You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore with Al Dente Garlic Herb Pappardelle tastes even better the second day

By Peggy Lampman


Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore with Al Dente Garlic Herb Pappardelle

Peggy Lampman | Contributor


The new dinnerFeed web site is a lean, 
mean fighting machine!

Here's an "I'll taste even better tomorrow" recipe that will set your teeth on edge today. And if you pair it with Al Dente's latest creation, their toothsome Garlic Herb wide noodle pasta, I guarantee you'll leave the table a happy camper.

A warning: Just because it's a slow cooker recipe doesn't mean it will only take five minutes to toss into the pot and simmer all day. There's a solid 30 minutes of chopping, skinning and prepping involved, but the results are worth the effort.


I once received a great tip from Rebecca Bawkon, who is the wine consultant at Busch's South Main store: Freeze leftover wine. You read me correctly. I have a big ziplock in my freezer reserved for leftover reds.

It's a pity to discard good wine, so I pour the leftovers into the ziplock, then chip off and thaw the required wine when making long simmering stews, such as in the recipe below. Of course she wouldn't recommend freezing leftover wine if you intend to drink it, heaven forbid, but when using wine in a recipe that incorporates heat,  leftover frozen then thawed wine works fine.  

Active Time: 35 minutes

Crock pot simmer time: 3-4 hours on high heat; 8-9 hours on low


2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 cups aromatics such as onions, leeks and fennel, sliced
3 to 4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
8-12 ounces mushrooms, such as mini bellas, stems trimmed and cleaned, cut in half
1 ( 28-ounce can) whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped (reserve juice)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine (see my notes above regarding using leftover frozen wine)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2-3 tablespoons white flour
Fresh torn basil


1. Pour olive oil in the bottom of cooker. Layer half of aromatics over bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add chicken pieces and cover with remaining aromatics. Top with peppers, mushrooms and chopped tomatoes.
2. Whisk tomato juice from canned tomatoes with tomato paste, wine, garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and red pepper together. Pour over chicken and vegetables. Place bay leaf pieces in pot and cover. Cook on low heat 7 to 9 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.
3. An hour before turning off heat, ladle a cup of the hot liquid into a bowl. Whisk flour into hot liquid to make a paste, then whisk paste into slow cooker liquid. Let simmer another hour, or until brew has thickened and chicken is tender to the bone. Stir in basil just before serving.

My new web site has recently been launched (! I'm a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on my website and in the Food & Drink section of You may also e-mail me at



Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

When and where does the fresh basil go in?


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

An easier way to freeze wine, along with bit of other leftover cooking items (stock, canned chipotle peppers, herbs, etc) is to use ice cube trays. Pour leftovers into the trays (for fresh herbs use some water in the tray also), freeze and once solid pop the cubes into a ziploc bag for the freezer. When you're in need of a small amount just take out however many cubes you need.

Sarah Rigg

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Peggy: how about muffin tins if you want something bigger than ice cubes? I freeze "hockey pucks" of pesto that way as well.

Peggy Lampman

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Great comment! I do that with pesto. I tend to use larger quantities of wine, so maybe I can find some other apparatus. Large ice cube trays out there? Thanks. Peggy


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

"set your teeth on edge to annoy you or make you feel nervous or uncomfortable" I don't think the author really meant this.

Peggy Lampman

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Thanks for the comment. I love idiomatic expressions and their definitions are a language game. I loosely interpret expressions, such as this, well - loosely. "Set your teeth on edge" certainly means uncomfortable or annoying. But when I use the term it also means "excited" or "anticipatory"- and my teeth, most certainly, are on edge anticipating this dish paired with Al Dente! Peggy

Cathy B.

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

8 CUPS aromatics? Is that correct? In a 6-quart cooker, that would be 1/3 full with just onions, leeks & fennel.

Peggy Lampman

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Yes. Adam is correct. In my 6.5 qt. e-lume slow cooker all of the ingredients fit and, as Allen said, cooked down so there was plenty of space.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

THey'll cook down. They're mostly water, and there will be plenty of space between the slices anyway.

Sarah Rigg

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

A typo in the recipe has been corrected.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

I believe the recipe should read 8-12 ounces MUSHROOMS such as mini bellas Also, what kind of red wine do you recommend for this recipe?