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Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

21 Reviews

Loaded with healthy vegetables, chicken and herbs, this slow cooker chicken stew is a pot of comfort just waiting for you to devour.

Once upon a time I was a poor college student and totally homesick for my mom’s home cooking, particularly, her slow cooker beef stew. It was winter and cold, and I just needed that comfort from home. The problem was that I didn’t have any beef. Actually I couldn’t afford to buy beef, what college student can?!

So I decided to try to create that same home cookin’ with the chicken thighs I had in the fridge. Thus, this slow cooker chicken stew was born!

A pot of chicken stew. The stew is thick and bright colored with bits of celery, herbs, chicken and potatoes. A wooden spoon is in the pot and chopped herbs are on the counter top next to the pot.

One by one my roommates came home from class and asked what smelled so good. I poured them each a bowl and we sat around our small table in silence gobbling up that stew. I like to think they each felt a little bit of that comfort from home.

Chicken or beef, either one makes a delightful homemade stew!

What Ingredients Do You Need for Chicken Stew?

Ok, before the length of this ingredients list scares you away, most of them can be grabbed in the produce section, so that makes it easy. Also, delicious soups have layers and layers of flavor, and that takes a few ingredients.

  • Chicken Thighs
  • Canola Oil
  • Butter
  • Yellow Onion
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Tomato Paste
  • Thyme (fresh)
  • Sage (dried)
  • Chicken Broth
  • Cooking White Wine
  • Red Potatoes
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Bay Leaves
  • Peas (frozen)
  • Heavy Cream
  • Parsley (fresh)

The measurements of each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

A pot of slow cooker chicken stew with a wooden spoon. The stew chicken and vegetables are in a thick yellow-red gravy and there are bright green herbs with the vegetables. A stack of bowls and spoons are in the background.

How to Make Chicken Stew

Now let’s get in to the nitty gritty of making this stew. It all starts with the chicken…

  1. Grab your chicken thighs and pat them dry. Drying them allows them to caramelize better and get that beautiful golden color you want. Season them with salt and pepper.
  2. Drizzle a little oil into a large skillet and heat it up over medium high heat. Cook the chicken in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook on one side for about 5 minutes and then flip to the other side for another 6-7 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add butter to the skillet and add the onions and celery. Cook until they are softened, and then add the flour and garlic. Stir briefly and then add the tomato paste and herbs.
  4. Slowly add in half of the chicken broth and cooking wine. Scrape up the little bits of chicken stuck on the pan.
  5. Add the potatoes, carrots and remaining broth and cooking wine. Simmer over medium low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  6. Add all the ingredients into the slow cooker (minus the peas and cream), and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and add the peas and cream. Put the lid back on and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  8. Top with chopped fresh parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.

The recipe card below contains all the detailed instructions.

A pot of slow cooker chicken stew. There are bits of vegetables, chicken, and herbs in a reddish yellow gravy.

Substitutes in Chicken Stew

If you want to lighten this stew up a little, use more chicken broth, half & half, or milk instead of the heavy cream. You know I just used more water in college. I never ever had cream on hand!

You can also use sweet potatoes in this stew rather than regular potatoes, or you could go half and half. I love the the taste of sweet potatoes in this!

What Can You Substitute For Cooking Wine?

Red or white wine vinegar, cranberry juice, ginger ale, grape juice, apple juice, and chicken or beef stock are all good substitutes for cooking wine.

Can You Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Thighs?

Well of course! Chicken breasts or thighs totally work, however dark meat is more flavorful. You can use all white meat or a combination of white and dark meat in chicken stew.  

A large pot of slow cooker chicken stew. It is a bright yellow-red color and packed with bits of fresh herbs, vegetables and chicken. A wooden spoon is in the pot.

How Long Will Chicken Stew Keep?

Properly stored, in the refrigerator, chicken stew will keep for 3-4 days.

Can Chicken Stew Be Frozen?

Chicken stew can be frozen when packaged correctly.  Cool completely and store in an air tight container or a heavy duty freezer bag. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat it on the stove top until warmed through.

A pot of thick slow cooker chicken stew with a wooden spoon in it. The stew is packed with bright vegetables, chicken and herbs.

What to Eat with Chicken Stew

When you make stew, you must make bread! Focaccia bread, crusty artisan bread, or the best dinner rolls ever all get the job done to perfection. And if you don’t want to deal with yeast, go with the herb Irish soda bread!

