Sometimes, cooking in a crockpot can be such a convenience! There's nothing nicer than coming home to a dinner that is already cooked for you. But often, crockpot recipes yield dishes that have strange pungent qualities -- not bad, just really intense. I found this dish to have quite a nice balance of flavors -- simple, yet warm and tasty. Perfect for coming in out of the cold!
Basil Chicken Merlot with Wild Mushrooms
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cut into pieces
1 1/2 c mushrooms (white button or baby bella), cleaned and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chicken stock
6 oz tomato paste
1/3 c merlot, or other dry red wine
1 tsp oregano (dried)
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T basil, fresh, minced
3 c ziti pasta, cooked, drained
romano cheese, grated, for garnish
Heat a large skillet on the stovetop and add oil. Brown chicken pieces about 3 minutes per side. emove chicken and set aside.
Add mushrooms, onion and garlic to skillet and cook 7-8 minutes, until onions are soft.
Add vegetables to the stoneware insert of the crockpot. Add chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine stock, tomato paste, wine, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour this sauce over the chicken.
Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-9 hours.
Cook pasta and place on serving dish. Scoop chicken on top of noodles. Garnish with basil and grated cheese.
Sorry - no "after" picture! We got home and the place smelled so good that we sat down and ate right away!