I promised you some minimal prep slow cooker recipes and here is the first of them! I am completely in love with my slow cooker, it makes creating a tasty work night meal very easy, particularly when you don’t have to brown off any meat before hand. This was the first time that I had tried cooking chicken in the slow cooker and I have to say I was very impressed with the results. As I actually forgot to defrost my chicken the night before, this turned into an even easier recipe to prepare. It’s absolutely packed with veggies, and I find that the mix of the protein from the chicken and chickpeas works very well in keeping me full. The recipe will make at least 4 massive portions, so would easily feed a big family, or any leftovers could be bagged up and frozen or kept in the fridge for lunch leftovers the next day. You do need a pretty big slow cooker for this, if you have one of the smaller ones, I would maybe leave out the aubergine and only use two chicken breasts to make sure everything fits in!
- 500g of chicken breasts (I used a pack of 3 free range chicken breasts)
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 aubergine / eggplant
- 3 peppers (I used red, yellow and green)
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups / 500mls chicken stock
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 10 dried dates
- 20 black pitted olives
- Peel, de seed then chop the butternut squash and into cubes. De seed the peppers and chop into pieces and cube the aubergine.
- Place the vegetables into the slow cooker and lay the whole chicken breasts on top
- Pour over the chopped tomatoes
- Make the chicken stock if using a cube, and add the spices to the stock
- Pour over the chicken and vegetables.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high if cooking for 4-5 hours
- 20 - 30 minutes before serving fish out the chicken breasts and shred with two folks
- Add the chicken back into the stew along with the chickpeas, the dates (chopped) and olives
- You could carry out the first 3 steps the night before and just place the chicken, veggies and tomatoes into a covered bowl in the fridge so that the next day all you need to do is empty the bowl into the slow cooker and add the chicken stock and spices.
- I actually made this with frozen chicken breasts as I had forgotten to defrost them. Just make sure you cook on high for at least the first two hours.
- If you don't have a slow cooker, then this can also be made in a big pot on the stove or in the oven, just cook at the lowest temperature for several hours.
I served mine with some golden cauliflower ‘couscous’ which is simply cauliflower blitzed in the blender until it is little pieces, transferred to a bowl with some water and then microwaved for 2 minutes until softened. I then stored through some turmeric, a small handful of raisins and a pinch of salt. Of course brown rice, quinoa or wholemeal couscous would work wonderfully with this.
The recipe could easily be amended to make use of different herbs and seasoning. For example, leave out the dates and use some Italian seasoning, garlic and swap the chickpeas for white beans for a Mediterranean flavour, or use chilli or taco seasoning with some red kidney beans for a Mexican vibe.
The real star of this recipe is the chicken. Slow cooking it gives it the most amazing texture, I will certainly be making more chicken recipes this way, and would love to try chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts next time.
So there you have it, a very easy to prepare slow cooker recipe! Do you have a slow cooker? Have you tried cooking chicken in it?