I also like to make a nice side salad to lighten up the meal a little.

Chicken Stew in the Instant Pot or Stove Top

If you need chicken stew fast, you can totally make this recipe in the Instant Pot. It’s also totally simple to do on the stove top too.

Instant Pot

  • Pat the chicken dry season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the instant pot by pressing high saute and add a drizzle of oil.  Cook the chicken in batches, about 5-6 minutes, flipping occasionally until golden and cooked through, and remove to a plate while you cook the next batch. Remove the last of the chicken
  • Heat the butter and add the onions and celery, cooking until softened and stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour and garlic, and stir for 20 seconds and then add the tomato paste, thyme and sage, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly whisk in half of the chicken broth and the cooking wine, scraping up any bits from the chicken. Add the chicken with the remaining broth and cooking wine and simmer by turning the pressure cooker saute function to low for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and all remaining ingredients except the peas and cream and cover, setting the valve to seal. Press cancel and then press manual, high and set the time for 7 minutes. Allow a natural release and then open the lid.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and cream. Press saute and get it simmering for 2 minutes more and then serve.

Stove Top

  • Pat the chicken dry season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Cook the chicken in, about 5 minutes on the first side (smooth side down) and 6-7 minutes after flipping in batches until golden and cooked through, and remove to a plate.
  • Heat the butter in the pot and add the onions and celery, cooking until softened and stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. add the flour and garlic, and stir for 20 seconds and then add the tomato paste, thyme and sage, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Heat the butter and add the onions and celery, cooking until softened and stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour and garlic, and stir for 20 seconds and then add the tomato paste, thyme and sage, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly whisk in half of the chicken broth and the cooking wine, scraping up any bits from the chicken. Add the chicken with the remaining broth and cooking wine and simmer over medium low heat.  Add the potatoes and carrots and all remaining ingredients except the peas and cream and cover the pot, cooking for 20-30 minutes.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and cream. Bring back to a simmer by turning the heat to medium for 10 minutes and then serve.

 

Some evenings just call for a bowl of slow cooker chicken stew! It’s warm, hearty, comforting and bring back all the memories of home (and college for that matter!). Plus, slow cooker recipes are the best! I hope you enjoy this one!

More Chicken SOUP RECIPES You’ll Love:

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A pot of slow cooker chicken stew. There are bits of vegetables, chicken, and herbs in a reddish yellow gravy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

4.67 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 Cups Chicken Thighs 3 pounds, diced
  • Canola Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Onion yellow, finely chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 6 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Stalk Celery small, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 2 teaspoons Thyme fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sage dried
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking white wine (real wine is fine but use double the amount)
  • 1 Cup Red Potatoes chopped 1/2” pieces
  • 1 Cup Potatoes Yukon Gold, chopped 1/2" pieces
  • 3 Carrots large, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Cup Peas frozen
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream *optional see note
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley fresh, minced

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry so that cooking brings out more caramelization and color. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Cook the chicken in batches, about 5-6 minutes, flipping occasionally until golden and cooked through, and remove to a plate while you cook the next batch.
  • Heat the butter in the skillet and add the onions and celery, cooking until softened and stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. add the flour and garlic, and stir for 20 seconds and then add the tomato paste, thyme and sage, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Slowly whisk in half of the chicken broth and the cooking wine, scraping up any bits from the chicken. Add the potatoes and carrots along with the remaining broth and cooking wine and simmer with the lid on over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. 
  • Add all ingredients except the peas and cream into the slow cooker and cover. Cook for 4-5 hours.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and cream. Add the lid and cook for 5 more minutes. 
  • Serve with fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes

  • To keep this dish lighter sub more chicken broth, half and half or just milk instead of the heavy cream.
  • You can also use peeled and chopped sweet potatoes!
  • You can freeze left over chicken stew.  Cool completely, put in air tight containers or heavy duty freezer bag and freeze.
  • For instructions on making this in the Instant Pot or on the stove top, scroll up to the section in the post above.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 599 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 216mg72%
Sodium 827mg36%
Potassium 826mg24%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 7742IU155%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A pot of chicken stew. The stew is thick and bright colored with bits of celery, herbs, chicken and potatoes. A wooden spoon is in the pot and chopped herbs are on the counter top next to the pot.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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