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Olives add polish to slow-cooker chicken

For easy meal preparation, it doesn't get much more labor-free than the slow cooker.

Even French-inspired Slow-Cooker Chicken Provencal is fast to put together and then you let it cook slowly for three or four hours while you go on to other things.

The secret of traditional Chicken Provencal is that it is cooked in a tomato-and-garlic sauce. This version makes it easy with canned tomatoes (and a bit of tomato paste) plus a whole lot of garlic. It uses skinless chicken thighs, which don't dry out during the extended cooking time while also cutting way back on the grease.

Once the dish has been thoroughly cooked, it needs a little something extra, a hint of brightness to cut through the meal's earthy flavors. A handful of chopped nicoise olives will do the trick. But my local grocer doesn't carry nicoise olives, so I just chopped up some kalamata olives. I promise you, no one knew the difference.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Provencal

1 onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano OR 1/8 teaspoon dried

1 (14.5-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

3 tablespoons dry white wine

4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted nicoise or kalamata olives

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Lightly coat inside of slow cooker with vegetable oil spray. Microwave onion, garlic, oil, tomato paste and oregano in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared slow cooker.

Pulse tomatoes and their juice in a food processor until almost smooth, about 10 pulses. Stir tomatoes and wine into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 3 to 4 hours on low.

Transfer chicken to serving platter. Stir olives and parsley into sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe from The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen

Food on 09/13/2017

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