On my continual quest for healthy, potluck-worthy chicken dishes, I stumbled upon this slow cooker/crock pot dish. It’s accented with fall/winter-worthy cranberries and apples. As with all of the slow cooker main courses I’ve come across, it is something like a stew. Meaning—the chicken pieces are sort of flaky and there is quite a bit of sauce.
Start off by browning pieces of chicken breast. You don’t have to though! You can skip that step and just throw it into the crock pot completely raw. In this case, though, I thought browning would enhance the flavor, and I had more time on my hands than usual, so I browned them before putting them in the crock pot. I also sprinkled some flour on the chicken pieces in case the sauce was too thin (which it was anyway).
On top of the chicken pieces, spread the apple chunks and cranberries. If you have frozen cranberries, don’t bother defrosting them before using. Just put them in frozen!
Pour apple juice mixed with some brown sugar and thyme over the chicken and fruit, close the lid, and leave the concoction to cook for 6 hours. Here is a shot of the crock pot over half way through the cooking period.
While 6 hours is a long time to wait, at least it’s the crock pot doing the cooking and not me sweating over a hot stove! After the cooking time is over, check to see how thin the sauce is. My sauce was super runny. Time to reduce the sauce! Take the top off the crock pot, crank up the temperature, and let the sauce simmer until it’s nice and thick.
This chicken dish has a nice flavor and is especially good when served over rice or the latest trend, quinoa. I haven’t tried it with pasta but I am assuming it would be a good match if you use the smaller types of pasta, like elbow, bow tie, or corkscrew pasta. However, if you are looking for a healthy main dish to bring to a potluck, which is what I had in mind when I made it, rice or, better yet, quinoa, would be a better choice. Couscous would be very nice as well!