Warm spices, refreshing apricots and cranberries, crisp carrots and organic chicken combine in this simple yet delectable slow-cooker recipe that is sure to add a note of pizzazz to your next cozy winter meal or special gathering.
The subtle yet powerful touch of spices in this comforting dish enhance the combined flavors of dried fruits and slow-cooked chicken. If you are interested in cooking simple, flavorful, yet wholesome meals this is an ideal recipe. Everything goes into the slow-cooker pot and it cooks while you get on with your day. Six hours later you have a hearty, comforting meal and very little clean-up time!
Dried fruits are not all the same. Be wary of any dried fruits treated with sulfur dioxide. I recommend Organic Sun-Dried Turkish Apricots (wild and raw) from the Malatya region. Untreated apricots will be brown, not orange. They are simply delicious and we keep them at our house for a quick, healthy snack option. Apricots are a great source of fiber and they are cholesterol and gluten free. I also recommend Organic Dried Tart Cherries from Omena Organics. These cherries are unmatched in flavor from any other dried cherries we have tested in recipes.
Spices are also not all the same and careful attention to freshness and purity will make a significant difference in the flavor of your dish.
- 2T olive oil
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 C chicken stock ( I use chicken bone broth, slow-cooked, for fuller flavor.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2T almond butter (optional)
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 lb. baby carrots
- 1/2 C dried apricots
- 1/4 C dried cherries
- Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1T olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- When hot, add 1/2 the chicken thighs and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. You are just browning the outside, not cooking the chicken through. Transfer to the slow-cooker and repeat with remaining olive oil and chicken thighs.
- Sauté the sliced onions over medium heat until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the chicken broth to the onions, garlic, and spices. Scrape the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the almond butter and sugar.
- Pour this mixture over the chicken thighs in the slow-cooker. Stir to combine and place carrots on top.
- Cook 4 hours on low and then add the dried apricots and cranberries.
- Cook 1-2 more hours.
- Shred the meat slightly and serve. (NOTE: This dish is hearty as a stand-alone dish but another option is to serve over cooked quinoa, pearled barley, or any grain of your choice.)
NOTE: The original recipe by Erin can be found at meaningfuleats.com. Many of Erin’s recipes are gluten and dairy-free and you can subscribe for her recipes by email.