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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Chicken with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Black Olives in a Slow Cooker

This past summer I had huge amounts of tomatoes when I came home from a long trip in Europe. It was too hot to roast and freeze them and to complicate matters I didn't have an oven anyway. So I looked for slow cooker recipes that used healthy amounts of tomatoes. This is one. 


Chicken with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Black Olives in a Slow Cooker

Adapted from THE MEDITERRANEAN SLOW COOKER by Michele Scicolone

Serves 6-10

2 T olive oil
6 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 pd)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 c dry red wine
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes run through the food processor
6 whole chicken legs, skin removed if preferred, or 12 thighs, boneless or bone-in
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/2 c pitted Kalamata olives, halved
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, or basil sliced in chiffonade, or chopped fresh oregano 

If you are using chopped fresh tomatoes, you may want to cook them by themselves in the slow cooker for about an hour on high to help break them down more completely.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet and place the sausages into the hot oil and cook them until they are brown on all sides. Place them in a large slow cooker. In the oil, cook the chopped onion until it is softened. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper. Cook for a minute and add the wine. Bring to a boil but turn down to a simmer and cook for about a minute.

Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker and add the crushed tomatoes if you haven't used fresh tomatoes. Place the chicken pieces into the sauce in the slow cooker. Turn them over and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Cover and cook on high for an hour and then for approximately 3  hours on low until the chicken is very tender. The meat may start to separate from the bones. You can also test the meat with a thermometer and make sure it is at least 165F.

Check the sauce. It should be about the texture of a spaghetti sauce. If not, remove the chicken and sausage and place the sauce into a shallow saucepan or a skillet and cook over medium heat until it is reduced to your preference. Return the sauce, chicken, and sausages to the slow cooker, stir in the olives, and return to heat. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the chicken and sausage garnished with one or the other of the fresh herbs. I believe it would be good accompanied by pasta or polenta, as well.  

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