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A light and vibrant stew that is chock full of chicken and spring vegetables. Slow Cooker Chicken and Spring Vegetable Stew is a great way to transition to the warmer weather months.
This post is sponsored by Reynolds® Kitchens and Socialstars; all opinions are my own #ReynoldsCrowd™
Just because we are getting ready to leave the cold winter months behind us does NOT mean we should move the slow cooker to the back of the cabinet to gather dust. There are plenty of ways to lighten up and cook for the season using this gem of an appliance and I’m sharing one delicious idea with you today.
This is not your typical thick and meaty winter-season stew. It’s lighter in both the consistency and the ingredients which I think makes it absolutely perfect for spring.
On a recent shopping trip, I worked my way through the produce section snapping up items to add to this recipe that would evoke the lightness of spring – carrots, leeks, onion, celery, white button mushrooms, baby red potatoes, and fresh thyme. I also grabbed a bag of frozen peas for some pretty color contrast and even more spring impact.
I think my favorite part is how luxuriously tender and flavorful the chicken thigh meat becomes after spending time cooking in the thyme seasoned broth with all the veggies. It’s a beautiful thing.
The vegetables I’ve used are all very familiar but let’s take a minute to talk about leeks in case you’ve not had the pleasure of cooking with them. Leeks are generally a winter season item but are widely available through May and in many places (including here in California) they are available year-round. They are part of the onion and garlic family and look sort of like gigantic scallions. They have a mild onion taste similar to shallots but an even softer, sweeter flavor that makes them perfect in spring-inspired recipes. They add great flavor to broth and stock so you’ll find them commonly used in soup and stew recipes.
The edible portion is the white and light green section above the roots and below the darker green leaves. Before slicing, give the whole leek a rinse under cold water. Slice off and remove the root base and then thinly slice the remainder of the white stalk through to the lighter green section.
Run your knife through the sliced leek a few times.
Transfer the sliced leek to a colander, give it a good rinse under cold running water and allow it to drain well.
This recipe is my last in a series of three slow cooker recipes I developed to show you how wonderfully easy it is to cook with Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liners. If you take just a moment to line your slow cooker with one of these liners before getting started, cleanup will literally take just minutes once the meal is over. No soaking, no scrubbing, no fuss. Just a quick wipe down of the insert and your slow cooker is clean and you can rest assured that the liners are FDA compliant and designed to be safe for cooking at high temperatures.
To assemble the stew I cut about 1-1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and added it to the slow cooker with all of the veggies, 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, some minced garlic, a teaspoon of all-purpose seasoning blend, fresh ground black pepper, a good amount of chopped fresh parsley, and fresh thyme.
Stir to combine the ingredients and toss in a couple of bay leaves. Cover the slow cooker and let it cook for about 6 to 7 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. The cooking time will depend on the size you cut your vegetables.
At the end of the initial cooking time, remove the cover and add a slurry of chicken broth and cornstarch and a cup of frozen peas straight from the freezer. The cornstarch slurry will add some consistency to the chicken broth but it will still be quite light. Feel free to add additional cornstarch to thicken the stew more if you’d like. Cover the slow cooker and cook it on HIGH for an additional 20 minutes.
The aroma in your house as this stew cooks is going to make you so ready to dive in.
Slice a loaf of French bread and dinner is served.
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of fat and cut into bite-size pieces
- 3/4 pound baby red potatoes quartered
- 1 8 ounce package white button mushrooms, quartered
- 3 to 4 carrots peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds
- 3 medium leeks thinly sliced (white and very light green parts only)
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or two teaspoons dry
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth divided
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- Combine all ingredients through pepper in the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, reserving remaining 1/4 cup for later. Stir well to combine and add bay leaves. Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours, until chicken and veggies are fork tender.
- Combine the remaining 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth with the cornstarch in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Add cornstarch slurry to the slow cooker and stir well to combine. Sir in frozen peas, cover, and cook on HIGH for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove and discard bay leaves and serve.