Best Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken with Garlic Olives

Cook’s notes: Adapted from a recipe by Diana Rattray, who is an awesome resource. I added onion and red pepper to her recipe and made a few other adjustments. One of my favorite things to do lately when adjusting recipes is to add more vegetables. The garlic-stuffed olives are from Trader Joe’s. Made in a 4-qt. oval slow cooker with a removable stoneware pot. This dish has been in the crock pot for two hours now, and the house smells amazing.

Post dinner notes: Absolutely delicious. This is a keeper and now a best recipe in our house. Reduce the brown sugar from 1/3 cup to 1 or 2 Tbsp. Slice the olives before putting them in the slow cooker. This will distribute them better. We will definitely make this again and plan to use about 1 cup of sliced garlic olives.

Prep time: About 30 minutes to prepare vegetables and brown chicken pieces. Make sure the chicken is refrigerated (fully thawed) and not frozen.

Cooking time: 3 to 3.5 hours on HIGH in the slow cooker

Menu suggestion: Serve chicken and olive sauce over hot rice (made separately). Optional: a side baby spinach salad.

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, 4 to 6 oz each); 1.6 lb pkg of chicken
1/2 cup wine (red or white or 1/4 cup of each); I used Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
12 colossal green olives stuffed with garlic cloves — slice them; use at least 1/2 cup of olives

Spray the inside of the crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place the diced pepper and onion in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Brown the chicken: Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Sauté the chicken pieces until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Make the sauce: In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the wine, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.

Assemble the ingredients: Place the browned chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Add the olives to the slow cooker. Pour sauce over everything. Place the lid on the slow cooker.

Cook covered on HIGH for 3 to 3.5 hours. Do not remove the lid. Do not stir the ingredients while they cook.