
    Hi Andrea, I believe that it depends on how long you want it to take. So, High would take 4 hours and Low would take 6 - which is what I wanted the day I made this. Let me know how it goes for you! Ceri
  6. Andrea
    May 18, 12:43 Reply
    Thanks! It turned out great and I love that it made enough to have for lunches the next day. Yum!
    • Ceri Marsh
      May 18, 14:32 Reply
      Don't you love it when one cooking effort nets multiple meals? It's the best! So glad you liked it! Ceri
  7. Norine
    May 23, 19:03 Reply
    Perfect for a 'picky-eater' toddler! Use a Thermo-pot and you don't even have to waste electricity while it's cooking.
  8. Denise
    February 05, 10:28 Reply
    Aren't slow cookers great? I love to make baked potatoes in mine. Wash and dry potatoes, give them an olive oil massage, sprinkle with garlic pepper seasoning, wrap in foil and put into the crock. Depending on how many potatoes you have, it will take 6 - 8 hours. I start on high, then switch to low after an hour or 2.
  9. [...] creamy chicken recipe, Slow Down Chicken, is perfect for a cozy winter meal. If you use the chicken butchering techniques to prepare one of [...]
  10. Caitlin
    February 09, 13:07 Reply
    Any idea whether it is possible to make it take longer, like 10 hours? I know that sounds odd, but my problem with crockpot recipes is that they are always for 4 or 6 hours, which means they can only be used on weekends, since I'm away at work for at least 10 on weekdays.
  11. Eric
    February 10, 23:47 Reply
    Worried that your slow cooker recipe will be ready to serve TOO EARLY in the day? Here are two solutions: 1) prepare the recipe the night before, but keep it in the fridge overnight. The next morn, set up your cooker to run, and allow an extra hour since everything started cold. AND/OR: 2) Plug the whole cooker into a vacation-light timer so it won't turn on until you've been at work a couple of hours.
  12. Ceri
    February 11, 07:09 Reply
    Eric - thanks for those great ideas in solving Caitlin's dilemma! I also think that most slow cookers turn themselves off but do keep things quite warm. And this kind of dish won't be worse for sitting in the slow cooker until you get home. And most slow cooker recipes tend to be like that - stews that can wait for you. But I love that vacation timer idea - let us know if you give it a try!
  13. sunny
    February 13, 19:53 Reply
    Why do you parboil the potatoes? In my experience when they cook for 6 hours they become mushy? Are you using them to thicken the sauce? Maybe my slow cooker cooks to fast, I think it does.
  14. Wayne KNIGHT
    February 16, 18:04 Reply
    Hi - would love to have printed-off this recipe, but 5 pages is just too much for a single recipe. Is there any other method of printing such recipes on 1 or 2 pages rather than 5? Tks...WK
  15. Gwen
    February 18, 22:54 Reply
    Wayne, I always face the same problem--copying pages and pictures, etc. to get the recipe. I'm just too frugal to print out all the extra stuff. I simply highlight the recipe and copy it and paste to a Word page. Works great.
  16. Lori
    March 06, 15:58 Reply
    You know over a 4-6 hour period the cut potatoes will turn to mush. Also, I don't know about anyone else in the working world, but I work 8 hours over a 9 hour period (accounts for lunch and getting to/from work). This might do very well with Turkey thighs and par boil the potatoes in the am. Microwave for a minute or 2 and then throw them in with everything else. The problem with a regular crock pot - you know the ones that come with off, warm, low , high is that they still cook too fast. I might make this on the weekend when I am home, but the chicken will be dry and the potatoes mush if I do it on a workin' day.
  17. Rose
    July 17, 18:42 Reply
    Can I adapt this recipe to cook in a saucepan on the stove?
  18. Janinne
    December 06, 13:23 Reply
    If cooking time is an issue, try starting with frozen chicken. That will make it take longer. I also wondered about the parboiling of the potatoes. I don't plan on doing it when I try this recipe.

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