Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken Stew
Fill your evenings with the people you love and this satisfying Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken Stew made from simple and good for you ingredients.
Some of you know that my husband contracted the alpha-gal allergy as a result of a tick bite last year. This means he can’t eat red meat or dairy anymore. (It also means that I wait until he travels for work so that I can gorge on all the steak I can get my hands on. And I do gorge. I really love steak.) Thanks to his new allergies we’re enjoying an abundance of chicken at Casa de Shoemaker these days, friend.
Beef Stew was a staple in my childhood. So was my mom’s Chicken and Dumplings. This Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken Stew feels like a luscious hybrid of both to me. Hear me out. There’s obviously no beef in it and no dumplings. Yet this stew is every bit as rich, thick, and packed with vegetables as both dishes.
Now this could clearly be cooked on the stove top. But don’t we all just want more slow cooker recipes? This mama sure does. I don’t think I need to go into why. You get it, right? Cooks while you work or play with your kids or run a marathon. (No marathons are happening here.)
For this recipe you’ll need:
- Chicken (breasts, thighs, or a whole chicken will all work)
- Fresh herbs
- Minced garlic
- Simple seasonings
- Arrowroot flour for thickening (can be omited)
It’s easy to whip this up at home. First, you’ll toss the essentials into your slow cooker… chicken, carrots, celery, potatoes, chicken stock, seasoning, and herbs. You can use chicken breasts, thighs, or cut up a whole chicken. (That mixture of white and dark meat really amps up the flavor of your stock.)
Once the chicken is cooked you shred it with a fork. Discard the skin and bones if using a whole chicken. At this point the chicken is literally falling off the bone on it’s own.
To thicken this stew I use arrowroot flour. A bag of arrowroot flour is a little pricier but since I only use a few tablespoons at a time to thicken soups and sauces it basically lasts forever. Plus it doesn’t alter the taste of your food and it doesn’t make your soup/sauce cloudy like flour does. The brand I buy is Bob’s Red Mill but there are other great brands available too. I get mine at Whole Foods.
When I’m serving this up I like to stir in fresh herbs to brighten everything up right at the very end. If you’ve hung around here long enough you know I do love adding a bit of gorgeous green to pretty much everything.
It will simmer in your slow cooker while you do whatever it is you want to do. Your home will smell amazing by the time it’s done.
That’s it! Simple. Delicious. Perfect for chilly evenings.
Can you use dried herbs instead of fresh?
I’ve tested this stew with both dried and fresh. Fresh is the clear winner (and I really don’t often have a preference). But you absolutely can use dried here. As a general rule you’ll want 1/3 less herbs if you’re using dried instead of fresh. So for this recipe that means you’ll use 1 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp dried rosemary.
Why arrowroot flour?
Arrowroot flour is an amazing thickening agent. A lot less processing is used to create it (versus white flour) so it’s an easy swap to make if you’re trying to clean up your diet. Additionally, it thickens quickly, has no taste, and doesn’t give your food a cloudy appearance. It’s more expensive than white flour; however, a bag will last you a long time.
Can you omit the arrowroot flour if you don’t have it?
Absolutely! It won’t alter the taste at all. The only difference you’ll see is that the stew won’t get as thick.
More recipes like this:
Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken Stew
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, Can use boneless thighs or 1 whole chicken cut up into 8 pieces
- 1 lb carrots, cut into circles or into sticks
- 3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups celery, about 4 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 white or yellow onion, diced
- 32 oz chicken stock, Can use chicken broth.
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp arrowroot flour, Can omit.
- 3 tbsp cold water
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Additional fresh herbs for topping after cooking (I use parsley)
- Add everything except the arrowroot flour, water, and optional additional fresh herbs to your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours.
- Use tongs to take the chicken out of the slow cooker. Use a fork to shred meat into pieces. If you used a whole chicken, remove skin and bones from chicken and discard.
- To thicken, add arrowroot flour and cold water to jar. Shake until well combined. Pour into the slow cooker and stir. (Skip this step if you're making this stew in advance. If you're not eating it until the next day you may not need the arrowroot flour as the stew will thicken quite a bit as it refrigerates overnight.)
- Place shredded chicken into the slow cooker. Stir.
- Taste. Add extra salt and pepper if desired. (I like to add a little extra salt at the end but that's totally up to you.) Serve with optional additional fresh herbs.